Hi Jeff and readers…
I have been thinking about Jeff’s request for everyone to share their Tea Party thoughts, and I have found myself at a loss of words (which those of you who know me, know this is very rare)! So, after allowing the event a few days to soak in, I’ve decided to attempt writing about it. My view is unlike the others that have been posted so far, primarily because I have been intimately involved with the Tea Party process and planning from the beginning. My journey started with me showing up late (what’s new) to a meeting Laura and Richard hosted when they decided to start planning the Indy Tea Party, and it has grown to be one of my life’s most meaningful experiences.
This may come as a complete shock to those of you who have worked with me on this project (if it doesn’t, just pretend for my sake), but I felt COMPLETELY unequipped for my mission and had no idea what I was doing much of the time. I volunteered to lead the Sign Committee because I thought it was something I could do with my children if I needed to have them with me; I later learned this was not the case because a large number of Sharpies working at the same time can cause quite a buzz (ask anyone at the sign making parties)!
After our first meeting I felt like I had failed the group because it didn’t seem as though much was accomplished. It wasn’t until our first sign making party, when we had 30+ volunteers show up to help make signs that I realized we were on the right track. People worked feverishly, but more importantly, they connected. That’s when the light bulb came on for me…we are not putting on a protest, we are giving people a way to connect and engage in solving the problems of our country! From that point on, I didn’t care what I had to give-up for this moment in time; I was dedicated to the event and to getting people together to make signs because I knew if they got together they would get energized to take action.
I was latter asked to be the “Stage Coordinator” (aka: bossy lady up front) and again was totally clueless until the day of the event. I knew it had something to do with the “ENOUGH” letters, making the stage area look good for viewers, and keeping people off Laura and Richard. I did not know it would entail re-arranging the band for national TV viewing purposes after they had already set everything up (thanks again, guys…I still owe you donuts), locating seemingly lost speakers 5 minutes before show time, or arguing with the “handler” of a strange man in a chicken suit supposedly hiding from the law…yeah, weird. Anyway, the audience members that sat on the stairs were fantastic helpers and such good sports! You deserve a round- of- applause for sitting there so politely for such a long time without complaint, and working with me willingly as I replaced some of your signs and put huge letters in front of your faces. THANK YOU!
I have learned a lot, gained a ton of experience, and had some well-earned mistakes, but more than anything, I feel as though I have grown as a person. I have had the greatest privilege to become intimate friends with the Behneys; I have been fed enlightenment by the man and legend, Dr. Bob Basso himself; and have grown to love my fellow committee members as part of my family. Seeing the crowds show-up for me was of secondary thought on Wednesday, my first priority was seeing all the efforts of the people I care for come to fruition in the most complete way possible, I am so proud of you guys!
All of my involvement and ability to make a difference with this amazing group would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my beloved husband, Pat, who has knowingly sacrificed his time, attention, and efforts to ensure I could stay connected where my skills were needed most. I want to publically thank all of the spouses and family members who have sacrificed time with their loved ones to allow them an opportunity to work with the organizers; you are a critical part of the team!
Like others have already stated, Wednesday was just the beginning! I do not know where this journey is going to lead all of us, but I am certain of this, my family and I pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor to the cause of Freedom. May God be merciful on us all!