I had an awesome day today. In spite of having to go to work this morning, I got to leave early but as good as that was it wasn't the awesome part.
I got off in time to go to early voting and took my wife. For the first time in a decade she voted Democrat. Great deal, huh? She's a wonderful person and has finally seen through the Republican bull . Before I get to the next point, I would like to say she is the sweetest person on the face of the planet and the day I met her was the greatest day of my life. But we still haven't got to the most awesome part of today even though we're close.
We went home and I agreed to wash her car. I figured it was the least I could do. After finishing I checked my email and discovered that Juan Garcia was coming to the Rockport GI Forum today from 1 to 3 PM. Now I haven't been able to do too much in the way of political activity for the last month because of my job. It looked like a good opportunity to see a great candidate. But it was 1:30 already. What the heck. I hit the road for the meeting.
I was driving along and remembered that I had my "Army of Juan" tee shirt in a duffle in the back of my Jeep. Woo Hoo! Serendipity baby! All I'll need is a quick stop to change shirts and I could be there by 2pm. By 2pm I realized I was lost but finally found the GI forum at 2:15. Juan wasn't there.
Okay, I been to enough of these gigs to know that candidates can and will be late. I'm sure at this stage of the game it must be mandatory. There are about three dozen people there and word was Juan would be there in about 40 minutes. Seems that he had an event in Mathis that had run long.
To me, this is a good sign. This is not Juan's first rodeo in Rockport. The Aransas County Democratic Club had previously held a fundraiser for Juan at Los Comales Resturaunt. He also has a group of Republican supporters in the county. Seriously, a lot of Republican supporters. He likes to get one on one with the attendees at his events. It is truly one of the things I like most about him. It is a personal trait which makes me think that when he is our state representative we will have someone who will listen to us. I could only assume a good turnout in Mathis.
Folks started leaving. I decided I would go and get some gasoline and come back so I wouldn't have to do it later. While at the store, a woman asks me where where she can get a Garcia tee shirt. "I'm so glad he's going to do something for the children," she said.
The cashier likes my shirt and wants to know what it means. I show her the back and she laughs, "Really?” I figure she thinks it's an odd campaign slogan. But this is fairly typical of the reaction I get to my tee. I can't think of a time I've worn it that someone hasn't asked about it. People want to know what it means. Many get it.
I went back to the GI Forum and the crowd had thinned out seriously. I was talking with a pair of members outside. They wanted to know where to get tee shirts! I said Juan might have some if he ever showed up. Anita O'Rourke, Democratic County Chairperson, pulled up and asked if Juan was there. And then he was.
He got out and went to talk to Anita. His traveling companion came over and introduced himself as Munuh. "Huh? I'm sorry. I didn't get that." I hate being old and possibly deaf.
"Minor," he said. Well, okay. I joked about being a minimalist myself. I know: Lame!
Juan came over and shook my hand. I told him he needed to give the person with the "Army of Juan" idea a raise if he got elected and told him the story of the Speedy Stop. Juan’s voice was seriously hoarse. He sounded like he had swallowed a box of nails.
We went inside where there were a total of about six people left. Now I know that might sound terrible but it was great. Juan is a rising star in the party and now I had a chance to have a very personal moment with a small group of supporters. I told him about my wife giving up on Republicans. He asked that I give her his personal thanks for her support
Someone asked how things went in Mathis and he indicated it went well. He said the consultants had told him he would need to attract about 180 people to his rally there to have a chance of winning the precincts in that part of San Patricio County. He said he thought there were more. It was then Minor came back and said he had just talked to someone back in Mathis and that 320 People had signed in at the event. Pretty good, right? It gets better.
Juan then told us what is the unbelievable part of this story. Juan was scheduled be at an event with Gene Seaman and Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick would be there to support Gene. Craddick was a no-show. But Craddick called Juan and asked him for his address so Craddick could send him the orientation guide for new house members. Go ahead. Read that again.
Now questions remain. On one side Craddick could just be messin’ with Juan but I doubt it given his bipartisan support. Maybe Craddick is just hedging his bets to gets Juan’s support to continue as speaker. Or it could be Gene being thrown under the bus. Hmmm. Just saying that makes me feel good.
Unbelievable, Huh? But let me finish. I’ve gotten to the unbelievable part of the story but haven’t gotten to the most awesome part. I knew I had to go. “Look,” I said, “I’m going home and writing about this on our county blog if you don’t tell me no.”
Minor said to go ahead. He asked what our blog address was and I told him. He then asked me if I posted anywhere else. I told him I was a member at Texas Kaos and DailyKos. “What’s your screen name?” he asked and I told him.
“Really? I’m Redstate” he say’s then turning to Juan and saying, “Hey, this is Ex Con.” So now I feel Stooooopid. It’s not Minor but Mynor (Eddie) Rodriguez: Mr. Redstate himself.
But something else is going here that I’m not sure I can explain. After 2 years of reading blogs and a year and a half of commenting, rating and writing diaries I have finally made a personal connection with someone I previously only knew on line. It is something I have waited for a very long time. This is a lonely part of the country to be a Democrat. But not any more. That’s the most awesome part of the day!
Take it back, Juan!Cross posted at Texas Kaos (GO THERE!)