This morning Michele and I hied it down to the local library for the last day of early voting. We arrived at precisely 10:00 AM (the moment voting started) to find a line about 100 yards long. Someone told us that the guy at the front got there at 4:30. They’re taking this election seriously in our neighborhood.
It rapidly became clear that this was a Barackin’ Love-In. If there were any Republicans in the crowd, they were either lying about it or laying low. Shel said the whole thing reminded her of one of the gatherings back in the ’60’s. Everyone was in a great mood. Younger folks were loaning older ones folding chairs. Although it was a lovely, breezy day in the high 70’s it was warm in the sun, so folks with umbrellas were gathering those around them into their portable shade.
By the time we’d been there for a couple of hours, everyone knew their neighbors. Obama volunteers were delivering water, candy bars and pretzels up and down the line, and about an hour before we got inside a young guy left the line, went to KFC and brought back several buckets of chicken, distributing legs and thighs to all comers until they ran out.
When we finally got inside, it was almost anticlimactic. The workers were so organized, after doing this for a couple of weeks, that you almost felt as though there ought to be more to it. There seemed to be a feeling of regret amongst those of us who became acquainted on line — a feeling that we were tired, dehydrated, hungry, but didn’t want it to be over.
I’m sure the lines at our regular precinct, made up mostly of old people who have all day to vote, will be short on Tuesday evening when we get out of work. I’d be surprised if there is a wait at all — certainly no more than ten minutes or so. It will be so convenient for those who waited. But I wouldn’t have wanted to miss today’s experience for anything. For five hours we were one people — black, white, beige or whatever — one heart, one mind and one purpose: to be part of a bit of history that is far too many years overdue.
It was glorious!