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To Mark the Beginning of the Last Year of a Decade in the 2000s

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Message Margaret Bassett
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As Y2K was about to begin, It seemed so silly to worry about computer meltdown. All it took was  patching a few Cobol programs, although Bernie Ebbers sold it big--to his eventual  comeuppance. Seldom do we hear the names of WorldCom or EnRon these days.  The real threat was who would replace Bill Clinton.  (I will not say his name.)

Soon came the blast which changed the landscape for so many people, including for those who were killed in the 9/11 catastrophe.  It's still the big one.  No way to have an investigation on 9/11.  Too many theories and too much hurt to make things seem understandable. Regardless, a change of guard is happening shortly. 

It's nice to have a president coming in who can speak in sentences, and who talks about The People.  On January 2, I met some Democrats who I hardly know except through local news.  Blount County Democrats, who have been blogging since 2004, invited me to join.  I found their site a little difficult to navigate and finally told the man who called me that I decided not to participate.  However, I was interested in receiving any information which might be helpful.  His response was to invite me to their First Friday luncheon. 
The weather was just above sleet stage.  I arrived too early.  As I sat nursing hot tea, I reread a copy of the article Cathie Bird wrote about mountaintop mining.  Some would surely care about the environment, since the Smokies are in view from where we were meeting--and the tourist industry ranks high in tax revenue. 

My first big surprise was that the chair of the group is someone who lost to a good old boy for the County mayor's job.  It was the first time I knew he was a Democrat. My Reagan-Democrat friend had worked for his election.  This "Joe" seems to be a sensible sort and doesn't want the sheriff to build another pod to the jail.
A long discussion occurred on how to break the hold on oldguard Republicans from being chosen for the County Board. It involved names I read in the local paper.  I realized they would not even discuss who they might work for in the US House race.  If only the County could settle zoning and dislodge a certain family name from control! (Reminded me of haggles we suffered during the Palin extravaganza.) 

Real interest was in the GALA!  A lady ,who obviously knew how to take charge of an ad hoc committee, talked about plans on Inauguration night--at the Airport Hilton with 2 bands, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a cash  bar, all for only $35.00.  A table near where my host and I sat was occupied by a few African-Americans. They were interested in how many tickets were still available.

As things wound down, I decided there was need to define my existence.  I started by explaining why they had my name.  Whenever any Democrat asked for donations during the Obama campaign I would reply that I had no money to give (the truth) but I spent a considerable amount of time with I suggested that mapping out which issues were important to the citizens was what we might concentrate on.  The chairman's ears perked up. So, to make a point with the Gala Lady (who had only been in the county for a year and came from DC), I cited OEN's role in helping local groups--mentioning that there is something  called Web2.  Although I didn't understand the niceties of using this new feature, I was sure their communications-savvy members could figure it out.  Ms. Gala took some notes. 

February 6 is on my calendar.  I hate to spend time in meetings.  Having lived an organization-heavy existence in my younger years, I am just tired of running to places where I've heard it all before. This time, I want to see whether "they" can turn into "we."  In the meantime, I'll keep tabs on what happens for the annual MLK celebration.  They were undecided which dates were best, considering that the 20th is so important. 

When Barack Obama settles in at the Oval Office and wants to make a point about the environment, perhaps he can arrange a visit to the Kingston sludge problem.  It's not in our county, but the airport is. Now there's an issue which involves infrastructure stimulus and global ecology! They say that when the toxic waste dries up in the spring, it will be a health hazard.  For sure, those traveling on Interstate 40 during spring break will roll up their windows as they pass Kingston. 

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Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, with a lifelong interest in political philosophy. Bachelors from State University of Iowa (1944) and Masters from Roosevelt University (1975) help to unravel important requirements for modern communication. Early introduction to computer science (1966) trumps them. It's payback time. She's been "entitled" so long she hopes to find some good coming off the keyboard into the lives of those who come after her.
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