Believe it! With minimal publicity we weren't shoulder to shoulder, but we pretty much filled the available space on the hillside which puts our bandshell as the focal point at the bottom. Looking up from the bandshell one sees a fan shaped crowd which at a conservative guesstimate was probably 25 across and 30 rows deep.
For a town the size of Jackson on a very rainy day I cannot tell you how pleased I was.
I had already determined that I would leave home (5 minutes away) at 11:00 for the 12:00 event because I'm not fond of walking. By the time I arrived, the paved parking lot, which I'm guessing holds about 225 cars, was about 1/3 filled. By the time I left that lot was filled, the satellite parking across the street held about 100 cars and others were parked on both sides of the street leading to the lot and more on the hill itself. Our guess would be about 400+ cars. I'm thinking just a hair less than 2 people per car puts our crowd at around 700.
I was amazed at the folks who not only arrived early, they got out of their cars with signs, flags and umbrellas and stood in the rain seeming oblivious to the weather as they chatted, made new friends and for lack of a better word, bonded. The rain did let up around noon. Thank you, God.
Since my back started feeling the strain of standing on the side hill I left about 12:40 and people were still coming in, having underestimated the time to park and walk to the venue. All in all, a rousing success!
Observations: A broad spectrum of age from children to seniors, but no color diversity. Men and women equally divided and my favorite sign: Take out the Trash Day, November 2, 2010.
Note: I saw Elise with her caregiver trudging up the hill. Elise is a young woman who is handicapped in some way whom I met last year at the Y pool where she was practicing for the Special Olympics while I was doing a little aerobic exercise. It reminded me that last week at the Townhall Meeting we met a young man whose son was autistic who was terribly concerned about what universal rationed health care would mean to their family. I'm thinking that those two are prime examples of what it will mean to this country's attitude toward non-productive or expendable citizens. We generally think of seniors in this category, but together this is a very large segment of our population with a corresponding high price tag that Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the President's Czars working on the healthcare "problem" considers when he talks about cost benefit analysis.
I saw a few friends and acquaintances, perhaps 20 in all, but the rest of the "mob" were strangers to me and obviously, each other. It seems odd and I can't understand it since I'm usually a pessimist when it comes to elections, but the Dems just seem to be in denial. So instead of getting irritated I've decided that it's just as well, let them get the surprise of their lives on Trash Day next year. Let's hope.