Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday at the Democratic State Convention

I'm going to have to sharpen my live-blogging skills before the Democratic National Convention in Denver. I prefer to keep track of events the old-fashioned way -- by writing in my journal. And then I transfer those notes to MS Word or the blog. There's something about taking notes that activates some part of my brain and helps with creativity. Live-blogging takes an incredible amount of attention because you have to compose at the same time. I used to be pretty good at that when I was a newspaper reporter, but when I moved to fiction writing, my process changed. I've also added a few decades, which figures into the equation somehow.

So I've been taking notes and making observations during the past two days at the Democratic State Convention here in Jackson. I have some entries in my journal to share and there will be more over the next few days, especially when I get back to Cheyenne and download my photos. I have a great post planned for Memorial Day. Jackson's Bill Broyles delivered the luncheon speech yesterday during the convention. He's a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, a lifelong Democrat, and a writer of books and screenplays. His speech was a knockout and, on a Memorial Day during wartime, I'll do my best to deliver it via blog.

Meanwhile, here's a journal entry I put together Friday night....

Dems will meet in Jackson if the Good Lord is willin' and the creeks don't rise.

Don't know about the will of the Lord -- I'll leave that to the Rapture Right. But the creeks did rise, tornadoes spun from black skies, blizzards obscured I-80, and -- according to some unnamed sources -- frogs fell from the heavens.

Still, we all managed to gather across the (Snake) River in Jackson for the Wyoming Democratic Convention.

I don't have a head count, but to judge by the hordes crowding the buffet tables Feriday evening, I'd say that most of the delgates and alternates arrived safely. Some even brought their little kids and babies (family values!). Sara Burlingame from Laramie County brought five-month-old Atticus. The mother-son duop were featured on a campaign button seeking votes as an Obama delegate to the August national convention (she was voted in -- see previous post).

The Dems were in a jolly mood -- and not just from the mass quantities of Snake River Lager. This is a big year for Democrats. We have two great candidates running for president. We have become mightily pissed off during the past eight years of Bush and part-time Jackson resident Dick Cheney. We’ve been working hard for a Dem victory in 2008 and a return to sanity. We also have great candidates running for the U.S. House and Senate, and for the State Legislature.

A truly great time to be a Democrat in Wyoming. This phrase was uttered innumerable times during the course of the convention.

And then there was the free food and beer.

Gary Trauner was at the reception, swarmed by delegates and alternates from Crook County in the northeast corner to Uinta County in the southwest – and everyone in between. In 2006, Gary did well in my corner of the state (southeast) and his corner, the northwest, land of the Tetons and Jackson Hole. He captured the cities but fell short in rural counties, and plans a more concentrated effort this time. So, when I saw him talking to the Big Horn County delegates from Lovell and Manderson, I grew hopeful. You can do it!

Other candidates at the reception included Nick Carter and Keith Goodenough, candidates for U.S. Senate. A number of current, former, and future state legislators were on hand.

Governor Dave Freudenthal and First Lady Nancy were some of the last Dems at the reception. Even after the food ran out, they still were encircled. Gov Dave is a Bill Clinton-style pol (although an Obama supporter) with the ability to stay at any political event until the last hand is shook and the last person is schmoozed (can that be a verb?).

After the reception, and down on the pool deck, Wyoming for Obama Director Chris Farrell briefed us on Saturday’s proceedings. We were charged to be at the Ice Arena/Conference Center early to hang signs and get primed for the day. As Chris briefed, rain sluiced off the Snow King roof onto our fatigued heads. Even this baptism by Teton County rain couldn’t ease my tired bones. So, my wife Chris and I were early to bed Friday night.

Next post: Saturday at the convention

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