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Location: Dallas, Texas

oh, I'm still making art in the urban forest

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh Mama Obama

Okay, so my friend Jeanne and I go to this debate watching party at the Iron Cactus Restaurant & Cantina in downtown Dallas. It was her idea, and I had to surf my brains out to figure out where exactly it was happening - evidently the Obama campaign is not focusing much on Texas and we're kinda on our own out seems they think Texas is already lost (which, if I knew anything about campaign strategy and were more politically astute, I guess I might agree) the fact that I gave money and signed up to volunteer doesn't mean I'll actually get a call from the Obama national campaign....I'd found some Garland watching parties and a couple Pride watching parties but I had to dig to find this "young lawyers for Obama" group.

All that aside. Jeanne is my oldest friend in the world. Not that I"ve known her longer than anyone else, but that she is ALmost as old as my own mother, who was born in late 1926, but I'm not naming dates. Jeanne is pretty much your classic Northeastern bred liberal - an 'old leftie' if you want to go that far.....

So we get downtown, we're on Main street, I'm looking for valet types and all of a sudden the street's blocked off....we're forced to detour to a side street and suddenly our plans have gone awry. BUT I GOT AN RSVP, I think, they HAVE to let us in. But miraculously and just as suddenly, this monster black Navigator pulls out of a parallel parking place dead ahead and I sliiiiiide Thesp jeep in. Jeanne and I make a little pile of quarters to put in the machine, set our phones to go off so we can refill the meter after two hours, only to find that the thing expired at 4:00 P.M. Okay, the luck is piling up.

Off we go down the side street, a quick right and we suddenly see why Main's been blocked off (this is OUR block - Iron Cactus is on THIS block). About half a block down on the left there are cones in the street and police cars and lights and red carpet and what looks like about 30 burly men in black pants and dark purple golf shirts just standing around. Are these Obama volunteers? Bouncers? Secret service? ANd what about the red carpet and the Lamborghini and the Ferrari parked so Obviously immediately across the street?

Jeanne and I are thinking we're hot stuff. Here I am in a teacher-ish skirt and sweater, Jeanne's classy as usual in button down white shirt, khaki pants and great jewelry.....but we are positively DOWDY compared to the short silk dresses, the gold sandals, the tuxes and Jesus GOD, the GOSPEL choir? Is this normal for an Obama debate watching greeting? Is Obama maybe COMING to this thing?

We approach a 20-something in a little black dress with what looks like a list. I am all abuzz with confidence because I GOT AN RSVP from the Obama people right? We're 109 and 110 in a 120 capacity location, by f-in GOD we're on the list.

AU contraire, Iron Cactus is the NEXT business down the street. We don't know what in the world THIS thing is but we clearly weren't invited. The guys in purple are valet drivers. I suppose we should have tucked our tails and quietly walked past but instead we laughed hysterically at our own brief silly notion that the Obama campaign would be that hoity toity... An obscure debate watching party surrounded by Secret Service? I think not.

There are no waiting lines at the Iron Cactus. The triage hostess at the door takes one look at us and sends us on: "you people need to go to the third floor" which turns out to be a holding tank for the 2nd floor where some OTHER event had reserved the room until 7:30 PM...the 3rd floor was also packed, an outdoor bar, but a wonderfully urban feel to the place - something Dallas is just learning to enjoy. By the time our "cactus platter' arrived, I had to literally carry said hot plate down a crowded elevator to the 2nd floor, where thankfully Jeanne had scouted ahead and reserved a table.

Where we were joined by a charming bunch of youngsters who I'm sure were amused by us in turn. Make no mistake, Jeanne and I were the oldest old fart(esse)s at this event. There was a suspicious pair of lesbians possibly older than me, and there was that one boomer looking old hippie guy at the back that I was TRYING to figure out how to meet.....but mostly it was a packed house of young adults and students...and that was great. At our table were two girls from the Dallas Museum of Art, a young gorgeous Spanish man who's teaching at SMU, a young engineering graduate student from Venezuela, also at SMU, another young lady whose background I didn't hear (Jeanne was great - she introduced us and made everybody say their names and what they do...)

The ambience was youthful and exuberant and it was fun being a part of that energy. Even as I walked through the NEXT room - which was larger, the actual bar - where the overflow and just regular folks partied - and the only difference between our 'watching' room and their 'bar' room was that they were slightly rowdier - but still paid close attention to the large screen tvs. People are INTERESTED in this election and that's a good thing.

As the polls say this morning - there were no knockout punches. Though I did gasp when Obama said something like "take em out" with reference to Pakistan. The most belligerent comment I've heard yet.

All in all, as usual, I find myself more intrigued by the environment, people, relationships, attitudes, the theatre of the event rather than the theatre on the screen. But that's just me. I do care tremendously about this election.

Next post maybe I'll get all political. Or not.


Blogger Rrramone said...

please, get all political... :-)

7/11/08 6:37 AM  

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