Tuesday, November 6, 2018

My Vote, My Voice

We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate. 
~ Thomas Jefferson

Turns out both Tim Kaine and I have a soft spot for Carver Elementary School.

For me, it was the 2008 election at Carver because despite having been an active voter since I was 18, never had I seen the diversity - black, brown, white, young, old - or the sheer number of people in a line that snaked up and down halls of classrooms, outdoors and down the block. I'll never forget how moved I was by people doing their civic duty.

When Mac came over to walk today, I suggested our walk include me voting, which wasn't a hard sell because we haven't been able to get on the pipeline for days. Once at Carver, I headed inside to vote while Mac said she'd wait outside to enjoy the last of the warm front before the thunderstorms moved in.

Imagine my surprise when I walked outside to rejoin her, only to hear, "Look who I'm talking to" and see Tim Kaine standing next to her. Moments earlier, I'd been filling in the circle to vote for him and then, just to make sure, going back over that circle to ensure that I was clear on my choice.

Now here he was smiling at me.

Like any idiot unexpectedly faced with her U.S. Senator, I babbled something about having just voted for him, but then my brain cleared and I realized I had something to tell him: that I'd just recently seen "The Laramie Project" and been terribly impressed with the show in general and specifically, his daughters's performance in it.

What Dad doesn't want to hear how talented his offspring is?

He beamed. He shared that she's living in NYC these days, a fact I already knew but didn't let on. He told me how great Richmond Triangle Players - where "Laramie" had been produced - was and I told him I agreed. We were united in our RTP love. That, and an unspoken hope for a blue voting wave today.

It was then that Mac's need to document clicked in and she asked if he would pose for a picture and he did us one better, asking one of his assistants standing nearby to snap a picture of all three of us. So there we are in front of the Carver Elementary School sign, grinning like the happy voters we all three were.

Except that Tim Kaine doesn't live in my neighborhood, so what was he doing there? Seems that my precinct was the one that won him a seat on city council, his first elected position, so he always makes a point to hang out at Carver on election days.

"Thanks again!" he said, smiling, as we headed off on our walk, photographic evidence of our chance meeting on Mac's phone.

Well, if I didn't think I had the best polling place ever before, I'm thoroughly convinced of it now. When I sent the photo to my parents - the same parents who told me and my sisters not to bring home any boy who didn't vote in every election - my Dad had his usual pithy response.

"Very nice pic! Such tidbits of wisdom is why T.J. is one of my favorites. Assuming and not voting is one of the main reasons we are in this current predicament! It will be a lengthy reclamation project..."

Doing my part to reclaim at Carver Elementary every chance I get. Tim was just a bonus.

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