Sunday, September 28th, 2008, Berkeley, California.
Last year HOW BERKELEY CAN YOU BE?! PARADE really marked the beginning of our taking our presidential campaign into the public. The year since then has been filled with campaign speeches, festivals, performances, interviews and other events. Last year I shook hundreds of hands and gave out over a thousand copies of my platform during the parade and at the festival afterwards. But last year there was a laid-back feeling. This year there were hours of extremely intense intimate inter-reactions/exchanges of hope and vision. It was non-stop…much more than at the other festivals. Many people knew about the campaign. A lot of people…all kinds of people….knew me/us from our public access cable shows [we are on tv in Berkeley and the surrounding towns every night for around 6 hours!]. It was extremely inspiring, if exhausting!
We were among the several first booths to arrive, but it wasn't long before there was lots of activity in the park. We unloaded the truck, and got to setting up everything ... the last hurrah of the presidential season! The last festival of the year! We remembered that last year when we set up for How Berkeley Can You Be was the first time we did a festival set-up. It was fun setting up, as always, and a hustling race against time ... it always took the limit. Earlene arrived a little early, admiring the booth as we put the finishing touches on everything. It was so great that she would hold down the fort while we were in the parade. She picked her shirt and put it on, and we went over the for sale stuff with her, and then soon we were heading down to California St. to meet you guys in the parade line-up!
There we were, closer to the front of the parade than last year, between the scantily clad dancing girls and the gay cheerleaders! Frank was getting set up, Mikee was putting the boombox on the top of the luvermobile to play the Frank Moore for President rock'n'roll jam and chant! We met Kit! We were all getting our bags set up with platforms and handouts, and doing some last minute stuffing so as to combine the two together to hand to folks ... And then we were going!
A whirlwind! So much fun!! So many people, and it all went so fast! Handing out Frank's platforms and the "write-in" handout like crazy, people knowing Frank, looking forward to seeing him pass by, calling out his name, calling out that they see his shows on BTV! Calling out, "Go, Frank!" Hands reaching out for platforms ... And then there was Frank, pressing the flesh! Stopping to touch and talk with people along the parade route, and then hustling on as the parade was moving so fast! It was just incredible, we couldn't give out the platforms and fliers fast enough, and when it was all over, Frank and Linda were saying that it would have been no problem to go much slower, there were so many people who wanted to say something to Frank, to get the platform, to shake his hand... It was absolutely amazing! And it was all types who called out something about watching Frank on TV! Black, white, brown, male, female .... really amazing ... We were just blown away at the experience .... And then we were rolling into the parade finish, seeing some of the other great "floats" pull in behind ... cupcakes on wheels, giant mobile pink rabbit slippers ... just a taste of the amazing art cars that would come later ...
It really was only a brief respite, taking the FM4Prez vinyls off of the cars and getting unpacked, and heading over to our booth on the other side of the park, before the intensity of the parade continued at the booth. But first, there was Earlene in her Uncle Frankie tank, taking care of everything at the booth, enjoying herself, happy to see all of us, and really impressed with the whole Frank Moore for President get-up! Frank and Earlene took a great picture together, and soon she was on her way ... Corey set up the video camera, and the action began again ... Since the booth was placed right on the corner of a main entrance and exit part for people coming into the park, and since the booths were more tightly packed than the year before, people were right up on the booth all day!
We can only really begin to catalog the amazing interactions that happened at the booth ... First, there were tons more platforms and fliers handed out to people coming by, and often we would watch as folks walked away reading the platform, seeing that this here was a serious candidate! The booth really drew people in ... it was beautiful, and of course the Frank Moore for President graphic was reality shifting!
There was the self-proclaimed "right wing conservative" who came by while Frank, Linda, Mikee, Erika & Jen were out checking out the other booths, reading the platform and saying that he likes a lot of it, and that maybe he should start "Conservatives for Frank Moore"! And then coming back later to say hi, and when Frank asked him what he liked in the platform, he went through it in some detail! He liked cutting the military by at least half, he liked Frank's ideas about registering as a "family" and how he approached the "marriage" issue. He said this would work for both sides, and that it was very smart. He liked Frank's stance on patents and copyrights ... can't remember all that he said! Then there was the amazing deep silent responses ... the woman who stood there listening to Linda reading Frank's platform on the portable DVD player, totally absorbed ... every once in a while flickering her eyes up at Frank, as if to say, "You devil, you!" And then back to listening intently ... all the way to the end! Then a big thumbs up before she walked away .... It was like this, over and over again for the 4+ hours we were there at the booth. 2 hours of video! There was the really neat short interview of Frank by a guy who does a radio program, who said that he really liked Frank's plan for a guaranteed minimum income of $1,000/ month, based on the cost of living ... it made a lot of sense to him, and he could imagine how it would work practically for people ... The way that people took in Frank's ideas and could easily apply them to their lives and to a sense of how the country could be seemed to breathe more and more reality and possibility into the ideas, fleshed them out in ways that made it sound like we were hearing Frank's platform in new ways, seeing more and more of the implications of a government run this way ... it just made sense!
Tomek was there with his accordion in the beginning, Jen made a run to take Kit back ... we made a run for Blondie's pizza and green tea for Linda ... a fun fun fun day!! And we were among the last of the booths ... people were still coming by wanting to talk to Frank and get his platform as we were packing up a good half hour after the festival officially ended!
We all packed up, and then you guys were off to the other two cars, and we broke down the canopy, loaded up the truck, and soon were heading home ... it was always unbelievable to look at the little patch of grass where all of this took place ... even the Obama-Biden table, two booths down from us, cheered Frank as you guys rolled by! A very fun, inspiring, amazing day!
Back here at the ranch, we came in and adored the kitten, who purred away ... We gave her some food, and she took a nibble, but mainly she wanted to sit by the door as we brought stuff in from the truck, and make sure we knew that she might want to get outside! Jen was soon here too. After we had unloaded everything, we laid back in the living room for a few, gave Cookie a lap, and talked about the day, while you guys got ready for the walk down to T-Rex!
Soon we were all walking down to T-Rex, talking more about the day ... and ready to eat! And soon we were there, getting situated, and salivating over the menu ... yum! Dinner was yummy and fun .... the waitress was impressed at our ability to eat! And then you had us give her a platform at the end of the night, and she was going to go read it while she ate her salad! While we were heading out, she told Corey that she had read it and showed it around to a bunch of people there. She loved it! She ended up taking 3 more copies to hand around there.
The host read the platform too, even though he prefaced it by saying that he had to vote for Obama ... but said, "Sounds good!"
Parade Day!!! Jen and I decorated the cars and Mikee went to get coffee for us. Then it was time to go pick Kit up. Jen and I went and got him and we arrived in the line for the parade!! I gave Kit half of my baked good and some of my coffee and he put on his Frank Moore for President T-shirt. Then we went over all the driving stuff for the parade. We watched the dancers behind us and then Kit went to have a smoke and he had a book with him that he was reading. Soon our second car arrived and Corey and Alexi came and we were all ready to go. Jen would drive the front car and Kit the back car and the rest of us would walk and hand out platforms. There were so many people and so many people seemed to know Frank, who we were, our TV shows and about the campaign, wow!!! They did move the parade along faster this year so we had to rush a little to hand everything out. Amazing!!!! Then we were off to our booth where Earlene had been sitting and she was so happy to have been at the booth. We went to the bathroom and then got settled into our decorated booth and all afternoon there was a steady stream of people coming up to the booth. There were a lot more booths and a lot more people at the festival this year. It was amazing all the people that came up really excited about Frank's platform. One woman said that she believed in everything on it and thanked Frank so much for it. A guy who does a radio program on the east coast did an interview with Frank and we connected with a guy who is running for City Council for the Shaman's Den. It was constant!!! People coming up and asking Frank why he is running," To Get the ideas out there!" Many people don't even think that there is another possibility…think that they can only vote for Obama or McCain. Lots of people wanted to know about the write-in process. Wow!!! What a day and we got some donations. People took bumper stickers and pins all day long, and so many people seemed to know already that Frank was running for president!!!! We looked around at all the other booths before we headed home for a quick stop off to feed the cats etc... and then we all walked to T-Rex and what a delicious meal it was, with yummy salads, chicken and ribs, veggies, fries on and on and then dessert. We walked home full and sleepy!. We did a little house cleaning and the end of the night stuff and then headed to sleep!!
The same slideshow as above but with music by Rafael-Alexandre Ramos which uses audio of Frank's platform.
For more on his platform visit Candidate Frank Moore’s Blog