Against all better judgement to the contrary, I decided I had to at least be there once to say I had been there. The last convention hosted by Denver (a hundred years ago) was well before my time and, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a city I was living in has hosted a convention while I was living there.
The hype and hoopla has been being pushed at us for months now, and I had to see for myself what the hullabaloo was all about. Was the convention and its activity going to be as good (or as bad) as the varied reports made it sound.
So this morning, after a leisurely lie-in, and then some quality time with Saga, I headed down to the train station and took the train into town. I had decided not to add to the traffic headaches caused by the curiosity seekers driving into town and the added problems caused by security closures of many of the roads downtown. Good Move!
The traffic situation was a mess! There were massive traffic tie-ups... blaring horns, and impatient drivers all along the main routes that border City Park. In the park itself, the atmosphere was more that of a church fete run amok than that of a major political happening.
I'm not sure what I really expected, mobs of protesters and counter-protesters... police with water cannons... balloons and streamers advertising this or that cause... but mostly, what I was met with in the park were booths selling candidate tee-shirts, buttons, and other miscellaneous crap I could do without. There were a few booths that were issues based that I saw, but mostly, it was vendors trying to hawk stuff for the party faithful to show their devotion to the concept of letting someone else to their thinking for them.
(As I may have mentioned once or twice before, I am a member of no party. I vote for people I feel will best serve the country regardless of what party they belong to. I really wish we had more than two parties, but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.)
Actually the most interesting part of the day (apart from the storms that blew-in in the mid-afternoon stirring-up a few tornadoes to the south of town a bit) was the trip there and back. There were far more uniforms on the station platform and on the trains than I am used to seeing. And it was not only the brown-and-tan of the Regional Transportation District security people. There were cops and SWAT teams prowling the platforms and riding the trains. SWAT teams were riding the running boards of SUVs up and down the streets of Denver, and officers from Denver and the outlying suburbs were everywhere in presence.
At least I felt safe!
I was in town for a couple hours before I decided I'd had enough. by four, I decided to make my way to the train and head home. Saga was happy as a clam to see me get home. Why had Daddy decided to leave her alone so long? Good question, Saga!
Wherever you are today, I hope that you've gone out and gotten involved in your community today!
Don Bergquist - August 24, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA