I can't believe that Barack Obama won the election a week ago today. I was one of those viewers that fell asleep to the election coverage on CNN every night. I was a junkie to the coverage. CNN was the best you know, most high tech, best commentaries. I know so many people want to be politically correct and say something completely neutral but I can't. I didn't start out as an Obama supporter. I actually was behind Hillary Clinton in the primaries. I am a huge Clinton fan and really thought she deserved the win. But once she conceded and Barack Obama became the Democratic nomination I threw my support behind him. I didn't NOT like Obama, I just favored Clinton over him. Seeing him at the Democratic National Convention I became a supporter of him and his campaign. His speech was invigorating. It was hard living in the 'burbs of Memphis during the election. Most people didn't have the same political views as I did. I had a few good post- Jazzercise Coffee discussions with Randy, Diane and Linda. And who woulda thought all the dog walkers in my Wednesday group but 2 were voting for Obama. We even participated in the Flying Saucer's version onthe Election by buying beer in a glass with Barack Obama's Face on it. Of course in Cordova we were majorly outnumbered, although I will say we did buy 3 glasses to help the cause. I went to the local headquarters and got a yard sign and proudly displayed it. I ordered Tshirts and probably 40 buttons off the website. I had Dog Lover's for Obama, Tennessee for Obama, you name it, I got it. Tony and I voted early at the AgriCenter. We waited about an hour and a half to do so, but that was ok. I was so excited we had on our cute Tshirts, and then oops I forgot we had to cover them up, as the rules prohibit wearing anything of a candidates...We watched MNF at Mulligan's I cheered for the Steelers, so the incumbent party would loose. The next day was November 4, Election Day. Kelly and I agreed to meet at the DNC local Headquarters, which is totally volunteer run by the way. We wanted to drive people to the polls but there really were not that many requests or need. So instead of making calls to North Carolina, we decided to become Poll Watchers and Poll Workers. We looked up on the wall of all the polling places the 'most need' was in SouthWest Memphis, the Whitehaven Area. So off we were to Whitehaven. We learned that being a Poll Worker involved standing 100 feet from the polls and handing out Democratic Information. Poll Watching consisted of signing in with the poll workers as a representative of the Democratic National Committee. We each had badges of a multiply copied slips of paper. Being a Poll Watcher was much more exciting than handing out info to people who pretty much already knew who they were voting for. Our initial job was to get the number of voters who came out to the poll and to make sure people stayed in line when they were long and didn't end up having problems when their turn came up to vote. Our first stop was Raineshaven Elementary. Walked up to the school. No line at all..met a great woman named Carolyn who promptly gave us our numbers-363. I later found out that Tony's college freshman roommate and a good friend of ours Courtney Rogers attended Raineshaven. We didn't think there was much we could do there, so our new friend Carolyn directed us to Cumming Street Baptist Church. Same situation there, no line, already had their rush of voters. So we decided to hit all the polls in the area. Next we went to Pyramid Recovery Center and met an interesting lady who told us 7000 people had already been through there, but in reality there were 260. We also saw a lady who was very elderly, partially deaf and blind getting assisted with voting. All she said over and over was, "I want to vote for him, I want to vote for him." We knew who 'him' was. It was touching to see her make her vote count. Our next stop was Gaston Community Center with 257 voters, then to Riverview Community Center. This was the location that a young kid at the DNC offices warned us not to go bc Kansas Street was not a good area to be in. It was during the day and we felt safe. The man there let us go up to the polls themselves and count them off the machines. Before we left we met a man who was probably in his 50's and had never voted. He was out to make his vote count as well. From there we went to Riverview Junior High. Ooops, hit them right as the school bell rang..that was interesting...kids everywhere in the hallways. This was our last stop and the same thing, most everyone had been there when the polls
opened. We stopped back by Raineshaven and Cummings Street. No action there either..time to head back to the Headquarters. Once getting there Daniel our 'poll watcher location director' had another desperate assignment, to stop by another Elementary School nearby that the name slips my mind. Not much of a problem, just that a group of individuals didn't want to leave the voting area and the lady in charge, who wasn't that nice if you ask me wanted them outta there. Not really our problem. I think they were Obama supporters anyway. I was so tired at this point and after reporting these numbers, I was ready to head home and watch some of the returns. I get home and Tony has just gotten in from a day of traveling and felt like relaxing and watching the returns on the couch. When I walked in the door Tony shouted, he's loosing. I thought, what@? But only the first two states were in and it was like 8 to 3. Nothing to worry about. We jumped around from channel to channel going back everytime to old faithful CNN. States kept turning blue and once Obama got Pennsylvania I decided that I had to go out to the official party at Stop 345 with Kelly. I couldn't miss being in the middle of all the excitement. I left my sweetheart of a boyfriend on the couch with Lennox and Lane and headed to Midtown. We got there in time to grab a Barackarita and watch McCain concede. The excitement was incredible, Stop 345 it was great to see such a racially diverse crowd and in Memphis at that! The only problem I had with the party was their 2 big screens were tuned to MSNBC, my least favorite channel, if it were not for Harold Ford Jr. giving his commentary..I would have pulled my hair out that I couldn't change the channel if I wanted to. People were clearing out and since Obama had it clinched I wanted to be home to watch his historic speech on one of my HD TV's not to mention share that moment with my family Tony, Lennox and Lane. I dropped Kelly off and got home right in time to see the new First family walk out onto the stage. What a speech, what a night! I'm so glad I got to volunteer that historic day and feel even more a part of it.