Well, it didn't go exaclty as I had planned. I made it to Robert Morris College aorund 2:30pm yesterday. The McCain event was scheduled for 3:30pm. As I drove into campus, you immediately encountered the Sewell Center (that's their basketball gymnasium (maximum capacity of 7,000). Lots of campus security and Sewickely cops. A pretty long line had already formed. Occassional gusts of wind were taking a toll on the elderly McCain fanbase. I noticed a lot of "Obama is a Socialist" and "NOBAMA" signs. One kid about 10 years old was holding a "Socialist" sign to the delight of the crowd from the outdoor patio above. I wonder if a 10 year old really has a grasp on different forms of world government. Anyway, the protest crowd was situated directly across the street from the main entrance. I was kind of dispappointed with the Obama turnout. Probably about 15. Since it was a college campus, I was expecting at least 50 or so. I sat around and gabbed with some of the Obama fans and showed them my sign. I explained how it was my goal to incorporate it in the McCain line, for purposes of the evening news.
I walked over to the steps and was immediately asked by the event coordinator woman ( a woman in her mid 40's) if I had a ticket. I said no and started to walk back to the protester area and a female Robert Morris security/parking cop said, "You'll have to stand in this area sir."
I ran into my news "contact" who was shooting footage. They were busy getting interviews from people about to enter the arena. It was going to be a challenge to incorporate my sign into the Pro-McCain crowd. It was suggested that I joint he crowd and walk toward the entrance, so I joined in. About 1 minute later the female cop pulls me aside and said, "Don't you think I was going to recognize you. You'll have to stand over there," pointing toward the Obama people. Obviously, this was not going as I had planned. No news footage and my every move seemed compromised.
One last ditch effort! I walked back to the main entrance (a definite violation at this point) and held my sign up. A black kid across the street started pointing at it and laughed as the camera honed in. I held it up for about 12 seconds. When I was finished, I started to walk back across the street and yeah, you guessed it, here comes the 5'1" female robocop. She lightly grabbed my jacket and said "You'll have to come with me. As she tugged me aside, she asked, "I'll need to see your license sir." For some reason, I went along with her request. To be blunt, I have no idea why I brought my wallet with me, just force of habit I guess. I took it out and she started scribbling down my info in her notepad. Then she radioed in for "back-up." A large somber black man appeared in about 15 seconds. He asked for an assessment of the situation. She looks at him and says, "This gentleman was warned 4 times to comply and he refuses to do so." I calmly respond, "Actually, I only have had 2 encounters with you. I was just holding up a sign. No profanity, nothing even remotely hostile. I just wanted people to see my sign. For all you know, I could be a McCain supporter." The black man looked at me, slightly perplexed and asked why I came all the way here from West Virginia since I didn't go to school here." I repsonded, "Well, I've never had a problem crossing state lines before." To be honest, this could be construed as a lie on a variety of occassions. I've been asked to leave the state of Pennsylvania probably about 5 or 6 times.
So he looked at me and asked where I was parked. I told him down below and he said, "Well, you've been warned. I'm going to have to ask you to leave the campus. If I see you here, you're going to be arrested." I said, "Well, then I guess I'm outta here."
In retrospect, I shouldn't have had my wallet or license on me. What was I thinking? But I thought I handled myself ok. I wasn't interested in starting World War III. I was a little too giddy in the early going. Should have bided my time and not attracted the initial attention. Not too worry. These things have a definite learning curve. I had a great evening nonetheless, but I disgress. Anyway, guess who's coming to the Beaver County football field for a "Victory Rally" tomorrow in the late afternoon. Yup, you guessed it. SARAH is back for another pep rally. I'm making a new sign so I can stand with the Obama people.
ARE DINOSAURS REALLY
4,000 YEARS OLD ?
YOU BETCHA !
I think that pretty much sums it up. We'll see how this one goes.