A view from Denver, new yarn, and a new orchestra
My brother, Rob, is an attorney. Unlike me, he's a name partner in a Denver, CO lawfirm that specializes in medical malpractice defense. Like me, he's a democrat. He and my other brother, Dave, who works for a financial firm doing things I'd have to take a course to figure out, both live in the Denver, CO area. Rob sent the out of town family his pre-Convention observations from his neck of the woods:
Greetings from our dusty old cow town. 100 years ago, we hosted another DNC. The black caucus asked William Jennings Bryan if perhaps, just maybe, there could be something in the party platform denouncing lynching. The Democratic party said no. (Bryan was afraid of losing the southern vote.) Thursday, they will nominate Obama. I guess we've made a little progress over the last century. Downtown Denver is actually kind of fun during the DNC so far. I returned from court 25 miles north of Denver this morning to find tons of Democrats walking up and down the 16th Street Mall. There are also tons of cops everywhere, some dressed in rather thick S.W.A.T. gear. The S.W.A.T. teams move quickly, usually draped over the outside of trucks. I like them, although I'm not dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. One of my associates, a 26- year-old Persian who grew up in Germany, swore he would not come downtown, but he was in the office on Sunday, yesterday. On his way to our garage two blocks away, a group of protesters got surrounded by police at both ends of the block. One end of the street had police on horses. The other end of the street, had S.W.A.T. teams. The protesters did not like those odds. They got spooked and ran into our garage. Unfortunately, some of them began throwing plastic bottles at the police, from the upper floors. I think perhaps they were protesting against bottled water? Poor guy was stuck on the sidewalk for a long time, as the police were not allowing anyone in or out. The protestors were quite numerous, but they did not have a permit to block off our street. The police reminded them of this, and except for one young yahoo with a broken proboscis, they eventually agreed to vacate our garage. I am glad they are no longer in our garage. He has a lot of good pictures of the skirmish on his I-Phone. One is of a young, thin, blonde, female protestor. She looked dangerous. He must be saving her picture just in case the police need it. Today, I got within five feet of Joe Biden on the 16th Street Mall. This happened quite by accident. A crowd of people surrounded him as he walked across the street, and the secret service looked rather nervous. Actually, they looked extremely nervous. Biden looked tan, fit, and a little short. The crowd was decidedly pro-Biden, of course. I would not feel comfortable being a candidate. Even with all of that protection, and a bunch of friendly people around him, Biden looked so vulnerable out in the open. If I could accidentally get within five feet of him can't some nut do the same? I mean, if I had leaned forward, and stretched my arm out, I could have touched him. I probably would be dead, but still. The marquee on the strip club down the street from us says, "Prettiest Democrats are Inside Here. Who Ever Heard of a Fine Piece of Elephant?" Cute. My favorite shirt so far said, "Die, Hippy, Die". Not quite as cute. We've been getting protestors marching up our street, mostly protesting the war. As I typed this we had an anti-war march and an anti-torture march. Two points of view I can certainly get behind. The S.W.A.T. teams are right there with them. Did I mention how quickly they seem to move? Overall, the commute was not bad, even with the closed streets. Of course, I have not tried to go home yet today. Dave's office and Lisa's office are both in Cherry Creek. Other than the closing of Speer Boulevard, I don't believe they will see much action where they are. I'm kind of surprised I've seen so much already around these parts. Although the Convention Center is a block away from my garage, I've heard most of the action will be quite a few blocks away at the Pepsi Center. Tomorrow I have two depositions. My depositions will be in Pueblo. Pueblo is 125 miles south of Denver. It should be considerably quieter. Our building security guard, Connie, has to ask each of us for our I.D. when we come in this week. We have one or two extra guards and can only get in one entrance. It's kind of funny, as Connie rolls her eyes, and says, "Hello, Mr. Ingram, can I see your driver's license?" The weather is supposed to be warm and clear on Thursday night for Obama's speech at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium. -RobThanks, Robearskin (I've explained that one to my close friends, but I think I'll spare him here.) PS - I had to look up proboscis - apparently a humorous reference to an elongated human nose. (Did I tell you he does medmal defense work??)
If Rob sends us any more-behind-the-scenes narratives, I will post them here on the blog.
On the knitting front, I got a lot of knitting done this weekend, but nothing photo-worthy, except maybe a couple of balls of yarn I got from one of my favorite LYSs because there's a story behind this little bit of yarn porn:
I (ahem) occasionally do a little bit of websurfing, especially to those places linking from this blog, where I can see what other knitters are doing 'round the globe. The Yarn Harlot is of course one of them. She's the one who got me all hooked on knitting socks and putting beautiful superwash wool on my stinky old lady feet. Well, she had a sock on her blog with this amazing Trekking yarn (No. 108). I decided to see if I could find something similar locally, so I moseyed on over to a couple of places after court today to see if I could find just a couple of small balls (nothing expensive, please) and I found this Jojoland Melody at the Celtic Knot Yarn Shop . OK, so no big deal there, right? Except that most yarn shops are closed on Mondays - at least they are here. And a bunch of women were sitting inside, knitting. Again, the only thing unusual about that is it's a Monday. But this particular Monday was a little different. This week marks the first week of school in our area. Some schools started today, some start tomorrow. Normally no big deal and one is not looking for knitting items when one is bundling one's children off to school for the first day. So why was this shop open?
I recognized some of the women in the shop. One known on her blog and elsewhere as "Large Marge" (and whose name belies her size!) and others, one of whom I knew had lost her precious daughter this summer to a rotten form of cancer (is there a good one?). These beautiful human beings had decided to open the store and hold a special sit 'n knit for their friend to help her throught the first day of school. I told her I was sorry for her loss and thought she must have been a terrific kid. I hope they told stories all day about her and celebrated her life.
Boy, did that put a lot of things in perspective.
So, when I knit these lovely socks (I'm using a version of Eunny Jang's Bayerische socks pattern, except it's toe-up), I will think about this beautiful child who died all too soon and I will hold my own that much closer in my heart.
On a happy note, Nancy and Rennie are back. We had a meeting between the early and late services at St. John's and talked about marketing the brand spankin' new St. John's Orchestra - the first professional chamber group in our county! Exciting stuff - and more about this to come:) After the next service, Nancy and I had lunch and talked about what to do next for this wonderful project. It was just so great to catch up:):):) The Howard County Arts Council informed Ron, the concertmaster, that the Orchestra had received a grant. How much that will be we won't know until September 5th.
So, if any of you are interested in donating to this worthy cause, send your checks, with a notation on the memo line that it is for the St. John's Orchestra, to
Friends of Music
c/o St. Johns Episcopal Church
9120 Frederick Road
Ellicott City, Maryland 21042
Please note, the orchestra, though affiliated with the church in that it's in residence there, is not the church. Supporting the orchestra is NOT supporting the church.
Today I finally walked again - but this time with John while he took Dan and Casie's dog, Bowie (yes after the rock star) for a walk.
Have a lovely evening everyone:)!