All the news coverage suggested voters would stand in long serpentine lines, for many hours waiting their turn to vote. We went prepared! Large satchel: one thick book on Darfur (seemed appropriate choice), one newspaper, one ballot, large bottle of water, Halloween candy, tissues, driver's license, notebook and camera with which to record and document this historic event.
We arrived at Meadowvale Elementary School around 10:00 am. Our neighbor, Paul Martin said he was going later when it wouldn’t be as long of a wait. Driving past the ambulance center, we noticed it was packed with cars, banners and balloons. When we drove into the school parking lot, further down the road there were few cars. First to greet us was a very happy man, quietly holding up an Obama-Biden banner. We waved hello and returned his smile. We parked next to a red car with a smiling daddy and daughter getting out. Both of these men were African American, walking tall and smiling large.
Standing near the door were a few very senior, senior citizens animatedly talking! Hmm no line outside. Line must be inside the school, good wouldn’t get cold while waiting. To our great surprise the hallway was empty! Where were the people?
We walked to the cafeteria that was set up with voting stations, tables with election volunteers eager and ready to help. No line. No wait. No Questions. Register and vote! Now how easy is that?We were in and out in ten minutes. As we left, a few more voters were mingling in the hall way.
Howard and I have never missed an election. But no election competes with this one for excitement and enthusiasm. Hmmm, there was one election that was very special. Matthew Howard Furner was born on the day that Richard Nixon was elected president.
This is a historic election whether one is Republican, Independent or Democrat. This is an election where an African American senator, and a 72 year old, war-hero, senator are running for the highest office in the land. Sarah Palin, a relatively unknown woman from Alaska could potentially become president. Everything is a study in contrasts. This election of “firsts” is completely amazing. This election will rewrite the way all future elections will be conducted and won. Millions of people who for one reason or another have never voted today they can say “I voted, my vote counts.” My vote is as important as Donald Trump’s vote! It seemed important to document this historic election in this blog. Today I read some words spoken by Maya Angelou. She was asked, “What does it say about the country that Barack Obama is a candidate to be president?” In her wise, deep voice she replied, “The country is growing up and confessing to something we’ve known all along…and I was taken back to slavery. If you will have a person enslaved, the first thing you must do is convince yourself that the person is subhuman. The second thing you have to do is convince your allies so you’ll have some help, and the third and probably unkindest cut of all is to convince THAT person that he or she is subhuman and deserves it……..well people found it very difficult to admit that human beings are more alike than we are unalike…..but to admit it, you have to stop saying: because this guy speaks another language, because their eyes are shaped differently from mine, because they’re first-generation Americans from Eastern Europe, then they don’t count. I don’t have to consider them. With this election, the country is finally able to see through complexion and see community. This is just one reason why this is a historic election. We voted for Barack Obama. He hadn’t been my first choice, it was Hilary Clinton. She is the woman who really broke the glass ceiling in politics; was instrumental in shaping Barack the Democratic Party nominee; and has done all she can to support him and elect a Democratic president. When I think of the Black men and women I had the opportunity to “rub shoulders” with in Baltimore, I am so happy for them. They have to be walking proud, as are the rest of us. And those who are supporting John McCain, it is the same. These are two very capable men of serving as President. No matter who wins, it has taken us a long time to come to this place of great weariness and almost a deep seeded hopelessness. Neither man can rectify immediately what has taken so long to disintegrate. We will all have to be patient, vigilant, and do our part. Perhaps we can find our way to “get off the couch” and give something to this country. Certainly the energy and enthusiasm is paving the way. It shouldn’t all fall upon the shoulders of the new president. Tonight we will know!
May we blend Red and Blue and create a NEW COLOR to represent our COUNTRY!