Hello Bill Clinton. Nice to meet you. We shook hands. What a thrill! When I lived in San Fran, I shook Bobby Kennedy's hand and also shook Jill Biden's hand when she came to Roslyn, PA when her husband Joe Biden ran on the Obama ticket.
But Bill Clinton! He's the best. He's 6 months younger than me - age 65 - born in August, 1946. But I bet he doesn't have three kidneys like I do.
Parked above the high school on Reed Street to avoid traffic. A little church is there, Hope Community.
Kathleen Kane is running for attorney general of PA. Clinton was there to promote her. Few people knew about their appearances. Fortunately Bill left me a message. Kane, 45, and the mother of two boys, 9 and 11, was endorsed by the Inquirer.
A long line led up to the Gymnasium.
I said to Grace below, It's good to see so many Democrats. What a beautiful word!
I stood next to Grace Soltis and a friend of hers. Somehow I told her about my kidney TP from taking lithium for bipolar disorder. When I tell people this, some folks have never heard of lithium but Grace had.
She said she'd suffered from bad depression for many years and then discovered 5HTP, a chemical precursor of serotonin and melatonin.
I told her I'd tell my support group about it. She and her husband live in Blue Bell. Like me, she's interested in politics, environmental issues, and human rights.
Here's my friend Alex Zachariah who seems to be one of the VIPs that made the event happen.
He and two of his three daughters sat in the VIP section. I waved to the girls who I haven't seen in ages.
There was an empty seat in the VIP section, so, unknowingly, I sat down there. You had to wear an ORANGE BAND but I refused to get up. No way would I stand up for the next hour to hear the speakers.
Was worried I'd get caught but found myself chatting with one of the women in charge, echoing other people's sentiments about the seating.
For a good while, they refused to open the bleachers. Hundreds of people were standing up - many of them elderly - and it was definitely not fair for a party that espouses helping our senior citizens - to cause them this discomfort.
Finally, they listened to reason.
The media people have a special platform. I went over to say hello to the Patch.com Upper Moreland editor Gerry Dungan who I used to work for. He's with one of their photographers.
Gerry said there were about 350 people in the gym. It never got more than one-third full.
I gave Connie Schott of Abington my VIP seat. The gym was incredibly noisy. First, the jazz band played, and then people were jabbering with the sound echoing all over the gym.
Represented were the young and the very old and fragile.
It took a village to help this old guy get seated. Bleacher seating is a nightmare - hard to distinguish the depth - what is the seat? what is the step?
Alan and Elaine Klawans, artists who I profiled on Patch.com, were initially standing in the middle of the crowd when the bleachers opened up.
I ran over and got them. Elaine is reading David McCollough's book The Johnstown Flood for our next library book discussion. I told her I just finished Joan Didion's well-wrin but melancholy book on the death of her 37-yo daughter Quintana Roo called Blue Nights. Nearly two years earlier her husband John Gregory Dunne died of a heart attack. At the kitchen table.
We are putty in the winds of chance.
Oh, I forgot. God needed these people up in heaven, hence he causes horrific suffering here on earth.
Also in our section of the bleachers was Joel Angerson(o), one of two JoJo busdrivers who drove the Kathleen Kane family and fans in from Scranton, where they live. Kane was not on the bus. I think she was in Clinton's motorcade.
Joel began speaking to me in Italiano, believing I was a barefoot country lass originally from Italy. I told him I was Jewish but often mistaken for Italian. He wore a b'ful ring - which he got when he was a paratrooper in the navy.
Kathleen Kane spoke about her qualifications to be atty general. I took notes but frankly I wanna finish this up quickly since I've got, ahem, better things to do.
WHEN I SPOKE to Kathleen, I thanked her for mentioning in her talk all the many people that make up The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
She mentioned people with "mental disorders." I thanked her for INCLUDING US and said I run a support group. She agreed it was very important to support all of us despite huge budget cuts now on the table in Harrisburg.
Above photo is taken from my photo which I enlarged. Don't know how to do it for the blog, tho.
Someone introduced me to Frank somebody, communications director for the Kane campaign.
I asked him where Clinton would make his entrance.
"No way is he gonna walk thru the crowd," said Frank and pointed over to the left where he'd enter UNSEEN.
Later I learned where this was. Keep reading.
Kane was an excellent speaker. Every time the name Bill Clinton was mentioned - or his entire beautiful name - William Jefferson Clinton - the audience would break out into thunderous applause.
As soon as he was finished, I gathered my things - my camera and notepad - and walk over to the left of the auditorium.
Bill Clinton was somewhere in the middle, impossible to see.
These very big men w/huge cameras were right in front of me. No-nonsense men. Sturdy in their places as building pillars.
In one of their cameras I saw....Bill Clinton perfectly.
OMG, he was right there. Right there in front of me.
I'm short, I said, to the big camera guy, let me thru. No one could hear anyone speak for the roar of the crowd, but I elbowed my way through.
And there he was. You think to yourself, He's just a person. What's the big deal. And, yes, that is true. But he's a person who has the power to change the world....and does.
He was surrounded by some serious looking Secret Service men.
My journey had come to fruition.
"I'm never gonna wash my hands again," said an older woman to her friend. We all smiled. Gee, I never thought of that, not washing your hands, which I did as soon as I got home cuz I had to check my blood sugar. It was fine. Elaine Klawans had shared w/me a peanut butter cracker. I left my own food - cheese and Triscuits - at home on the couch, forgotten.
Clinton and Kane were quite fond of one another. The bus driver, Joel, who told me his father was an alleged mafioso, said the Kane family are very nice people.
I kept snapping away, hoping my batteries wouldn't die. Same as I did last Friday on my trip to DC.
"What's that bracelet you're wearing," I asked Bill.
"I wear it all the time," he said. "It's from Columbia."
He said something about stopping the drug lords from Columbia, but frankly I was too dazzled to pay attention.
The Internet says some kids gave it to him to welcome him to their country.
Here's Kane and the Secret Service behind her.
While Clinton was meeting the audience, the Secret Service would put their hands on his back.
Okay, this is really cool! After I left, I walked up a hill to return to my car on Reed Street. It was twilight but my camera makes it look like day.
This is the motorcade that brought him to town.
I yelled down to what appeared to be Security by the stairs.
"Is this the Motorcade?" I asked rhetorically.
"I'm not allowed to tell you," she said.
"Are you a police officer?" I called.
"I'm with the Secret Service," she said.
"Wow," I yelled. "I shook Clinton's hand and it was a great experience."
"Good for you!" she said.
"Have a good nite," I said as I walked off toward my car.
I turned around to look back on the spectacle that occurred in my home town, Willow Grove, PA, the day Clinton spoke. Fortunately I didn't turn into a pillar of salt like Lot's wife when she looked back on the destruction of.....Babylon?
I said good nite to these Upper Moreland police officers who were part of the security detail.
Driving home down Terwood Road, the cops did traffic control to move the traffic out of the high school.
I tried to make this blog interesting since undoubtedly Bill Clinton is pouring over it as he takes off from the Philadelphia airport.