Real party thrown by real folks

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2004

It was last Thursday night at Karen’s Cafeteria in Pelham.

Two average Alabama citizens named Linda and Mary organized and participated in one of 7,000 parties being held simultaneously across the nation for President George W. Bush.

The crowd of 30 gathered around the telephone to hear First Lady Laura Bush in her nation-wide conference call address.

The call was followed by a video of her husband, asking for support in the November election.

Bumper stickers and campaign materials were on display.

Linda Moore and Mary Criss work together at Isis and Sons in Pelham. They are colleagues and friends who simply wanted to participate in democracy.

Their names won’t go down in history with the likes of Karen Hughes or Condoleeza Rice. They weren’t out to recruit campaign clients or million dollar lobbying contracts. They weren’t selling opportunities to meet anyone famous at $5,000 a plate. They were simply two local women who wanted to make a difference and they did.

They made a difference in me.

With voter apathy at an all-time high, they restored my faith in the desire of average, everyday American citizens who want to invest their hearts, souls, time, energy and efforts into the democratic process.

With the exception of me, Pelham Mayor and Mrs. Bobby Hayes and Senator and Mrs. Hank Erwin, there were no &uot;political&uot; people there.

It was not the typical stuffy, superficial political function one in political office is oftentimes obligated to attend.

It was a casual, informative meeting with real people who have real issues of concern.

They were people who want to have a voice and they do.

They wanted to be heard and they were. They spoke sincere, unrehearsed words from their hearts.

As the evening started, we were asked to go around the room and state our names and what we wanted and expected in George W. Bush as President.

Many expressed concerns regarding different issues:

national security, tax reform, various social issues, but they were all real, sincere passions to each person giving them.

They were not political comments made by political people.

They were real comments and concerns being stated by real people.

My favorite was by a young doctor, who stated that he was tired of the &uot;slippery slope of socialism this country seems to be on.&uot;

He stated his confusion as to why we in America are trying to be like countries that are way behind us.

Refreshing to hear from a nonpolitical person.

The night spent with nonpolitical, common, down-to-earth Bush well wishers was refreshing.

It restored my faith in democracy and in average everyday Americans who work hard for what they have and are proud of it – people who truly want to see a change for the better in our country and are willing to invest their time and energy into getting it.

With less than 20 percent of Alabamians voting in an average election, it’s just too bad there aren’t more people like them.

It was not the typical political party – thank goodness!

It was a party of real people with real issues and real concerns.

It was the party that Linda and Mary gave