Here is another election day narrative sent to me by my friend, Gary. John has given me permission to post it here at OpEdNews.
Before memories fade, have a story to share? Send it to Joan@OpEdNew.com and we'll share it at OpEdNews and beyond! Inquiring minds want to know what your election experience was like.
This is my experience of election night:
I was riding on the Red Line, heading down town, around 6 PM the night of the election. I was on my way to teach an acting class at Act I Studios. The train was filled with bright-eyed, young Obama Supporters and African American parents taking their children to the historic event at Grant Park. People were joyous and optimistic, engaged and inspired by - of all things - politics! I hadn't seen anything like it since the sixties.
Anyway, people were laughing and joking, checking their cell phones and Blackberries for election updates, when a young man in a coat and tie says to a young woman sporting a huge Obama button on her jacket, "I guess I'm the only person in Chicago who voted for Mc Cain!" DEAD SILENCE. Heads whipped around, staring at this poor, strange alien who dared to utter such nonsense. But then, slowly, carefully, people started saying things like, "Well, that's your choice" and "he's a...good man" and "that's what this country is about." There was a spontaneous agreement to extend good will to this young man and affirm his "inalienable rights."
I finished teaching around 10:00 PM and had not heard the results of the election. I found out who won in the most moving way I can imagine. I was riding the Red Line north and had to switch at Bryn Mawr. I was standing on the platform, waiting for the next train, when I overheard a young, African American man in his thirties turn to his friend and say, "Well, I guess that means I can be president some day."
Many of us growing up in the sixties are reticent to get excited about politics. Our ideals were dealt a serious blow by the Vietnam War and the assassinations of both the Kennedys and Doctor King. "Only the good die young?" But the sight of these people on the El, the hope that Obama represents is very gently and subtly opening some of our jaded hearts.