The adventures of an American lover of all things French...
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Quote: Audrey Hepburn Photo credit: not sure- I found it on Oui, Oui Je Parle Franglais’s FB page
I am, quite truthfully, so undone by this presidential election and the ugliness that it has brought to the forefront of almost every waking moment of our lives in the United States, that I find myself in a state of unbelief that this is actually happening. I look at the photo above, pretend it’s me, and daydream myself to a happy place where all I have to do is gaze at the Eiffel Tower and keep my hat from blowing away should a gust of wind come up suddenly. (My French friends accuse me of romanticizing their country and I am guilty as charged. But I am not French so I do not have to worry about their next president the way I do as an American. I apologize to them if that sounds callous. I do not mean it that way. I have trouble understanding politics here where we only have 2 major parties. France is way over my head! Noticing the Communist party headquarters at the end of the street I lived on in Arles shocked me beyond belief in 2005.)
I am not overly political active. I started being aware of politics in 1968 when Richard Nixon was elected as our 37th president. In 1972, my dad got me involved in the North Carolina gubernatorial race. Daddy was a dyed in the wool Republican, like his father before him, Papa George. James Holshouser vs Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles. Holshouser, from Boone, in the mountains of NC, won. It gave me great pride to realize I had helped in some small way. And I actually shook Gerald Ford’s hand when he was running for election (he came to Spruce Pine and Mama Mildred took me to the small landing strip there to meet him). Ford became president after the resignations of Nixon and his vice president, Spiro Agnew. He was defeated by Jimmy Carter in the 1976 race, serving as president for only 895 days.
I have since turned to the dark side, as my dad used to say (not quite his language), changed party affiliations and become a Damn Democrat, to use his real words. I took great pleasure calling him up to tell him I had cancelled out his votes for Jesse Helms each year he ran for yet another term in the Senate. When Trump first was mentioned as a presidential candidate, I thought it was a joke. I seriously did. I thought that the Republicans were holding him up as a possibility and then they would introduce their real candidate. Joke’s on me, I guess. I have tried to stay away from the TV ads, I watched the first debate and then swore off, I keep my mouth shut in my classroom around my students, and just generally shake my head in disbelief about the whole thing. How have we sunk so low? It’s a good thing Daddy is not alive for this election. We would not be on speaking terms, I fear.
In the interest of preserving this video and knowing where I will always be able to find it, I am posting a tribute to our two-term president, Mr. Barack Obama.
Published on Oct 7, 2016
Because of the lyrics of the song “Don’t Go” by Jon Tarifa, Spiros Lena was inspired to make a tribute video for the coolest President the world has ever seen!– from the Facebook of NEXT Studio.
I smiled as tears rolled down my face the first time I watched this. And each time since. My thoughts on FB when I shared the video:
How can anyone dislike this man and say mean things about him? Mr. Obama, my President for the past eight years, I am in mourning for our country as we head into the final stretch of this election year. Thank you for your kindness, your strength, your compassion, your dignity and the grace that you brought to your office. It may be a long time before the United States has another leader of your caliber. If anyone reads this and disagrees with me, that is their right, but I would ask them not to disrespect my feelings. May we continue to fight against prejudice and corruption in our government and in our own private lives. Keep smiling and dancing, Barack!
So where does kindness fit in? After watching the video and seeing many acts of kindness performed by President Obama, I then read a petition posted by Molly Barker, a woman I have met and heard speak. If you have heard of Girls on the Runor The Red Boot Coalition, she is the force behind them. I admire her willingness to get involved and to speak her mind. Molly, too, is concerned about how ugly and just plain nasty this campaign has become. She has started a petition, My Promise to You After the Election.
I will wear my red boots when I go to vote, Molly.
It is now dinner time. I am reheating a delicious dish delivered to my doorstep by Son #1 via my future daughter-in-law EB. And I am hungry for something good. It’s from Bull Street Gourmet Market and Café where EB works. I am addicted to their food and drinks.