15 September 2009

Fort Walton Beach Tea Party, 12 Sep 09

Proscrastinator. That's me. And the reason I procrastinate?
'Cause generally it works.

Friday night before the gathering and I haven't even made our signs. I know there are "Tea Party" events scheduled for four hours, yet we have no lawn chairs.

That butt you saw hanging out of the dumpster at the "Dollar General Store at 11 P.M Friday evening? That was mine... grabbing a perfect "Absolut Vodka" box because the interior of the box was pure white... perfect for signage. (What was an Absolut Box doing in a Dollar General Store dumpster?)

Back to the condo with a smile on my face I search for the magic marker I KNOW is in the utility closet...
Nope. I can't find it.
Back in the car to Wally World for marker(s), and maybe they have comfortable lawn chairs at a reasonable price? I find a nice set of markers, black, green, red, and blue. No lawn chairs, but plenty of beach chairs. Their short legs won't do, so there's unfinished business to attend to on the way to the rally.

Home just before midnight, I cut the box into two large rectangles...
"Honey, what do you want to say on your sign?"

"I have no idea."

"Well, what issue troubles you most? That's what you want to say."

From the sofa my Mom shouts "You LIE!"...
The truth of Congressman Wilson's statement is still an open wound with my family.
Sara Jean agrees. So I cut her rectangle into a square and write "You LIE!" in bright green magic marker, and staple it to the wooden handle.

I turn my rectangle so it is taller than it is wide and write "$top $tupid $pending!!", dollar signs in red, the rest of the lettering in blue. It looks good. I am proud of my handiwork. I staple it to the handle. We head to bed, looking forward to our first political rally.

We wake to gray skies and a rainy forecast. We leave early so I can stop at "Bed, Bath, and Beyond" and buy some nice lawn chairs I saw marked "half off" earlier. Two chairs in the trunk we head out with only a Ft. Walton address for "Liza Jackson Park"...
I'm not really sure where the place is.
No worry... we arrive 20 minutes early and join a nice crowd in a covered pavilion that is steadily growing in spite of spitting rain...
Old folks.
Young folks.
Young folks with babies.
Brown people.
Yellow people.
White people...
All smiling and hopeful.
It seems everyone is fortified to find so many with the same fear...
What's happening to our government?

A guitarist and singer played/sang The National Anthem.
We recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

I cannot estimate the size of this crowd. There were several vendors set up beneath the pavilion and people had to crowd in to get out of the sprinkles. There was an overflow of people with umbrellas outside the pavilion on all four sides. If you pressed me to guess, I'd guess there were between two and three hundred people when speakers started speaking.

And there's one of my two complaints-
Some of the speakers were politicians running for office. In order for these rallies to be objective and most effective, Democrats and Republicans alike must be blamed for the catastrophe we now find ourselves facing. It does no good to say one party was more at fault than the other...
It took both political parties to run this train off the tracks and that needs to be emphasized.

A Doctor spoke on how our health care could be reformed without destroying the system we have.
A gentleman advocating a swith to the "Fair Tax spoke and answered questions.

The EmCee pointed out the several vendor's areas and asked us to read and sign petitions there. When I checked them out they were all headed "We the residents of Florida", so, unlike Van Jones, I couldn't sign them because I actually read the petitions.

My second disappointment was that once again our media seems to have failed us...
I saw no indication that video was being shot for later use on the local news. (Watching the news that night confirmed this.)
However there were a couple folks with reporter's notebooks walking around interviewing people, and the "Destin Log" was there to take some photographs of the rally.

I'm glad we attended. I'm now hopeful this movement will grow and we can attend events like this locally so we can sign petitions to our legislators here at home.
If you are concerned about the direction our government is headed, you MUST get involved!
Remember the truth in the quote I frequently repeat:
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Do something.
Get involved!


Rita said...

Oh great GB.

Imagine if the news was there, they would have focused on your handmade signs and then shot them from the BACK. Yep, I can just see it now. "Of course, the large majority of the right wing whackos were drunk out of their goards as evidenced by the cardboard cases of Absolut"!!!!

Wish they would have one in my area. Never felt the need to attend a movement like this before, but I sure do now.

cj said...

GB -

Like the signs. I've yet to make one - I go to photograph the artwork of others. I've got some photos to post soon.

Again, I'm so glad you went. Rita, if you can find one near you, I can guarantee they're not done. Not by a long shot.


Crown-n-coke said...

I will go with you Rita, got some good idea's for signs too! I'll make mine out of a Crown Royal box.

Rita said...

CnC: Great idea. It'll be our version of the vast right wing conspiracy.