A Vagabond Life

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Category: Politics

Day 12: The Sun God is on Vacation

Wx-PcolaAugust 11: Ugh! Not a pretty picture

It’s been raining for two straight days and everything is soaked. There are big puddles all around our campsite and a small river is forming next to us. The extended forecast isn’t providing any hope. A low pressure area sitting in the Gulf is not expected to move for a week.

The dogs are curled up under the camper where it’s not too wet. They’d rather be inside the camper, but that’s not going to happen as far as I’m concerned. Daria is on the other side of that argument, which is not good for me. It means the camper will smell of wet dog pretty soon. In fact, as I write this she has gone outside to wipe off the mutts – and here they are.

It could be worse. We could have three dogs. It could be cold and windy. We could be in a tent like the people near us. We’re living high and dry and in luxury compared to tent camping in the rain.

We’re making the best of it all: reading, writing, napping. The dogs are happy now. Happy dogs, happy wife, happy life.

Day 11: On the Campaign Trail


August 10: Helping a buddy get the country back on track

We stopped in Florida for the sun, beach, and if you can believe it, politics. We’re not here counting hanging chads – those of you remembering the Bush/Gore race know what I’m referring too – we’re here to help my good friend and former Marine aircrew Cris Dosev. He’s running as a republican candidate for US Congress in Florida’s 1st Congressional District.

Cris is a combat vet, father of eight children, staunch Christian and a small business owner. He and his wife Lisa are also Godparents to our daughter, Ashley Stewart. Cris has been extremely active in veteran causes and co-founded the Wounded Heroes Foundation. We need people like this representing us in Washington.

The field consists of seven republican candidates and Cris is right up at the top. His grass roots campaign is mostly self-funded and is powered by a small army of friends, former military members from all services, and family members including his eight children who claim at times to be slave labor.

The most serious contender is a young 34 year old lawyer and current state representative. His multi-millionaire daddy is a former state senator and well known in local politics. Daddy not only helps junior fund his campaign, he’s gotten him out of a DUI and helped him cover-up 17 motor vehicle citations. Do we really need another silver spoon in Washington?

The primary election is on August 30. It will be decided by popular vote. Whoever wins the republican primary will likely win the general election because the district is heavily republican.

I’ve never helped on a political campaign before so I didn’t know what to expect on the first day. I was given a t-shirt and a stack of brochures, and piled into a car with three other people. I sat shotgun because I was the old guy. Cris’s son was the driver and head list master. He detailed data on every neighborhood in the district where known republican primary voters lived.

Our mission is to find voter’s homes, ring their doorbells, and talk with anyone who answered. We did this for eight hours in 95 degree heat and 90 percent humidity. This swelter was occasionally broken up by a torrential downpour. By the day’s end, our team had visited 600 homes and spoke with approximately 300 people. I spoke with about 100 would be voters.

You may be thinking: What does a republican voter look like and where do they live? Here is my observation. Voting republicans are old and they are young; working, unemployed, and retired; some live in huge mansions and others in trailer homes; many are well-educated and others are not; they are single, married and divorced; some have children; many have dogs and some have many dogs; the majority are white and mostly straight as far as I could tell; and most everyone was friendly and interested in the election.

I only had one bad experience. A guy called me a politician, told the young child standing next to him that all politicians are sleazebags, and slam their door in my face. This likely happened because I wanted to find out how good the list was by visiting a few few houses not on the list. Bottom line: the list is good – believe the list.

More campaign trail stories to follow.

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