Exhausted and exhilarated

Lew Frederick

What a week!

Exhausted and exhilarated.

Perhaps the last night capped it all off. (Written 7-30) I’m sure you all saw the great speech by John Kerry and the confetti and balloons. Signs, smiling faces, dancing.. (Yeah Anne I got tired of the same music too. We are going to have to do something about that.)

But you didn’t see what happened afterward and that may be the most important part of the week. The contacts made during the week continued and deepened.

I got an invitation to a party celebrating the two African American Speakers from the California Assembly: Herb Wesson and, the legendary, Willie Brown.

The invitation came because I attended a meeting of the African American Leadership Council, a group that raises awareness and money for national causes and political campaigns. (I’m told that I was supposed to be celebrity struck by a young woman named Omarosa. She was nice and only slightly fawned over. She helps to organize events for the AALC.)

The meeting included lauding those who had contributed money to the cause and a great deal of networking. My stash of personal delegate cards went to Chicago, Atlanta, San Jose, Boston and Philadelphia. I got cards and advice from delegates throughout the country. They have a few interesting ideas on doing more than just getting out the vote but engaging the Black community in the political process to make significant changes in a wide range of areas.

Leaving the convention hall several of us took the bus to the hotel in Copley Square holding the party. Along the way, discussion, buoyed by the speech and a week of common experiences showed a bus full of people energized and ready to take on the challenges of this election. Speaking with folks from North Carolina (who took one of the “I’m on the Bus” pins), Minnesota comparing notes on Liberal/progressive politics, an Ed-Head from North Dakota, all ready to blow off steam.

The party set up was exactly what I expected. Those folks from the south coast plan a pretty good spread of food and eclectic music.

A short program also showed that the political issues were still right out there. Willie Brown is a force of nature in California. The Former Governor (Davis) and Lt. Governor Bustamante made appearances. Brown worked as a commentator this week for MSNBC. He surprised some by his evaluation of Edwards’ speech as not as forceful as he wanted it to be; Loved Al Sharpton’s speech; and said that Kerry was on a homerun streak in his speech from the very beginning. (In Boston you have to give due to the famous Green Wall, and the homerun derby/speech was considered a regular contact with the wall with the ending going out of the park.

In between dancing the discussion was all about issues and what has created a personal and public surge of support to replace the present occupants of the White House as well as those providing cover for them.
Politics, Dance, music, discussion about change with certifiably smart folks, and those you have more than compassionate words… I’m not sure it gets much better than this.

(You know what amazes me? I’m writing this on the train to DC to visit my parents. I’m still buzzing about the events last night. I got back the motel and kept the discussion going with Paul Maresh until around 2:45am. The alarm rang at 5:15. I made it to South Station in Boston with time to spare. I slept a little bit on the train. But I am still buzzing.)

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