The Lydster: Feeling the Bern

I swear I saw Joe Bruno.

Trumpcar2On Monday, April 11, not one but THREE Presidential candidates were going to be in the Capital District of New York State: John Kasich (R), Bernie Sanders (D), and Donald Drumpf (R). A day or two before, The Daughter started wheedling me – why didn’t she bug her mother? – to see one of them, the one alphabetically last.

I said no. I said no because I was afraid she might get hurt. She said that no one was going to hurt a little girl, but I noted that she is taller than most adult women. She should watch him on television. (I was also afraid I might get hurt, but I didn’t bring that up.)

Her counter-proposal was to see Bernie Sanders. I noted that he too would be on TV, and he was speaking during the school day.

“But it would be educational!”

She wanted ME to contact her teacher to ask if she could go, but I said she could go if SHE asked her teacher and she said yes; she can be shy in these matters.

Monday morning, I had to get a blood test, which I ended up going to TWICE because I forgot my insurance card the first time. I kept checking my email to see if her teacher contacted me. The Wife came home early – she had an eye test in the early afternoon – and she checked HER email, where she received a positive response from the teacher to MY inquiry.

By this time, it was already noon. The Washington Armory opened at 11 a.m., and the rally was at 2 p.m. I got the Daughter out of school. The Wife dropped us a block from the Armory, because I figure the traffic at Washington and Lark would be crazy, and so it was.

We went to the end of the line, which was down Washington Avenue, across Dove Street, up Elk Street to behind the armory; had we realized, we would have gone the shorter route.

I engaged a young man, 33, behind us in conversation. We decided that this was very educational for the Daughter, because it addressed sociology (the nature of the crowd), history, political science, meteorology (it was very windy, raining briefly; his girlfriend was freezing), and undoubtedly other disciplines.

A green car drove by a couple times, with Drumpf USA, etc. painted in splotchy white, as though he’d used a huge bottle of Wite-Out. It had two huge American flags.
Even as the Armory was in sight, I knew the capacity of the Washington Armory was 3000 for basketball games, maybe 1000 more for something like this, and that we probably wouldn’t get in. This turned out to be the case.

Still, we stuck around. I ran into my friends Dan and Lynne. I bought The Daughter a Feel the Bern T-shirt and a couple buttons.

She started taking notes, as we listened to the activities inside via a couple speakers that kept cutting out. The audio in front stopped playing music, and we heard, “I’m sorry the venue wasn’t big enough.”


He gave a seven-minute speech on his main topics: end fracking, Medicare for all, free college, climate change is real. “We can’t spend trillions in Iraq while we leave our cities at home.” Some families are spending 50-60% on housing each month. There’s too much police violence. We need a $15 per hour minimum wage.

He noted that movements develop from the bottom up: trade unions, civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights.

After that, we caught a bus and went home, and watched the last 50 minutes of the speech on TV. We also saw Kasich speak in Troy.

The Wife took us out to dinner; it was quite good. In another room, I swear I saw Joe Bruno, the former state Senate Majority Leader, surrounded by a dozen others.

The Daughter was trying to rush The Wife home, because she (and I) wanted to watch The Donald. He didn’t say anything in that way he generally does: read some reviews. All in all, an excellent day.

The next day, The Daughter confessed that she didn’t REALLY wanted to see Donald, she wanted to see Bernie, but used the DJT request as an opening salvo in what she REALLY wanted. Well played, Daughter, but I would have said yes to Bernie, eventually, even without the chicanery.

Photo credits: car (c) 2016 Kate Intelisano. Bernie (c) Daniel Van Riper

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