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Herb’s blog, Herbdate 16322-010:

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! (Word counted that as one word) Okay. I am pumped! What an incredible thing!

I have never been to a political rally so it was all new to me, but it got everyone pumped up. It was, in some ways, a lot like going to church.

I got up at 1:30, (yes, in the A.M.) which is early, even for me, to get things started. The parking at the venue was open at 4:00 a.m. and the kids wanted to make sure they were first in line to get the best seats. Turns out that this was a good idea. A family had slept in sleeping bags at the front door since 8:00 the previous evening! Anyway, we left the house at 2:30, realized we had forgotten the tickets and Elizabeth’s I.D. and had to turn around. Fortunately the Colorado Springs World Arena is only a short distance from our house so it was okay. I dropped the girls off at the front door about 3:00, where the line was beginning to form already and drove around to wait for the parking to open. Then we stood in line. The Secret Service guys had given the girls and the other people who were standing there in the cold some juices and stuff. We had a lot in common with everybody so time passed quickly and everyone was polite. I was first in line for the parking and got a front row spot, so the girls could come and warm up when they needed to. (Wretched grammar checker. One day i will make an entry following every suggestion the stupid machine makes and see if it’s even legible!) The doors opened at 6:30 and we were pre-screened, then screened and passed through a metal detector.

Around 7:00 we were treated to a Country & Western concert. First up was the Walker Williams band. The music filled the room with energy and the charismatic personality of the band’s leader, talking about how much he loved the president and was glad to have come at a short notice to such an event.

There are 4 giant screens which hang down from the ceiling and the camera would pan the audience from time-to-time. When they showed a couple of soldiers the crowd went nuts! Cheers and applause and the one guy seemed to be eating it up but the other guy didn’t seem to care for the attention. On the screens, in between musicians, they showed a video clip from, which shows with clarity the many different positions the senator has had.

The opening prayer was led by the leader of the Colorado Springs Catholic Diocese, Michael Sheridan. This is the man who took a stand and said that if a politician did not follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, e.g., was not against abortion, then that person should not take Communion. This was followed by a series of arguments and op-ed pieces. I have a lot of respect for a man that will stand up for what he believes in. A local high school sophomore sang the National Anthem beautifully, followed by a disabled Vietnam Vet leading the Pledge Of Allegiance.

Then the Colorado political candidates made some speeches, the most notable to me was by our governor, Bill Owens. There is an amendment on our ballot, Amendment 36, which wants to change the way Colorado’s Electoral College votes are counted and wants to do it retroactively to this election! The Governor stated that a California millionaire who lives in Brazil put the bill on the ballot and spent a million dollars of his money on the idea, begging the question that if it was such a great idea, why didn’t he try it in California first. This got a lot of response.

Then the Sandy (i hope that’s correct) Kirschaw Band came on and did a combination of country songs including a couple of, what he referred to as, redneck standards. He said he had gotten a call from a man he had never heard of before who asked if he would like to perform for the president in Colorado. Well, he jumped at the chance. Both of these bands know how to put on a high-energy performance. Everybody with us said they preferred the first band.

Then the president came in with his daughter Jenna and the crowd went wild. We had gotten invited to come down on the floor and Abby went and had gotten as close as she could, which was about 5 people away. She was the closest of any of us.

Jenna was a cutie, all right. She said, “This is the man who read me bedtime stories, cheered for me when I got my first goal. Even though it was for the other team.” She went on and talked about how he made her special Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, and just generally endeared us to both the president and her.

The president gave a rousing, 40 minute speech and as he was leaving he broke through the Secret Service guys and went and shook a bunch of people’s hands, including the 2 Army guys that were there.

As we were leaving, a newsperson with “H D N” on her microphone stopped me to interview me. I basically told her the answers you can find in my ‘blog entry from before. I never heard of H D N but Randy said it is some sort of cable network. Anyway, they gave me a chance to talk and talk I did. They mainly asked if I had ever been to one of these before; no. What was my main reason for voting for President Bush; My number one issue is abortion, then defense, etc. They filmed us walking out as a family. Margaret said I sounded good, and I guess if I did it was because I was talking about a subject I feel passionately about.

So, that was our excitement on Tuesday. Okay, Alice, that was 999 words up till there.

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