Saturday, November 04, 2006

If only I could shut off my telephone and allow the answering machine to screen my calls ...

but that's a luxury that I can ill afford -- given the fact that Dorian is out there living on her own in the community and one never knows ... .

So it's two-and-a-half-rings then the short pause that tells you that you're receiving a recorded message. "Hello, this is Senator Hillary Clinton," or, "Hello, this is Bill Clinton", or, "Al Gore here," ad infinitum. And I hang up unceremoniously in the middle of their message. And so it goes, hour after hour. It's diabolical! I'm becoming rude to the live local voices that are calling in support of various ballot initiatives or candidates for school boards or council seats and it troubles me. I know these are often young people doing their all for change and all I'm being asked to lend is my patience. So now I must add guilt to my confusion and frustration.

I've sent every penny that I can possibly afford -- mostly online to MoveOn.Org and People For the American Way and the ACLU and individual candidates across the country who are being supported by the national Democratic Party led by Howard Dean. I fully approve of the way he is restructuring the party. My pockets are hanging inside out now, and I'm beginning to feel helpless against the tide that I'm praying will bring a Democratic tsunami on Tuesday. But I'm all used up, guys. No more calls, please. I've never given so much to so many, not over all the years. I'm guessing that this is true for others who can ill afford it but who sense the dangers of doing or giving any less. We cannot afford to take chances with the future of the nation. The lives of the world may be at stake. Hyperbole? No. I don't think so, as wildly crazy as that may seem.

Everyone I know is involved in this election. The stakes have never been higher. It's difficult to think past next Tuesday ... .

But I'm off to a celebration this afternoon for Richmond's African American pioneers -- a birthday party for Mrs. Ermastine Martin, a fascinating woman I've come to know only through her oral history. She was one of the 75 interviews conducted by the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley.

Maybe I can influence a few votes ... .

Photo: Plaque at the foot of the Monument to the Little Rock Nine. It's a quote by Elizabeth Eckford, one of the students who dared. (Click to enlarge.) There is a quote from each of the students.

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