We met online as memoir writers, presented together at Prairie Lights bookstore,
and have stayed in touch by phone for several years.
In June, Carol was still trying to decide who she will caucus for in February.
Well, there’s news to report.
Carol was my host last week on a wonderful tour of Des Moines, her home, as we
both prepared to do something neither of us had ever done before — attend the famous
Liberty and Justice Celebration — a dinner that
Iowa Democrats put on before the caucuses.
There was snow on the ground when I woke up the next morning, but no problem.
We walked the famous skywalk connecting downtown businesses, had afternoon refreshments with three of Carol’s friends,
and attended a great concert celebrating the Harlem Renaissance.
The next day, Nov. 1, we started out at Pete basecamp,
played with cut-outs (photo above), picked up swag, and stuck a red pin in Virginia in the big USA map,
demonstrating my place among more than 1,000 “Barnstormers” who came from all over the country.
Carol gamely played along. As an Iowan, she had snagged front-row seats in the stands for the
main event, a chance to hear almost all of the Democratic candidates for president.
Carol then guided me through Des Moines “must-sees” — the Pappajohn Sculpture Park
and then on to the famous Raygun, “the greatest store in the universe.”
We waited in the rain with 2,300 others at Cowles Commons to see Pete, then marched up the hill to Wells Fargo Arena,
where we claimed those great seats and continued making noise and flashing lights.
We marveled at the huge crowd of Pete supporters, far and away the largest group.
If you want to watch the 11-minute speech on C-Span, here it is.
Actually, I recommend watching all the speeches. I loved applauding
Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, and every speaker.
They were all good, and fans of one were fans of all — most of the time!
On the way out of the arena,
a young staff member asked Carol if she would caucus for Pete.
I waited to hear her answer, even though I was pretty sure I knew what she would say.
There it was — a straightforward, Midwestern, “yes.”
Carol has been won, as I have been, by a young man with “a funny name” who has hope in his heart,
fire in his belly, and a vision for a better America for all Americans.
We both felt this way about Barack Obama in 2007.
No matter what happens in the days ahead, we will look back on Oct. 30-Nov. 2, with joy.
Oh yes, one more wonderful adventure from this packed trip.
On the flight home, I sat beside a Kamala Harris supporter.
Stephanie Morales is a commonwealth attorney
from my own state of Virginia.
I was entranced by her stories of why she loves Kamala Harris, and why she too traveled
more than 1,000 miles to support her candidate.
We chatted constantly, amazed at how the time flew by at 6 a.m.
We agreed that both of our candidates were worthy of love and that we would support the other if they won.
I have returned home elated by love — love for Pete, yes, but behind that love a much larger one —
love of country, of democracy, of diversity, of family, and friendship.
Of such love will the future be woven, and I believe a young man from Indiana will be the weaver.
Thank you, Carol. Can’t wait to hear your reports straight from the Iowa caucuses!
Thank you, Stephanie, for helping me to appreciate what Kamala Harris’ candidacy
means to you and many others.
Thank you, Iowa, for showing the rest of us how democracy works.
Do you have a favorite candidate for 2020? Here’s a chance to share it below. Love to hear from you.