Voting in Onancock: Small-town Virginia
Here's my journal for today, November 4th, 2008: Election Day
7:00--Open my eyes after a cat walks across my neck and then I hear rain pattering down on a skylight above my head. Terry is still pretending to be asleep depite cats and rain. I smell the coffee and get up, shower.
7:30--Turn on the tv. The pundits are at it, looking for voting problems around the nation.
8:10--Call my boat captain-fisherman-carpenter-stone mason brother in the Florida Keys who is a rabid liberal. He had already voted. We've been enjoying following the election for the past year including a month together last February, watching Obama beat Hilliary in the primaries on a laptop in front of a fire in snowy Massachusetts.
8:30--News Item: Dixville Notch, N.H. went big time for Obama: A landslide at 15 to 4.
10:00--Friend came over and we talked about the yard work he's going to do for me. Terry getting ready to walk over to vote. Watching the pundits/reporters kill time until the first results start to come in.
10:15--NEWS ITEM: Long, long voting lines in Virginia Beach. It's raining.
10:30--I VOTE! I walked around the corner from our house to the town offices pictured above and, for the second time in 62 years, I cast a ballot in a presidential election (I've been overseas for the past 25 years and the absentee ballots always arrived the day after the election was over). I admit to being very excited about being a part of this in this small, small town. Terry's vote is rejected. She had not registered in time. She sat in a corner like a school girl being disciplined until the verdict was delivered. Was not pleased. Hell hath no fury.....
11:00--I drive to the county dump and drop off a truckload of bagged lawn rakings. The gathered garbage-eating seagulls are not impressed by my presence or by election day. It's still raining. Hard.
12:00--Lunch, more rain. I make this blog entry while I keep and eye on the coverage.
12:30--News item on FOX: Men dressed as Black Panthers (remember them?) allegedly intimidated voters in one Philadelphia voting center. The cops were called and all is well. Will FOX blame a McCain defeat on this incident? You betcha.
5:22--Have a fat scotch in hand and watching the pundits as we come down to the last minutes of suspense. Senator Bird, at least, thinks McCain will win, thinks a huge voter turnout favors Republicans. Flys in face of common wisdom. Pundit: Bird's roll is not to tell the truth. His job is to keep morale up.
5:36--First exit polls: Overwhelming numbers say economy tops the list of concerns but no vote count. What's that all about? I thought exit polls were polls. I'm supposed to get dinner together, but have little interest in eating. Republic pundits say that in the last three days, the McCain campaign finally got it together and if we only had three weeks left to campaign, we'd have it in the bag!
8:15--Returns starting to come in. Obama looking good. Fox news is started to talk about what a failure a Democratic administration is going to be. We'll be, they say, looking back at the Republican years as the good old days.
8:31--Electoral vote count: Obama 81, McCain 34. Obama takes New Hampshire, is ahead in Florida, and, my goodness, is projected to win PA.
10:11--Barack has won Ohio and Pennsylvania.
News item: McCain can't catch up. Let's wrap this up. Our man is projected to take it and the Dems will have Congress, too.
Time to sleep.
Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com