|Promoting the brand at Cheyenne's Superday.|
I get puzzled looks from those who've never attended the People's Fair. That's OK. The People's Fair was -- and still is I guess -- a sprawling street fair started by the counterculture types at Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN). This may be hard to believe, but 45 years ago, Capitol Hill was largely unexplored territory, populated by winos, ethnic minorities, longhairs in crash pads, culties, and Greatest Generationites who never got the memo to escape to the burbs.
Adventurous long-haired entrepreneurs bought old houses, staking out a claim in the territory. Enough of them arrived to form a united front, which turned out to be CHUN. That, of course, led to a People's Fair and, much later, legalized marijuana, coffee shops on every corner and craft breweries on every other corner. Hipsters, too. Who needs to read long boring histories about the Front Range when you can come here and get an encapsulated version?
Superday is Middle America's street fair. It was political parties and candidates, during even years anyway. Non-profits of all kinds have booths. Alzheimer's Association, NARAL, Latina Conference for Youth, Head Start. YMCA. There's a big car show and lots of play areas for the kiddos. Military recruiters are on hand, as are a host of evangelical orgs. Many of the flyers I carried home from Superday featured offers to save my soul and that of America, which seemed to be in particular peril this week after some historic SCOTUS rulings. Save your soul -- all hell is breaking loose. And don't forget to make a generous donation!
I worked the booth for the Laramie County Democrats and its fund-raising arm, the Grassroots Coalition. We were sited adjacent to Head Start and an empty spot that was the site of an unspecified org which chose to take their cause elsewhere when they saw the neighborhood. They were OK with the U.S. Army booth next door. But Democrats? No way. They didn't even stick around to see our nifty "Love is Love" rainbow T-shirts and the life-sized cardboard cut-out of President Barack Obama, who had a pretty good week.
Democrats are woefully outnumbered in Wyoming and Laramie County. But we tend to show up at things like Superday. Republicans don't have to show up as FOX News does the work for them. We get plenty of dirty looks. And more than one person said they didn't want to have their photo taken with the Prez. They were polite about it. Wyomingites are polite, except when you turn them loose on online forums. That's when they vent their spleens, anonymously, of course. There are some pretty ugly spleens out there.
One middle-aged woman made a beeline to our booth and announced that she was an ex-lesbian. That was fine with us. We supposed that being an ex-lesbian was just as good as being an ex-husband or an ex-NFL linebacker or an ex-Republican. Unfortunately, she didn't let it go at that. She contended that homosexuality was a choice. And now we were all going to have to recognize gay marriage and that it was the Democrats' fault. I had seen this person at Tea Party rallies. She crowded our booth and asked each of us, in turn, if we were homosexual. At that moment, none of us were, so that's how we answered. She responded that we could all change that status and become a protected class, thanks to the Democrats and now, the U.S. Supreme Court and its judicial tyranny.
This went on for some time. We tried to reason with the poor woman but to no avail. She eventually moved on, leaving us a bit flustered. Instead of arguing with her, maybe we should have called out the gendarmes? But she probably would have screamed about "government overreach." We could have calmed her with soothing music or therapy-speak which, to Democrats, is almost like a second language. But we all got into the spirit of the debate/shouting match. When you're a liberal living in Wyoming, you tire of these shouting matches. No attempt at logic tends to reach the blunt skulls. Liberals, for our part, tend to be condescending, which doesn't help. Eventually you have to throw up your hands and walk away, heading to the nearest bar.