No, he didn’t announce today. I expected that. It was a long wait but fun because I met some neat people I might not otherwise have met. Folks, I’ve come to realize I’ll never be a photographer of any skill so, please, look over my poor skills.
The first were the fellow bloggers with their FredHead signs. What a couple of sweethearts they were:
The lady on the right has worked tirelessly in the draft Fred Thompson campaign long before the press began talking about it.
Second wasn’t such a pleasant meet up but interesting nonetheless. No picture because it was press of some sort. She didn’t deign to introduce herself but did ask me why I support Fred and I answered, “He’s a Federalist, first and foremost.” At her blank look, I added, “Small government, states rights.” She looked like she had swallowed something unpleasant. I suppose an answer such as that coming from someone carrying a “HillbillyPolitics.com is With Fred” sign shouldn’t know such big words? Or perhaps she didn’t know what they meant. In any case, she asked me my name… which I had to spell for her… and went on her way to interview someone else.
I did get into a discussion with someone about Thompson versus Romney and gave him my take on Romney which I gather wasn’t what he wanted to hear. I sorta like Romney but I just don’t think he can handle a rabid Congress and that’s what we’re stuck with, folks. Fred has that extra little something this country needs right now. Perhaps another time, Romney would do but not this time.
The next person I actually hugged. He was dressed in his naval uniform; a World War II vet: He was so proud to be able to speak to Fred. I had some other pics of this man but apparently my camera had shut off unnoticed. He posed for me holding up an award he had received from Senator Thompson and we talked for a little while. He told me all his friends were dead and that he was active in the veteran community. He has cataracts in his eyes but he’s still standing strong. I gave him a hug and said thank you for being you. I managed to maneuver behind Fred and Kenneth(the veteran) to get this shot and I curse my poor photography. The look on Kenneth’s face was priceless.
There was also this lady who knew Fred from a long time ago. His older children went to school where her children attended: That says a lot to me that she came to this meetup for Fred and was quite willing to talk about what she knew about him.
There were signs all over the place but my favorite was this one:
It reads: I’m a Fearless, Frank, Reliable, Ready, Educated, Equipped, and Dreaded by Democrats, FredHead.
Another favorite was of one that the pic didn’t turn out which upset me. It was an old sign; a sign that was made in 1996 for Fred’s run for the Senate, revived in the next election, and brought out again for 2008. They showed the lady on the news so all you Tennessee bloggers got a good look at it. Not too sure about anybody else.
They really did have donuts, as well as some other goodies, like bumper stickers:
But no coffee… at least none that I could see.
In the background of the above pic you’ll see a man rolling up a scroll. That scroll represents the petition that was begun during the Cookeville Rally last month. It’s cloth and has been signed by lots of people. It is very long. I estimate it was about 20 feet long when it was stretched out. Here’s another view of the upper part of it. They hung it up on a tree outside Mercury Air:
Now this little lady was just adorable. I’ve always been a sucker for red hair. Just ask my hubby.
Here she is again with her mommy and posing with Fred:
There were some neat stickers people brought with them. Some of my pics didn’t turn out well enough to edit but here are two of them.
Okay, so enough of that, right? What about Fred? Well, here are two shots I got before he was completely inside the building.
I was impressed with the care he showed his family, holding onto his little girl’s hand. Considering the position to which I had manuevered she struck me as a little shy and rather solemn. The news images of Mrs. Thompson really don’t do her justice.
The first up to speak to Fred was the veteran whose picture was posted above. After they talked for a moment, Fred made a little speech which didn’t say anything more than he’d already said in other places and venues. I’m glad I wasn’t expecting anything more. I would have been disappointed otherwise. He talked to a few more people who had come to meet him and made his way slowly out the door to meet others who weren’t allowed inside because they ran out of room.
I did shake his hand in that line towards the door and had a second chance outside but turned it down. I probably shocked him with that, because as he reached for my hand I pulled back and pointed to someone else and said, “Please, don’t bypass that fellow.” Fred was very gracious and turned immediately toward the fellow, shook his hand, struck up a conversation, and autographed the sign the man was carrying.
Here’s a pic of that man:
All in all, Senator Thompson probably thought I was something of a lunatic because that wasn’t my last bit of rudeness. Remember the FredHead Ladies? Well, they had been trying forever to get close enough to shake Fred’s hand and couldn’t seem to manage it for being pushed aside by the crowd, so I elbowed my way through and tapped him on the back to turn his attention toward them. I felt the least they deserved was a handshake for all the work and encouragement they were giving to him.
It was a good way to spend a morning although, even though I didn’t expect it, I was still slightly disappointed that he didn’t announce something besides the fact that he’s opening offices in Nashville. If there was something new to report about what he’s saying, I didn’t hear it, then or on the news this evening. So here’s a last picture and probably one of the best I took today. He does seem to be enjoying the support, doesn’t he?
Update: Here’s a link to a news video… it shows the man in the wheelchair getting his sign autographed. http://www.newschannel5.com/global/video/popup/pop_player.asp?ClipID1=1541530&h1=Thompson%20Visits%20Home%20State%2C%20Raises%20Hopes%20For%20Presidential%20Run&vt1=v&at1=News&d1=188033&LaunchPageAdTag=News&activePane=info&playerVersion=1&hostPageUrl=http%3A//www.newschannel5.com/global/story.asp%3Fs%3D6710543&rnd=71250203
It shows me, too, but I’m not gonna say where 🙂 .