Friday, November 7, 2008

Signs of the Times

Okay, this post has nothing to do with prophecies being fulfilled. I just thought it was a catchy title.Hopefully it will be apparent why.

In 1996, Todd and I took a government class. The teacher offered extra credit for working on a political campaign, but he assigned everyone to Republican candidates because the Democrats did not have an opponent in their primary for Clinton. We were both assigned to the Dole campaign, and because of my background of having worked on several campaigns before, I became the point man for the group. That was how I got the job of putting out one hundred signs all over the county.

We first went to the people who had actually requested them and put them in yards. We didn't always take the time to verify the person actually wanted it. After all, we were on a mission.

Once we had been to those homes, we still had dozens of signs to put up. We started at major intersections. Then we went to not-so-major intersections. Finally I ran across two lanes of the busiest street in town (which in the Atlanta area is not a simple task) to nail one in to the grassy median. Todd nearly fell over he was laughing so hard at that one. Still, I enjoyed seeing that sign over the next year (even after the November loss) still standing. No one else was brave enough to go pull it out apparently.

That was one of the most fun times he and I had together in high school. Our clandestine mission was the hit of the class, and we loved imagining where else we might've planted one. Almost every time we put one up we acted like we were going to be arrested and thrown in jail for the night. That probably helped the comedy level.

That was why, when a friend of mine asked me to put out signs the night before the election this year for him, I gladly agreed. I went with another buddy who was helping, and we drove to six polling places all over the county.

The signs now don't require a huge hammer or precise aim (a bad swing meant a cracked post more often than not), just a firm push on the wiry frames. That makes it all the easier to quickly place dozens of signs in a community overnight. This time was just as much fun.

So even though the candidates I helped lost those elections, I will remember them fondly. The memories of camaraderie and friendship, of time spent in a common cause, those will stay with me through the years. That is why I still keep coming back to the game of politics. And hopefully the huge turnout in this election will mean more will come back in the future. Maybe we can all work together, as Americans, to achieve the goal of a better tomorrow.

One yard sign at a time.

-- Robert


le35 said...

I'm glad that so many signs got put up, but honestly, now that the election's over, are you going to go take them all back down? Please?

Robert said...

You mean they don't magically biodegrade into thin air on the day after?