I grew up on the East side of Cleveland and attended Collinwood High (when it was a 6 year school). I was there during the race riots in Cleveland and I remember cutting school to attend Civil Rights marches downtown. I remember thinking that I was quite the rebel when I brought my friend Pam Hamilton home to dinner. Amazing really, that my Dad didn't have a stroke -- I neglected to mention that Pam was Black...and that just wasn't done back then.
These things happened around the time of Martin Luther King's death and back then, during those tumultuous times, as a young girl, I was often disgusted with my fellow man. I kept that opinion of my fellows for many, many years. Tonight that all changed.
This election, I volunteered for Barack Obama's campaign, canvassing door-to-door. It was the first time I've ever felt compelled to get involved in politics and it was so very important to me. Technically, I'm still a German citizen, so I can't vote, but I had to do something!
Tonight as I started watching the returns, I was afraid for the worst. Based on my past experience, I suspected that many people were pretending to root for Obama, but when it came time to cast their secret ballot, they would show their true colors. God-- I've never been so glad to be wrong!! I didn't think I would see this in my lifetime and it has revived my soul.
I was tending bar tonight and just had a handful of people. As we watched the crowd in Chicago on TV, I think I could actually feel my heart swell -- is that even possible? All those faces! The joy, the hope, the pride in those faces -- it was overwhelming. I couldn't stop the tears. I'm still all teary-eyed as I write this. I'm so proud of all the people that had the vision to make this happen. Workers, volunteers, voters -- everyone! When Obama stood up there and said the victory belongs to us...(insert more heart-swelling here), no truer words were ever spoken.