Friday, August 29, 2008
We were ready!
We had our credentials. We had a ride down to Invesco. What we didn't have was sufficient patience to endure the line. Lines. Many lines, spirals, serpentine, converging. As far as the eye could see.
I actually felt fear, large cranky groups of people, grumbling. "Where's the end of the line?"
"I've been here an hour and a half, no way are you cutting!"
"See those guys there, they just jumped right in line."
What we failed to have done was the research, the entrance at Federal Boulevard was, naturally, the most crowded, given it was the main access from inflowing highways. On the other hand, shuttles from downtown were letting people off on the South East side, later reports were of smoother flows.
But the complete lack of information was frustrating. Cel phones weren't working, ditto texts, Twitters, any form of contact with friends inside the stadium were blocked.
And who was in charge? No volunteers, no cops, complete self governance which was telling in itself. One man barked orders to docile followers, others whined, shared their personal tales of hardship without provocation. The rumor was three hours of wait time.
My companions had nice shoes and many years of dignified lifestyles, we weren't having fun. We made the call, let's go eat and try again later. It was only 4:45, Obama didn't come on until 8. Seemed like a good plan.
Our driver, Tim, was game. He calmly maneuvered through byzantine alternate routes, randomly blocked passages, many U turns as were directed, redirected.
Reminded me of the theme of confusion that I had encountered all week.
"All I know is that no one knows."
So we had a lovely Pizza in LoDo, a trendy area outside Denver, watched TV, Al Gore, Stevie Wonder, then headed back to try again. No lines. But no way to get close to the entrances either. At 7:30, we had at least a mile of hightailing it if we wanted to catch Obama live.
Well, we ended up listening to Obama's galvanizing acceptance speech on the car radio as we headed home. Disappointed? yes. This was history, within earshot, eyeshot (I know, that's not a word) and despite our highly coveted passes ( a kidney?!) we got to hear it like many Americans, on a scratchy AM radio station. And that is just fine because what we heard was what everyone else heard. We are in for one exciting election!