Saturday, October 24, 2015

The month I met two Presidents

So it's been quite a month for this Democrat.

I'm pretty sure everyone knows by now that President Clinton came to West Virginia early in October and President Obama was here last Wednesday. I attended both events, and had "a moment" with each of them.

And I still can't quite believe it.

I want to record it here so I never forget it. You never know when Alzheimer's is going to hit. Heh.

The annual West Virginia Democratic fundraiser – the Jefferson-Jackson dinner – was held October 2, and President Clinton was the keynote speaker. Our county executive committee had selected our Outstanding Democrat of the Year, but she was unable to attend, so the committee voted to send me instead.

Am I a happy girl! You bet!
After what had happened at the WVFDW Annual Meeting the previous weekend, I wasn't sure how it would go, but I'd never been in the same room with President Clinton, so I was happy to represent my county.

I had a fabulous time, in the end, and when the event was over I went to the front of the room to talk with a friend. Who was standing at the VERY front of the room and urged me to "hurry, come here, quick!" Because President Clinton was coming down the "rope line," shaking hands and taking selfies with anyone who wanted one.

What. A. Thrill.

I didn't know until the night before President Obama's visit that my name was on the guest list. That friend in the President Clinton selfie? Her husband arranged for my ticket. (THANK YOU, TIM!) She didn't know she was going to be in the audience until the morning of the event. And of course, dropped everything to be there.

There were others from my town going, so I rode with them. I sat in the back of the room, breathing the same air as the President of the United States, for almost two hours, with no hope of meeting him. One of my friends texted me and said to come to the front of the room when the forum began winding down.

Another rope line.

No selfies this time, but … pictures were taken.
Waiting to get in. My friend's
husband arranged for my ticket.
We got to keep our tickets!
On. A. Cloud.
My favorite picture from the day. Totally unexpected shot. 
President Obama was in West Virginia to learn about our prescription opioid problem. West Virginia's death-by-overdose rate tops the nation's. I left the event thinking maybe, maybe this time something will be done. Over and over and over, the words "we need more treatment" were spoken. The Charleston, WV, chief of police said, "We can't arrest our way out of this problem."

Given my volunteer work at a federal prison camp, in which the majority of inmates are drug-addicted, I was most impressed by his attitude.

So October has turned out to be a pretty good month for a political junkie.

I'm approaching a significant sobriety milestone in a couple of weeks. It's simply astonishing to look back on my life and see that I've gone from a hopeless, helpless, poor excuse for a human being, to a woman who tries to give back, savor the moment, and be the person I was meant to be. I'm so grateful to be alive, grateful to know the people I know, grateful for both of you who still read this sadly neglected blog.

Thanks for indulging me.

3 comments:

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

I was able to shake the hand of President Al Gore when he was here in SF campaigning against the recall of Governor Gray Davis. Yes, I know what you're thinking, but don't ever say out loud in my presence that my buddy Al wasn't the RGTLPOTUS (RealGenuineTrueLegitimate and you know the rest). Just like you never tell Granny Clampett that the Confederacy lost.

Debbi said...

I completely agree with you about President Gore, Kitten. And just think what a different world we'd be living in, had the Supreme Court not elect George Bush.

Debbi said...

I completely agree with you about President Gore, Kitten. And just think what a different world we'd be living in, had the Supreme Court not elect George Bush.