What an experience.
We left for Unity, New Hampshire (1507 pop.) about 10:15 Thursday morning. We arrived in New Hampshire four hours later. We knew we needed tickets which we didn’t have. So first off, we checked into the two locations where cars were to be dropped off before taking a bus to Unity.
There were no tickets at either site. Then we checked in to a Best Western and asked the effervescent young woman on registration if she would try to get us tickets on the Internet. She would. Sadly,the answer was all the tickets for the buses were gone.
With hearts sinking we drove a few miles to Unity and stopped at the school where the outdoor event was to be held on Friday. Jim stayed in the care, I went inside the school. Finally, I got to speak to a young Obama supporter named Duncan. I t old him our story. Duncan was impressed we had bothered to drive so far. Then he gift wrapped a huge Christmas present six months early. He would put Jim and me on the list for VIP parking. I couldn’t believe it. In one stroke we finessed tickets, buses, the whole ball of wax.
Friday was a lovely, hot, sunny day. We arrived in the meadow behind the school about ten-thirty, early enough to get a seat. People continued to pour in for the next two hours. Local politicians brayed away. The most interesting was the popular former governor, Jeanne Shaheen, now running on the Democratic ticket against the incumbent Republican, John Sununu. I expect she will win.
The smiling crowds pouring in were happy, the air electric with anticipation. Only one incident marred the pleasant scene. A few yards down the fence from us there was some kind of scuffle. A state trooper ushered a fiftyish man wearing a T-shirt of the National Rifle Association off the site. I had no trouble with the T-shirt but the man’s face, scowling and suffused with anger, resembled nothing so much as a cracked sidewalk. The incident left an aroma of apprehension.
Promptly at 1:15 the music stopped, the cheers swelled and Hillary (in a robin-egg blue pantsuit) and Obama (in a white shirt, blue tie and no jacket) walked onto the stage.
Obama made it clear he needed Hillary (and Bill too); Hillary made it clear she was on board for the duration. The crowd roared their approval. It felt like a tide of change was flowing, that something historic had occurred. It felt good to be there.
Oh yes, as a parting gift, I got to shake the hand of the next President of the United States.