Barack Obama spoke at Mac Court in Eugene this evening at 9 p.m. I got in line at 5 p.m. There were already two insanely long lines wrapping around both sides of the arena and on down past the track and field center.
I made friends with a nice lady named Joyce. I had also brought along a book to read, but Joyce and I passed the time chatting. We were lucky to get an evening with no rain. At 7 p.m. the doors opened and the line started moving slowly. We were four or five blocks from the entrance, and there was another line, just as long as ours, off in the other direction. But everyone was hopeful we'd get in. There were at least as many people in line behind us as in front of us.
The line kept moving, and we were a block and a half from the entrance. I called a friend whom I knew had gotten in and asked, how many seats are still open? Maybe 10%, he said. Uh oh. About ten minutes later volunteers came by and told us the arena was full. BUT . . . Obama would make a brief appearance on the soccer field behind the arena before the rally. Off we trooped to the soccer field!
Can you see the hope?
No one had a clue where the senator would appear, so Joyce and I just chose a spot randomly. We were in the middle of a crowd and couldn't see much of anything. People started to cheer, and we could hear Obama speaking. Suddenly I realized he was right in front of us!
I know that looks like a smear, but I swear, that's Obama. He spoke for about five minutes, then shook as many hands as he could, and off to the rally he went. As we were walking back to the car, we could hear Mac Court rocking and rolling. Oh well, at least I can honestly say I got to hear him speak in person.