Shout out to ... the forty or so schoolchildren on the public school bus that drove by our polling place on Tuesday.
West Philly, 47th and Pine. About 150 of us were standing there, the line going nowhere: all three voting machines were “broken.” How could this be? Geez, don’t these people at least check the night before to make sure the machines are working? This is an important election. Pennsylvania is a swing state. C’mon! I, deeming myself ever ready for such crises, dial The Committe of 70, the Election Commission, WNYC/NPR which is sending out reporters to all problem spots. We’re monotonally told: “The voting-machine repairman has been called and is apparently on his way.” The Obama volunteers got us coffee and donuts, but a few impatient people began peeling away, needing to get to work, feed families breakfast, get little ones off to school. A few tempers flared. Then the bus. As it neared, we realized there was something a little different. The kids had seen us, had run to the windows on the sidewalk side, were reaching out ecstatically with arms and heads and were chanting loudly and in unison: O-BAM-A! O-BAM-A! Cheering on the adults, whose spirits had so easily flagged. Vote for us! Do it for us! And the bus, which had paused at the stop sign, soon rumbled onward. We smiled huge smiles at each other, shook our heads at the Meaning of the day, munched our donuts, and readied ourselves for the long wait for the repairman.