Wednesday the 14th started very tired for me. Due to the great culvert debate the planning board meeting ran so late that I was unable to get the extra memory card I wanted for the day. The plan was to get up for 4 and try to get the first train to Alewife. I ended up waking up at 4:30 instead (no alarm, didn’t want to wake the wife) and making to the station by 6.
As usual I took only a minimum of cash in Boston, just enough to cover parking, I went with full dress including the trench coat and the pocket watch and my best dress fedora. On the train I met a mother and daughter who were going to the rally so we traveled together. I had expected a bigger crowd, and was shocked when I got such a good spot at the garage. When we got to the common I was even more surprised by the total lack of people. It was very early but every Sarah Palin event I had seen or heard of drew people very early but when I got there the reporters outnumbered the public. That wouldn’t last.
I was treated very well by my fellow attendees, they watched my laptop while I mingled with the growing crowd asking questions and taking pictures. Like at CPAC I found that in a crowd full of conservatives my property was very safe. After filling my camera with video, I headed back to my spot right by the stage, working through the much larger crowd, however I ran into card error losing several videos at the end and without either the time or the recovery software to make up for it.
The crowd was very friendly, it was the kind of feeling a gamer gets at a convention, the knowledge of meeting like minded people. People made many connections with each other. In addition to the very polite crowd had the pleasure of meeting Michael Graham and Sissy Willis before the Palin Speech while running into old friends Roxeanne de Luca of Haemet and Richard of the Conservative Forum of the Commonwealth afterwards. It was after my second Camera dump that they both played a role in the excitement that would follow.
It was just after I interviewed Levi Russell. I half jokingly asked about getting a ride on the Tea Party Express to Washington. When to my surprise I wasn’t met with a blanket refusal it was time for action. Roxeanne suggested having Stacy McCain vouch for me since they knew him but I had no cell phone, however on election Night she got his number. After about 10 minutes of searching she was able to find it and get ahold of him. Stacy talked to Andrea Shea King and before you could say Have Fedora will Travel I was climbing on the blue bus on the way to Washington.
I found myself sitting with two MSM photographers. They were interesting fellows who seemed to consider their work more a matter of art than mere information. They explained the point. Out of hundreds of photos they needed to convey the message of an event simply through an image. It was actually a rather profound way of looking at things. The difference between “hitting a button and telling a story.” I have a great respect for people who are experts in their field and these men certainly knew images.
It was on the bus where I encountered a few technical problems. The internet connection was unsteady so my photo uploads crashed on a semi regular basis. The battery life of the pc was iffy and most of the plugs were already taken so I found myself with the laptop near the rest room blocking the hall while the machine charged. I was also working off of very little sleep between the early day that morning and the sleep study the night before, so I found myself pretty tired.
The toughest moment actually came after my pleasant meeting with Victoria Jackson. Journalistic making it on the bus was a real high point, but when I called home my oldest answered and informed me his mother was not not available to take my call nor inclined to do so if she was. It was a strong rebuke that left me brooding on the grass until the bus left and subdued and depressed later. It took some time to shake it off and get back to work.
There was also an unwelcome side effect of my wife not taking my calls. I didn’t have Stacy’s number (although the wife did) and because Smittypalloza III was going on nobody was answering my e-mails. It wasn’t until just before we hit Delaware that I managed to get a response from Barbara Espinsoa who graciously offered to allow me to crash at her suite where Stacy was out on the couch.
The overwhelming problem became apparent when I did a map check. The Tea party Express bus would be unloading 3 1/2 miles from Barbara’s hotel and the EST was near 2 a.m. As I had only $10 on me my plan was to walk. Ms. King who was a pleasure to speak to during the trip insisted on giving me a few dollars to cover a cab. My plan had been to go to Wendy’s first and have a bite and catch a cab from there, but as I started walking I had my second wind and began to leg it figuring I’d hail a cab along the way. Apparently 2 a.m. is not a good time to get a cab because it wasn’t until I had walked about a mile past the barred windows and empty streets of Washington that at 10th or 11th street I finally managed to find a cab to get me to the hotel where I was looking forward to a few hours rest.