Plenty of other people will have absolutely fabulous posts on their blogs about last night. They’ll go into the historical and political ramifications. I suppose I could do that, and probably will in the coming days, but right now I’m going to talk about what it meant to me, the personal. Last night I wept for my mama, Edith Marie Brooks-Smith Hardy. Born in 1929 in east Alabama, she was 36 years old before it was legal for her to vote. And she made damned sure she voted in any and all elections after that. Mama would’ve loved Barack Obama, and from her viewpoint he couldn’t have picked a better running mate. See, my mama was a C-Span junkie. She watched that network the way people watch reality television today. Biden was one of her favorites. She loved the fact that he was a family man, and that he cared about poor people. She would’ve loved that about Obama as well.
Despite growing up in the Jim Crow south, my mama was patriotic as all hell. She lost one brother in WWII, and another brother liberated concentration camps in Europe only to return home to the back of the bus. But she still loved America. In the last years of her life, however, mama started changing. As she struggled with her final illness and dealt with an impossible to navigate healthcare system she lost a lot of faith in this country. It was painful to watch.
So, last night I cried. I wept because it’s only been six years since she died and I’m so damned sorry she missed this. I wept because my son can grow up in a country where anything is possible, a privilege that I never had. It’s been a long time, a long time coming, but indeed, change did come. My mama, always the eternal optimist would’ve appreciated that. And somehow, I believe she does.
Next time you tell several dozen pollwatchers to pick up their credentials somewhere make sure the location has more than 15 PARKING SPOTS. I just spent 45 minutes getting downtown. Thirty minutes circling headquarters waiting on a space before I finally parked in a dirt lot from where they’ve leveled a building. Then another hour lost as hell trying to get back to the interstate.
I had planned to check out my poll location for tomorrow but after spending three hours on what should’ve been a thirty minute trip I just wanted to get the hell out of there. Barack, I love you like a play cousin, but I’m not sure I’m doing this shit again tomorrow. Depends on whether Whit makes me a really good martini tonight. That is all.
Your friend, Roslyn the EX-Pollwatcher
Last week I cast the most emotional vote of my life. I never thought this day would come and am delighted to see my cynicism proven wrong. Whit, Luke and I waited in line for nearly two hours. He was incredibly good, working the crowd like a miniature politician himself. He didn’t get crabby until the very end, and I just let him cry it out.
Tomorrow I’ll be working as a pollwatcher. It’ll probably be a long day because they’re trying to get permission to leave the polls open until 9:00 p.m. Anyone who is in line at 9:00 gets to vote and then I have to stay until they reconcile the machines, so I doubt I’ll be home before 11:00 p.m. That’s okay, this is democracy and freedom’s never free.
I stole these pics from The Black Snob. She has a regular slide show of Obama love over on her blog. Every little girl should be lucky enough to have such a fabulous relationship with her daddy. I know I wish I had.
Then I see this picture with the sharpshooters above and realize what a tremendous sacrifice this family is making. I don’t know if I could be as brave as Michelle Obama. This country has never been kind to its leaders, especially the ones who promote change. I get chills every time I think about it. I’m sure Michelle thinks about it every day.
I stolt this picture from over at Nappturality. Apparently a guy in Austin, TX got tired of folk stealing his Obama sign. I might have to resort to this since the my nearest Obama headquarters is in Decatur. I’ve tried to find something in that town three times and got hopelessly lost each time. I’m not going again.
This is my first post since I’ve moved to my new blog. The account I had previously was simply unworkable. Over the next few days (weeks) I’ll be moving some of my more crucial posts over to this new blog. After that, I’ll probably delete the old one. I’m very excited to have a blog that’s not so difficult to deal with.