Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our People Don't Always Get A Chance

There is a lot to love about Akron, OH, especially her people.  I had the privilege today to walk the red brick streets of North Akron, just up the hill from where my grandma had lived most of her life.  

It was snowing most of the day.  Nothing heavy but fairly constant.  Many trees still had leaves.  They were a picture of languorous well-being, wide crowns suggesting the breadth of their roots, hickories, sycamores, maples, oaks, all losing their leaves, all preparing for winter.  I love the trees of Akron, Ohio, but back to the people.

Our goal was simple -- get as many people as possible to commit to early voting, new this year in Ohio. On one street a young woman, upon seeing us going door to door, ran out of her house, shouting, "I just got done voting, I just got done voting.  I voted for Barack."  And then threw her arms around me in a jubilant hug.  

On another street,  I was standing puzzled about the location of my next street (I am more than occasionally directionally impaired) when a middle aged white man, a bit worn, and maybe undernourished, asked, " You lost?  You need help?"  I asked the location of the next street I was to cover and he told me which way to go.  Then he asked, "Don't you want to know who I'm going to vote for?"  I didn't really, but I did, I asked, "Who are you going to vote for?"  His reply, "Obama! of course Obama!"

Not everyone was friendly.  There have been the McCain supporters who slammed doors in our faces.  There was the one young man who tried to sic his Great Dane on me (have you ever tried to get a Great Dane to do anything mean? It doesn't work). 

But most of the  undecided were genuinely interested in talking and thinking about their choice. There was the three young college students invited me in for hot chocolate.  And then their was the 92 year old lady who shouted for me to come in through her unlocked door. From her wheel chair she told me she had sent in her absentee ballot, because, "Our people don't always get a chance and now we got one and I'm sure God wants him (Obama) to win cause he gave us this chance."

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