Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Never apolitical

I have never been apolitical.  Even my birthday, February 29th – Leap Year, is interesting in that Presidential Elections happen every four years and always on Leap Years.  

The academic world says infant memories are “impossible,” but I clearly remember watching President Eisenhower’s second inaugural address while standing in my crib a month before my first birthday rolled around.  Of course I had no clue who all those little black and white people were or why they were just standing there, but it is very apropos that one of my favorite Presidents was also part of one of my very early childhood memories.

In elementary school I remember my parents having long discussions about someone named “Goldwater.”  How I wish I had paid attention to what my parents were saying, or knew what they thought of Barry and that entire political season.

In high school, towards the end of the Vietnam War and looking every bit a radical hippie (who graduated in the top 11% of her class academically out of 800 plus seniors), my strong support for President Nixon’s second term in office had many adults doing a double-take.

As a young adult out on my own I switched to the Democrat Party for a short while, even volunteering on Michael Dukakis’s campaign and attending an extravagant gala put on for his volunteers – a gala that Dukakis and his staff attended.

After my husband, Doug, and I decided to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary by going somewhere “most people would never go,” we spent weeks spinning our little globe in search of the perfect unusual place to visit.  At 26 and 27 we had done little traveling, had zero in savings and neither of us spoke a foreign language.  It was a good thing we started planning for our 10th anniversary right after celebrating our 8th anniversary!

Doug and I severely tightened our budget and I got a second job.  We discovered “group travel” packages and found a Senior Citizen’s Travel Agency that offered very low prices.  Reading through their upcoming trips we found our second honeymoon destination – a 14 day trip to the U.S.S.R. with stopovers in England.  That year I learned the Russian alphabet and found that Soviets and Americans shared many of the same words – just written with different letters.  I bought an English/Russian dictionary and learned basic phrases we would need once in the U.S.S.R.  I tried my self-taught Russian out for the first time on the Aeroflot flight to Moscow, and laughed along with the Soviets as they struggled to figure out what I was saying, and then correct me.  The people in the U.S.S.R. were amazing; their government, not so much.

Doug and I had wanted an unprecedented honeymoon and we got it.  We also gained ten new grandparents who watched over us 'young ones' while traveling – remaining friends until we grieved each of their deaths over many years.

We returned to the U.S.A. with a tear-jerking love for our country, her people, her food, her way of life, her government and her big fat capitalist ways!  Socialist Democrats?  No way!

From that time forward I volunteered for various Republican campaigns, got involved at the local level and was a Delegate or Alternate to several state conventions.  But all along that journey I was never someone high enough on the Republican food-chain to attend a national convention. 

Then came this – My Year in Politics.

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