Current mode: campaign! (weirdities)
The parade route
It was a fine day for a parade. This was something for which I was totally ready and excited! I only saw two people I knew--this not being my hometown--but one of those people made up for this discrepancy! It was near the end of the route, I had just restocked my stack of literature, and was about to run to an untouched section of spectators when who should catch my eye but my old friend James!
James in a piece of work, I must say--the most unique guy with whom I have ever worked. Yes, I say worked because we both spent time on the staff of Horizon, the community college newspaper in Bellingham. It was not a very impressive publication but it saw a lot of growth about the time we were there. I was the Production/Design Editor and he was the Advertising Manager that fateful quarter our paths crossed. Since I was not taking very many credits that quarter, I decided to take the opportunity to write an opinion piece (my third and last to get published in Horizon). I didn't much want feedback from the other reporters, so when the appropriate deadlines came, I just submitted my drafts to the editor and faculty adviser. The final draft was no big deal to me, though. By that time, things were in place to my satisfaction. And so my piece went into the stack of material for final grammar editing. I was still a little concerned that I might be pressured to tone it down under the guise of "improving credibility." It didn't happen, though, because the editor had already given comment earlier as had the adviser. Everything would have been ready--ready that is, if it wasn't for James.
If I remember correct, he had been in the dumps all week because of some criticism he took for an ad he ran. I watched as he read through my article and came bouncing back! He said something in an excited tone to the editor, then looked over at me and said something about running another article along side. I said something about it being little late. He said something about writing something up that night in response to mine and finally the editor agreed to let him try. I wasn't sure what to think. I was sitting there wondering what would happen. I didn't quite have it all straight in my mind until the next day when I finally read what he wrote. My one article was now part of a "Point/Counterpoint" editorial! I was, of course, the "point" and he the "counter point" and I tempted to whine a little (maybe I did) about this obvious attempt at a little sabotage. I didn't come out swinging over it because 1, the editorial would probably get more readership if it was set up this way and 2, James had written his response over-night... Think Michael Moore and you might get a sense of his style!
To get to the point: There stood James and my reaction was immediate. I walked toward him and said, "Hey James! I've got something here for you!" He laughed and was gracious enough to accept what I handed him, saying that he should be doing some research anyway. Funny guy--not another person in the world have I met like him!
My feelings, running along the street that day, were something like an out-of-body experience (as if I really knew what that was). I started out simple enough--asking if people wanted some information about Dino Rossi, etc. It was only a ways into the parade when I started listening to myself again! I sounded like something out of a movie or maybe some kind of fast-talking tele-marketer (scary thought). Everything just kept pouring out of my mouth as if I wasn't even there--I was just mechanized or something! Folks, I don't know if this is normal or not! You tell me!
Doorbelling is simple enough. If you are feeling picky and nervous, you might be inclined to look for signs of party affiliation before you knock. It's not like it will change anything, but you will look for them none the less. I wasn't too nervous about it all--I've done this before and in worse neighborhoods. I just went (ran actually) from house to house with Jon (the guy working with me) and together we covered more than the other two groups in the area. I probably came off easier than Jon. I still laugh when I think about what I heard from his side of the street. I remember one time when I heard a door open and slam in the next instant! I looked over and even at that distance I could see a odd look on his face as he glanced at me. The worst I faced was a man who came to the door after I had moved on. He found the flier, looked my way and yelled something less then courteous. Next there was the nice old lady with a "proud Democrat" sticker on her door. She simply made a face somewhere between a grimace and a grin as she refused to take the literature.
It wasn't all gloom of course! I would tell you about all the weird and wonderful people on our side if I had the time. Unfortunately the only other fact I have time for is the most ironic one. It seemed that every street we covered had at least two people who had already received literature at the parade! What do you know! I guess the parade was worth the effort.
I don't know if I will have any more time for these pursuits this year but if I don't, I must say, it was fun while it lasted.