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August 30, 2012

UPDATE FROM TAMPA

Run, Charlotte. While you still can.

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I'm running as fast as I can Dave! About a month ago they assured us that things will flow smoothly and there will be little interruption in our daily lives. In fact we may even have to write notes for our refrigerators to remind ourselves we are even having the DNC. Then they closed schools and told downtown workers to bring food and water for the week since they probably won't be able to get home until after the convention ends.

Joe Biden can practice his " Southern ", y'all.

Does anyone really care about any of these conventions, besides the people who go and the hookers?

You say that as hookers had no feelings.

...as if...

Oddly enough, from what I've read, the Tampa Bay area hookers didn't do nearly as well as expected. And it is true that there are more strip joints here than probably anywhere in the U.S. I pass 5 of them (that have signs -- who knows how many don't, not to mention the hundreds of "legitimate" massage parlors) on my 11 mile commute to work and I'm not even in Tampa. The protesters were ridiculous and didn't even riot. I think the humidity beat everyone into submission. I hope they've all left because I have to go across to Tampa tomorrow and the 21 mile trip can take an hour and a half on a good day. If the convention zombies are on the roads, no telling how long it'll take.

Excellent reporting Dave -- you were spot on. I hope this doesn't discourage you from rebooking at the Poynter in St. Pete. I didn't request a refund because I just KNEW you'd be back, although after this fiasco, I wouldn't blame you a bit for staying put in the safety and sanity that is greater Miami.

In college I remember reading about the Chicago riots. Protesters ere willing to face bullets and beatings by the police, but if it rained everyone went home.

Cindy, take care of yourself!

Interesting you mention those massage parlours. I always wondered how many men come in there with a pulled muscle and leave traumatized.

We still make curtain rods?

Legitimate Massage Parlors (surely an oxymoron as far as convention goers are concerned) WBAGNFARB.

Elon, if they didn't have a pulled muscle when they went in, they did when they came out.

dear mrs flukey: you need to read a good history book. try: a people's history of the united states, by howard zinn. it could widen your perspective.
(just a note from an interested historian)

Ms. Flukey, speaking as a geezer let me gently suggest you are talking through your hat. There was no rain, just a lot of tear gas and billy clubs.

What Jeff said.

- an even older geezer

And, speaking as an even older geezer, in my day the purpose of the conventions was to choose a candidate.

Now the purpose seems to be "Read phrase from speech, pause for mindless cheering, read phrase from speech, pause..." Rinse, repeat.

I have been properly rebuked. But I believe it was rioting from before the age of tear gas. Anyhoo, I promise to read the aforementioned history book.

Ms. F, tear gas has been around a long time, and it was definitely used by the Chicago Police at the 1968 Democratic Convention. The tear gas canisters were occasionally hurled back by the rioters.

The convention and the events surrounding it were (in my opinion) the turning point at which public opinion swung against the Viet Nam war and to the realization that there was something fundamentally wrong with its pursuit.

But ask Dave. He was around at that time too.

Used to be, you could say anything as long as you STAY OFF THEIR LAWNS! Now the simplest phrase offends, and the next thing you know, there's rioting in the streets.

At least until football season starts in earnest...

Lol. I surrender. College was over 25 years ago, so I plead faulty memory.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Ms. Flukey...I don't mean to belabor the points so eloquently made by others, but I started this an hour ago, so I'm going to post it anyway. (I was interrupted by the Moving Guys Estimator, who was here to tell me that my worldly goods will cost significantly more to move than to replace...)

Jeff and Queens...Yup, yup...as a geezerette, and a Chicagoan, to boot (also "to flip-flop", in the summer), the two phrases that stand out in my memory are "Shoot to kill!*" and "...police riot "** Don't remember anybody saying, "Rain, rain, go away/We'll riot on another day."

*Richard J. Daley, "Da Mare"
** The Walker Report

To perhaps refresh other memories, the convention was in August. In the preceding five months, LBJ had seen the Vietnam writing on the wall and said he wouldn't run for reelection, throwing the Democratic race wide open; Martin Luther King had been assassinated, with national shock and riots in April. A few weeks later, with that event still fresh, Bobby Kennedy - the front-runner for the Dem nomination - was assassinated.

So...it was a season of massive uncertainty, fear, shock and grief, and an urgent sense of the need for "law and order" which carried over to quashing the long-hairs who seemed to many to be emblematic of the scary landscape.

Also, there was lots and LOTS of tear gas -- enough on the streets so that it wound up inside the hotel rooms of the Hilton.

A very, very scary time - and also one during which lip-readers had a field day interpreting what Mayor Daley was shouting at Abraham Ribicoff. Check it out:-) Okay...e-nuff.

/End of belaboring.

*sigh* I am so sorry if I have offended anyone. I had a recollection of a college lecturer mentioning this point, although somewhere in my brain I have it associated with gansters in the 1920s. I just thought it was mildly amusing. With all the roiting and civil disruption in the world, I should have just not said anything.

Again, a longtime ago, probably mis-remembered. Sorry.

Don't worry Ms.Flukey. We still love ya! Just don't ever admit to being a Manilow fan.

I just spent a week in downtown Charlotte. Did my best to make sure all of the devil booze was removed so things won't get out of hand. Just got out in time.

Be safe NC.

Ms Flukey -- Totally not offended in any way, shape or form! Just brought back lots of icky memories, although I only watched it on TV while nursing my then 6-week old son.

On the other hand, I DID attend the infamous 'late-start' Sly Stone un-concert two years later in Grant Park. That one taught me all I ever needed to know about riots, which is: NOBODY there knows WTF is going on, so if a crowd of folks starts running, say, south you join them...until you run into another crowd running the opposite direction, etc, etc. Eventually, people start crashing into each other; fights begin; police wade in; patrol cars get overturned and set on fire; and in the meantime helicopters circle overhead helpfully broadcasting the following very, very loud announcement: "In the name of the State of Illinois, I order you to Disperse". Which is what most of us were trying to do anyway.
Enough Geezerette memories. Back to the 21st Century, where all is peaceful and serene.

I sure remember, as a 13 year old, the rioting, police, Dan Rather, the 287 yr old lady calling out the names of the states.... and later, "Four Dead in Ohio..."

And I hated Hubert Humphrey, and signed a million petitions for Gene McCarthy (as if a 13 yr old's signature would count).... and learned the biggest lesson about compromise, because when Gene wouldn't, we got Nixon... And Humphrey really was a great Statesman.

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