Maybe I went to bed too early Convention Time but I’m up before sunrise.  My wife, Ayse, is having a blast mingling with politicians that she has seen before only as images.  They move among the delegates and guests like they were your old friends.  Maybe some would consider it a put on but it does seem quite genuine.  It is their ability to listen and their eye contact with someone they never have met before that is impressive. It is also great to be overstuffed with like minded people.

After my last entry Ayse continued meeting fellow comrades in arms and I took off for the Convention Center.  I thought it was the Time Warner Arena but it turns out there is actually separate building.  Good walk though.  I wanted to attend the Disability Caucus but somehow also fit in a “Hang Out” with C-Span.  Both had slight glitches.  I wended my way to room 211 in the CC but when I ducked out to Hang Out there was no connectable free wifi.   The search was on and by hook and by crook found the C-Span center of operations and more importantly the person in charge of the program, Libby Casey.  What a class act, both personable and competent.  So I did my best with the questions and enjoyed the conversation with fellow delegates.  I will have to ask today where the discussion group recording can be found so I can post a link.  The meeting was perfectly timed just 5 minutes before my laptop battery was going out with no place to plug in from where I was sitting.  From there I did manage an hour(out of 2 total) at the Disability Caucus.  It was a sight to behold.  Strong engaged speakers who knew how to work and interact with the audience.  The audience was a sea of wheel chairs both mechanical and mechanized along with canes and walkers.  Parents sat with their adult disabled children.  It was a morning of making the invisible visible.  It was clear that their focus was organizing, gaining political clout, and making the world know they were looking for meaningful participation in society not a languishing role or feeding into a perception that they wanted to be doted on.  No such similar emphasis was seen at the RNC.  The caucus’s advocate Betsy(I don’t know her last name) was a powerhouse and was seated at the front desk.  When she finished she whizzed down a ramp in her wheelchair.  It immediately brought to mind how life has changed.  FDR hid his disability from the public. Not these people.  “We’re fed up and we’re not going to take it anymore” seemed a more appropriate attitude.

It was mid afternoon and time to go to Carolinafest.  It was hot and muggy and the open air sound system a bit jarring.  I had called Ayse to join me but changed plans.  A walk back to the hotel and meeting up with my wife we had a late lunch together nestled among delegates both familiar and new to us.  We rested a bit before the evening reception, held at the Bechtler Art Museum for the Massachusetts Delegation.  We met old contacts and a surprise re-acquaintance with Donna Corbett and her husband Dave Rall, past chairs of the Reading Democratice Town Committee, who now live in Virginia and drove down to meet old friends and as delegate and special guest.  Others showing up were eight of the nine of us from the 6th CD(Catherine Bayliss will be in Charlotte tomorrow).  Schmoozing  included Katherine Clark, Steve Tolman, and Charles Yancy.  So after touring the museum, eating some catered buffet dinner(first time for spicy shrimp and grits) we walked back to the Omni Hotel.  We sat a little and then headed up to our room.  This day was over.

Advertisements