“With Imagination, Even the Impossible—“
--said my fortune cookie at lunch today. I tell ya, when it comes to concept of “ impossible,” the prospect of “campaigning on a week-long multiple stop in multiple cities involving dozens of volunteers whose only connection w you comes through the phone” is probably the illustration Wikipedia could use to explain what “not-doable” looks like. But I type this at the end of day two, so gentle reader we all know everything worked out well enough for me to find Internet at 10:30p.
Despite waking up to find I was hugging Marshall Knauf’s bassett-eared boxer-faced bundle of love, Lando, the prospect of facing the impossible task of pulling and/or keeping everything together while phone less had me staying in the sack strategizing as long as possible. I had learned last night that my host had not brought me the petitions or donations that had been collected for me at the county meeting. But maybe the district chair had thought to bring them, if she was quick thinking.
I hopped on the VAN, found her address and off we went. There was a plumbing truck there, my old profession (in the 80s and early 90s). The guy was selling her a new filtering system and I recalled that at the moment Reagan was inaugurated and the hostages were being freed, my son was being born and I had my head stuck under someone’s sink installing a water purifier. Turns out the district chair had thought of bringing the petitions and donations to me, but hadn’t been quite quick enough to think of it before she had left the meeting and been on the road for several miles.
My county chair/LD5 candidate, Joe Longoria, was in town and she let me use the phone to call him and Beth. I couldn’t catch Beth, but I did get through to Joe and we arranged for lunch. I lit-dropped the parking lot while I waited, got a call into Beth on Joe’s phone after noshing, and received the fortune cookie above along w a sweet donation. Before I could leave town though I still had those two voter registration forms from yesterday and had to find the county offices and get someone to receive them. They don’t have an office for voter registration or elections in Havasu. They had one of the biggest, most stylized office buildings in the county, but not one office looking out for the voters. They eventually found me someone to get the forms to the Kingman offices in that day’s interoffice mail. I felt such a relief knowing I hadn’t let those brand new voters down. I saw I needed to start doing so many voter registration drives in LHC that they had to develop a protocol for making sure voters get service.
As I headed south out of LHC I saw this giant back pack bobbing down the shoulder, being hoisted by an even bigger red beard, huffing and puffing. The poor guy was stuck in one of the worst possible hitchhiking spots: two lanes 60 mph of traffic on curves, no shoulder w concrete curbs. There was no place to pull over at all for miles.
He’ll never get a ride, I thought, unless someone really goes through extra ordinary maneuvers to make it happen. & then right away, I started trying to figure out what those maneuvers might be. Dude’s name was Cameron Crow, like the famous director, but not, and w no “e” at the end. He was headed to I-10 to travel west to CA. He had just taken a dip in the Colorado and was at that moment in the middle of a transcendent mood from the experience. He didn’t hear me honking the first time I passed him, in fact. Didn’t understand the 2nd time why a guy now going the opposite direction was honking and gesticulating so. In fact, I had to pass him twice before I could figure out a place to safely pull over, a street away, to pick him up. I then had to park, honk, get out of the truck, jump up and down and yell repeatedly before he realized I was actually referring to him and actually offering him a ride, though parked a block away. Turned out we have a mutual friend in poetry, and a mutual poet friend, Damian Flores, one of the super-star slammers out of Albuquerque. It was a great and rousing ride, we talked of everything at once and shared poems. I drew his attention to the majestic melding of the Bill Williams and Colorado Rivers and the jungle of cattails whose gently waving stalks make the waters feel so blue. I also took him to one of my favorite offices away for the office, the Parker McDonalds. Sneer my dear if you choose, no body serves up more or better hot & ready Internet than the Golden Arches.
So I dropped him on the way out of town and after, some reconnoitering, went back into Parker and picked up a half a page for myself and for Sharon Thomas, who was a bit low on her La Paz County numbers. Cameron was on the side of the road ready for me when I came up. Before long I realized the thing he was tapping on and talking into was a working cell phone, so I got in another visit w Beth.
In Quartzsite, I got to visit w one of my most improbable fans, Jennifer “Jade” Jones, Quartzsite Tea Party leader and republican candidate for LD5. That’s right, she’s my wife’s potential opponent, depending on how the LD5 Republican primary plays out. Jade and her husband, Jack, have been friends of mine since I started going to Quartzsite on a semi-recurring basis starting in the 2012 campaign. I was one of the folks who encouraged her to run since Jones isn’t a typical “movement Republican” like Kelli Ward.
After a nice visit w Jade and Jack, I had to hightail it to Yuma to get there in time to be functional before dark. As it was I only had time to unload & cut a quick list & then only get to one street before dark. But I did get my symbolically rewarding single signature out of Yuma and it was after dark before we were done.
I got to get into house clothes and share pizza w Mike and Dante, father and son. Dante is a brilliant driven leader in his school, statewide young Dems and the Junior Congress of Arizona and his local Democratic party, despite the fact that he is openly LGBT and only now turned senior. Dante says he intends to grow up to be my chief of staff. W luck we’ll be doing some traveling together this summer. He is the kind of guy I want to see advance, like Aaron Marquez. As I tapped this out and made up the silly pictures, the idea of the leader Dante is capable of being inspires me to build a Yuma program that is big enough to need a chief of staff. Of course, he'd be a good choice. He's already shown me he's good at directions.
Day Two: 190 miles
6 signatures--5 La Paz, 1 Yuma
The same hitchhiker twice