Saturday, May 17, 2008

Portland update no. 3: Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

Something very interesting happens as I stroll about downtown Portland. As is my habit, I smile and nod to people, and occasionally we strike up a conversation. These days it is almost impossible for me to have even a casual conversation without at least mentioning Senator Clinton. The responses from Portlanders have been wonderful, without exception. My favorite so far:

I was standing at a corner waiting to cross the street. The woman next to me was carrying a bag from Grand Central Baking Company. I told her that I was jealous of whatever was in the bag. She laughed and said she was actually using the bag to carry See's Candy (a great candy store...but that's for another time). Then she asked me if I was a Grand Central fan. I explained that I had only heard about it as I was a newly arrived visitor to the city. She asked the reason for my visit. I said that I had always wanted to see Portland and now a cause had given me a reason to come, and that my cause was Senator Clinton. The woman looked concerned for a moment. Then she said that she just was worried that this country would end up electing Senator McCain because she did not think people would turn out to elect a woman or an African American man. I said that I thought THAT was impossible to predict because either option is unprecedented in U.S. history. I then explained that my own concern was that given that either of the potential Democratic nominees were going to come under the full force of the Republican attack machine, and that one reason I think Senator Clinton is more prepared for winning in November is because she has had years and years of practice in dealing with that. The woman paused again. Then she said, "That's an interesting point. I hadn't thought about it like that before."

The next thing I know we are back to talking about Grand Central bakery, which is committed to local foods and farmers, with all food preparation done on the premises. Fortunately I have a friend in Washington, D.C. who owns and manages farmers markets, and due to her teachings, I was able to participate in this part of the conversation. And then, the woman reaches into her bag and gives me a gift certificate for lunch at Grand Central. What an act of generosity. What a great exchange. Civil discourse at its best!


Anonymous Nomobama said...


You do so much for Hillary, and I and all of her supporters that know of you really appreciate it.

Your stories are also a welcome break from much of the negativity that we come to expect during campaign season.

I hope that you get to have another guest post on Taylor Marsh. Your last post from West Virginia was excellent, and everyone wants to know what is happening on the ground.

Thanks again,

Nomobama (from Taylor Marsh)

May 18, 2008 at 7:04 AM  

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