Fresh Paint
Friday, November 05, 2004
The Last of the Wisconsians
Shaking the last of the bits out of my camera, I find a fitting conclusion to my stay in Wausau: Two (and a half) Americas:

Here's the first: this was also one of the first scenes we saw on arrival, since we got very lost in all the one way streets. I canvassed some of the streets around here (see my story of two women, below).

Here's the other America. Remember I told you Wausau had mountains, some of which I canvassed up and down? This America was just on the other side of the river from the other one, above. I thought the house was empty, but the woman living there caught me in her yard taking pictures. I believe she voted for Bush just to spite me.

And finally, here's the Half-America. Wisconsin loves its garden gnomes and other statues, such as deer. This fine bunch of fellows might have been in a poor person's yard, might have been in a richer person's yard. Might have been a Blue yard, might have been a Red yard. They keep their own counsel.

I caught a woman on her way to work her third shift in a row. "I'm so tired," she said. "I'm just too tired." "It'll only take a few minutes, up at the Elementary school." I pointed. "Do you really need my vote?" "Oh, yes!" "It's just that I'm so tired...."

One of the last houses I canvassed as the sun was going down and it became too dark to see had a number of Laotian people living in it, and as usual only one of the children had enough English to tell me who was home. I was so tired I had difficulty concentrating on what she was trying to say, and so just passed out some literature, where-to-vote info, and plodded off to the next house.

As I was coming back to the car, one of the women from the house interrupted what she had been doing in her yard and ran over to me with the literature. "You like?" she said? "Yes, John Kerry, a lot." "I go," she said. "I vote."

And a final shake of the cow bell for all of you. Maybe I'll see you again in 4 years.

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