Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Convention, Day Three

Another very full day, but an absolute blast for the most part. Our speaker at breakfast this morning was former Mississippi governor Ray Mabus. Thought Susan and Randy Allen would get a chuckle out of that. He was great, really an inspiring speaker and a big Obama supporter. He talked about turning both Alaska and Mississippi to the Democrats. :) He now teaches at Ole Miss. I went up to him afterwards and told him my friends are also at Ole Miss and that Susan had worked for my agency in Alaska recently. He invited me to come visit and I said I had been there already but would definitely come back one day.

After breakfast, we had our Day of Service. Some of us went to the Family Tree House of Hope, a women and children's homeless shelter, and the rest of the delegation stayed here and packed up boxes for Meals on Wheels. One of our delegates, Gary, wore his Alaska Native regalia, brought his drum, and taught the rest of us a Tlingit dance to perform for the staff, women and young children. So I got to do my first Native dance and he proclaimed us all honorary Tlingits. Then another delegate, Rex, and his son Rex, Jr., played the drum and sang while Rex's wife Leona demonstrated the female portion of a Yupik dance. She had all of the staff and the moms and kids up on their feet joining in. It was really a neat experience and the people at the house loved it. We then participated in activities with the kids, decorating cookies, doing craft projects or reading stories. I was in the cookie decorating section, lucky me, huh??! Yum! The moms and kids were all precious and I had the best time visiting with them. I helped a cute little guy named Arsenio and a darling little girl named Shyanne. One little boy, Josiah, became my new best friend and reminded me so much of Aidan when he was little. He had curly blond hair and a big smile. He was sitting on my lap while he had his lunch and his mom said I didn't have to hold him, could put him down if I wanted. I told her I didn't mind as I was missing my grandbabies! We also learned some of the history of the social service agency and all of its good work. In addition to the women/children's shelter, they have several other programs and services. I am going to see if I post their website so you can read more about it. It's not in Denver proper but a little outside the city. We had media there; a French TV station interviewed one of our young delegates, Idris, and the local newspaper interviewed several of us so we will see if anything shows up tomorrow.

We returned to the hotel and Rich and I took the Light Rail downtown for some lunch and walking around on the 16th street outdoor mall. It was another beautiful sunny day and I am just soaking up the sunshine as well as doing a lot of walking so I feel good about that. The police were out in force and the streets were full of people. I didn't have much time after we finished our lunch so Rich walked down toward the Pepsi Center with me till I had to turn off and then he stayed downtown for several more hours taking photos and browsing the bookstore and hanging out. He has a bunch of great photos that he is going to post for you tomorrow.

This time when I got to the entrance of the Pepsi Center, the line was much longer than it has been the last two days but still moved very quickly through Security. I saw Rev. Al Sharpton outside giving an interview and snapped his photo. I also ran into my Abilene friend David again in the parking lot.

Got inside and the hall monitors were much more strict today about exactly which section people could sit in, even in the nosebleed section. Some of our guests could not sit where the alternates could sit, so we ended up in the highest of the high seats in the third tier. I was going to take a little video of the Alaska delegation during the roll call but wouldn't you know it, my camera battery went dead at that very moment. I was bummed! The roll call was pretty exciting, especially when Hillary Clinton came out to the New York delegation and asked that Obama be named the nominee by acclamation. The place just went wild! I was also proud of the New Jersey delegation for voting unanimously for Obama. I wish our delegation had done the same but I was not involved in the voting process as an alternate. :(

We had lots of good speakers again; I can't even remember everyone at this point, but I was impressed with John Kerry. Melissa Etheridge sang a medley of songs like "The Times, they are a'Changing," "Give Peace a Chance," and "Born in the USA." I forgot to mention that John Legend sang the other night and was amazing!

Okay, I was going to try to play it off, but I guess I will be honest and say that I left early tonight. I was just worn out with everything, busy days and little sleep. One of the guys was also just beat so we left early and rode the Light Rail home before Bill Clinton's speech. Rich was surprised to see me show up at the hotel at that hour! I completely missed Bill but did see Joe Biden's speech from the hotel room and then was bummed when Barack showed up on stage and I was not there! That's what I get for being wimpy, I suppose! LOL

I thought I might get to bed earlier tonight but it is already midnight, we are doing laundry since we will be very busy tomorrow night and are leaving on Friday for Vancouver, took time to go and eat at the hotel restaurant and I am trying to resize photos and get this posted. Oh well, I can rest on the cruise, right? We had to buy a new card reader today and I did go back and post some photos on the previous entry if you want to backtrack and see them.

Tomorrow we are free after breakfast so Rich and I are going to go back downtown and see if we can find the protesters. :) We are told to get to Invesco Field early since there are 75,000 people trying to get in. The delegation will be going in a shuttle but Rich will have to get himself there and wait in line with the rest of the people with community passes. Hopefully all will go well. Oh yeah, when I was riding the Light Rail back to the hotel, we had police with dogs in each car! I feel like I am in a police state. Luckily, they have all been very nice and helpful. :)


Sarah Durham said...

I keep forgetting to tell you that Miles' Aunt Sara is there as a Delegate as well. I am sure it is too late now to find her though :(

Susan said...

Wow! What an awesome day and experience! That is way too cool about meeting Ray Mabus! Pictures are great and you make it sound like we are all really there. Way to go, JaneAlaska!

Betty said...

Bill Clinton's speech was excellenr too. He reminded us about how good the economy was when he was Pres. in the 90s. Even your Uncle Bill said that. Barack's speech was tremendous, don't you think? The commentator couldn't find anything wrong about it (not Fox). Well kiddo, you're seeing history being made! Now, I guess you're off to a much needed cruise.