cathy newell

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Next Tuesday is election day and we will see whether witches, demons, and ghosts arise from the land in a Romney victory, or whether there is still enough sense left in the country to keep Obama in office. Polls and pundits seem to say it’s a dead heat. Well, who knows? But the witches, demons, and ghosts are itching to rise up and are licking their chops in anticipation. Will the country stamp them down?

I’ve not been helping. I’ve ignored Cathy Newell’s requests to make calls for the Oxford County Democrats. I did put up a few Lee Goldsberry signs (six actually) mainly along East Main street. But I’ve made no calls for him either.

Why is my heart not in it this time? Not sure of the exact reasons but perhaps my personal needs are overriding. Four years ago Cynthia was still here and I did make calls at the time and was gung-ho for Obama. This time, while realizing Obama has many flaws, Romney and the right wing GOP scare me immensely and I dread the fact they may win. Still, I just can’t rise to the occasion.

I’m enjoying my new friendship with Phyllis, my explorations of many and varied philosophical issues, my watching of the great old movies of Bergman and others, my singing and involvement at the Norway UU church, my hobby of improving and maintaining the Norway UU church website I created, my friendships with Richard and Tony, my good fortune of having Kate next door,…… Have I left out anything? Probably, but I can’t think what at the moment.

Oh, I’ve been recycling Sara Teasdale’s little poem, “Let It Be Forgotten”, over and over in my mind. John Kelly sent it to me. It’s in memory of Cynthia. She would have liked the poem, maybe she did.

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Phone Bank

Last Friday, the 22nd of August, I went over to the Fryeburg, Maine, office of the Oxford County Democrats and actually made 27 phone calls to people in the towns of Denmark, Lovell, and Sweden, Maine. This was between the hours of 2 and 4pm. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I was assigned “seniors”, or over age 65 people, to call. I had some trouble hearing, especially when more callers arrived in the room, but mostly it wasn’t too bad.

This was mainly a voter survey with a detailed script for the caller to follow. Out of those 27 calls, I got into conversations with a mere four people. Most had their answering machines on and we didn’t leave messages then. Of the four people I chatted with, one was a strong Democrat, one a strong Republican, and two others kind of mixed. One of the “mixed” ones was hard for me to hear and I got into a too extended conversation with him I think. Two or three gave me outright refusals: “I don’t reveal my preferences over the phone.”, and one woman berated me for all those calls she’d been getting from Democrats. I found that strange because on the sheet supplied by the state Democratic party there’s a space for checking off “refused”. Are these voter sheets simply recycled afresh and the old ones stored away? Hope not.

Well, all told, my experience was tolerable but after thinking it over for a few days I decided not to go back for another session. And this after getting superlative pep talks at the Oxford County Democrats annual summer BBQ at beautiful Bryant Pond by the likes of Steve Rowe, Maine Attorney General, Cathy Newell, chair of the Oxford County Democrats, and Ben Tate, the youthful coordinator for the Obama Campaign in Maine. But hey, although I’m gung-ho in spirit, my body sometimes has trouble keeping pace. And anyway, what the hell, there’re plenty of other volunteers who could take my place, aren’t there?

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