Monday, April 21, 2008

A little East Coast swing

Philly was fun. Actually, my signing was in Willow Grove, a suburb of Philly. On Friday, my cousins and I planned to go to Media to see a friend of mine and then drive down to a botanic garden. You know, me being "the pajama gardener" and all. Well, Shirley got VIP tix to go to a rally in Center City for Obama. Garden schmarden. Whatev. We went to see Obama! (Leslie and Kieran don't hate.)

Now if Obama looks a little flat and two dimensional here it's NOT because he's made of cardboard. They've been campaigning hard in PA and the man was a little tired.

Okay, so this isn't the real Obama. They had cardboard cut-outs of Hillary, Barack and McCain at a store in the 30th Street Train Station. Guess who everybody (except one little girl) wanted their picture with? VIP tix gave us access to the same block where he was speaking. The rally was on Independence Mall, which is about 3 blocks long. It was packed. The estimate in the paper the next day was 35,000 people. I swear I got tears in my eyes at the sight of a black man who could actually be president speaking between the buildings where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written.

He spoke about 20 minutes and knocked it out of the park as far as we Obamaniacs were concerned. (I'm a proud member!) The best part, though, was after the official rally when all 35,000 of us were leaving we continued the party. We chanted "Obama!" and "Yes we can!" and waved and screamed and folks honked their horns as we marched up Broad Street to City Hall. There was so much energy and enthusiasm and, yes, hope in the crowd of all colors, ages, classes, abilities, genders, you name it. As one woman next to me said, "We drank the Kool-Aid. And oh it comes in so many diverse flavors." I piped in that it certainly was refreshing. Then his motorcade went by and he rolled down his window and waved at us. Folks really lost their minds! I started to worry for the man as people chased his car.

On Saturday, I had the pleasure and honor of speaking to the Expressions and Exchanges Book Clubs. My cousins put together this event for their book clubs and friends, sorority sisters and relatives. These sisters are readers and it was so satisfying to know that people were actually getting what I was trying to say.
What a wonderful turnout and discussion we had! Thank you, ladies!!

Some members of the Exchanges Book Club, which has been meeting for more than 20 years!

Some members of the Expressions Book Club, which has been meeting 14 years. I was the first author they had at one of their meetings when Walk Tall came out.


LadyLee said...

Wow! You got a chance to hear Obama speak! Why is it that everyone who hears him speak in person has the same teary-eyed joy!? That is a hint to what our country needs right now.

Shauna Roberts said...

Sounds like a great trip! Congratulations on having such a good turn out at your events.

You have an amazing number of relatives in an amazing number of places all over the country!

Carleen Brice said...

Ladylee, This was my 2nd time seeing the man in person. The first time was 4 years ago when he came here to help one of our Dems campaign for senate.

Shauna, I do have an AMAZING family. As I said in Philly, they are my "platform." ;)

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, Carleen, I'm so jealous--you've gotten to see him twice!!??!!

And, sounds like the book tour continues to be great.

Patti said...

carleen, i won over at lisa's and requested your book. i can't wait to read it (i am slow to the par-tay!)

Lisa said...

I am feeling high just reading this!

Patti said...

come anytime...umbrelly drinks are always ready..

Me said...


Even though we've never met, I can't believe you were in Philly, my new hometown and we didn't connect. I am so sorry I didn't get a chance to see you while you were here. I guess I'm going to have to come to Colorado.

Congrats on all the success of Orange Mint and Honey.

Carleen Brice said...

Lori, Thanks for stopping by. I'm so sorry I missed you too. But next year...if not sooner! Congrats on Kinky Gazpacho too!

Sustenance Scout said...

Your platform! Love it!!

Also loved reading this post, Carleen. What an amazing trip all around. You do it right! And your amazing 'do! I loved that too. K.

Carleen Brice said...

K, I don't know what's going on with that death-defying bun on my head! Had I known I wouldn't have been getting all up in the pictures!

Sustenance Scout said...

Hahahaha, Carleen, I thought it looked amazing with all those braids twirling around. And I never would've described it as a bun!