What Happened Today

I started for the 2012 Hempstalk Festival — to do my bit for the Party — at 10:15 am, that is ante-meridian: to be precise that period of day when the Sun has not yet crossed the Prime Meridian, an imaginary line running from north celestial pole to south celestial pole, intersecting the path of the Sun at its moment of highest altitude, the angle above the horizon (facing directly south).

Mike Earussi tells me I am verbose on this blog, so I give a complete thought –enh.  Complete thoughts are good. Verbosity is bad, but if you cannot avoid the latter unless you sacrifice the former I’ll choose the former even if it comes with the latter.

At 12:15 or so, Ollie Oliver consulted with David Childers, the assistant campaign manager on Measure 80, the legalization of marijuana initiative, who had come apparently to talk shop.  Anyway, Ollie asked Childers what the best way was to ensure that Jill Stein, coming at “around noon” (but aware of the tendency for last-minute glitches), would be able to get through the front gate.

The answer came that the Presidential candidate and her scheduler were to show the folks at the gate their “VIP card,” and expect to be able to drive to the “VIP parking.”  So I left Ollie with his 20-month-old daughter, Raquel, at the Pacific Green tent & walked back to behind the main stage where  (reasonably enough) the exalted officer who doled out such passes was located, with David Childers.

“The trouble with Seth is the same trouble with Greg Bourget,” said my allied political activist [speaking about the effectiveness of sending out canvassers], “that is, that he thinks canvassing works.  It doesn’t.”

That’s what I’ve been telling the uncrowned king of the Pacific Green Party, but, hey —  what do I know?  At 1:00 pm (post-meridian, after the Sun’s passage beyond the Prime Meridian) I was handing the VIP badges to Jill Stein and her scheduler [or so I suppose her to be] Katie Davidson.  

Anyway, I met my successor at the Progressive Party tent: Woody Broadnax, the Pacific Green Party nominee for the United States Third Congressional District of Oregon was standing, having his picture taken with the Progressive Party candidate for State Treasurer, Cameron Whitten.  I extended an invitation to Mr Broadnax to join the volunteers and candidates at the Pacific Green Party booth, run by Ollie Oliver and me.  This was during the time that Jill Stein, the nominee of the Green Party of the United States for President of the United States, was being interviewed by the Oregonian, and I pointed out Jill Stein at our Party tent 50 yards away.  It was around 2:30 .

Mr Broadnax evinced no interest in meeting his Party chief.  As I walked toward the tent, urging him to join me, he told me that he had to see about getting on the main stage.  I was about to pack up and go up to the main stage area when Denise Hall, his campaign manager, confirmed the time Mr Broadnax would be speaking from the main stage — 5:00 pm.

At 2:30 I had a chance to meet Jacob Dean, Benson High School Class of 2006 — while I was teaching there! — now a producer for the Thom Hartmann Program; at 3:45 I was interviewed by Casper Leitsch, creator and host of “Time 4 Hemp,” on some outfit called American Freedom Radio.  Perhaps an AFR, so that we can remember — can commemorate it — the loss of the AF of L.

At 20 minutes before 5 pm I was holding a “Jill Stein for President” sign at the highest point of land within the main stage area — distant from the stage, but visible to it.  At 5:00 I was still there, but there was no sign of Mr Broadnax; nor at 5:10 or at 5:15.

I got back on my bike then, and headed home from Hempfest.  But at around 6 pm, as I was riding through North Portland, I came across said Progressive Party of Oregon nominee for state treasurer, Cameron Whitten.  He and I rode our bikes together down Vancouver (but I am vague about the detail of which street: I ‘m much surer about the conversation which followed).  He told me he had been planning to appear with Broadnax, on the main stage, but that my successor — sometime after 4 pm, because until then we were sure he was coming up — chose to (at the last minute) go off to a peace demonstration put on by a local neighborhood group.

“You realize this was the biggest audience he [speaking of Broadnax] will have during the entire campaign? I asked.

“Yes, I do,” Cameron answered.

“Ah,” I said to Cameron Whitten, “however bumbling you are as a candidate . . .”

“What do you mean, bumbling?”

” —  well, from the point of view of the Party, you see — . . . you did the politically astute thing, and spoke to the crowd.”

“I’m not a bumblebee; I don’t have a sting.”

“There’s naught a human nature,” said I, “but that has some strangeness in the proportion,” quoting Murray Gell-mann quoting Francis Bacon.

“Well, bumbling sounds offensive, and I’m getting out of [your company: I must admit I cannot state the last phrase, but that was the sense].”

And he bicycled away.  The person I insulted, of course, was Woody Broadnax.  Cameron Whitten did not know that I was praising him.

And that’s the way it went, Saturday, the 8th of September, during Jill Stein‘s 2012 Presidential campaign.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
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