It was 1957 and Elvis Presley’s second movie was about to be released. I had begged my mother to take me to the Midnight Showing in Fresno and she had refused because of long hours on her feet. She definitely did not need to take a 13 year old to the movies at midnight. The day of the showing, she relented and we were in the audience with members of the Fresno sheriff’s department on all the exits, just in case the teenyboppers got out of hand.
About a quarter of the way through the movie Elvis started singing “Gotta A Lot of Living To do” and there was a close up as his head swung around and those vibrant blue eyes were about ten feet high in close up on the screen.
Youthful hormones being what they are, I started to leap up and there was this hand on my wrist, and a whispered voice, “Honey, they like it if you resist a little.” I banged back down and started to laugh. Never since have I been tempted to scream at a rock star or head in a direction just because everyone else was going there.
In 1968, I had my political hero in Robert Kennedy. Again there were excited crowds. Some seeing a return of the lost “Camelot” of JFK and some hearing the message of “Change”. All were very excited with hands reaching out to touch and feel a part of a new wave about to break. It all ended in tragedy on the floor of the kitchen in the Ambassador Hotel. Even then with my faith in the ideals and goals, I hadn’t been tempted by the throngs and giddy atmosphere, but that was the last time I was tempted to be excited about a candidate until this year. Oh there were other campaigns, but not one that engaged by heart as well as my brain. It was simply a another political position not a love affair.
This year I had Hillary. For the first time in a long, long while I was tempted. She was practical. She was well educated and verbal. She was brilliant and accomplished. She was in her 60s and had been there, done that, and bought the T-Shirt. Her life in many ways on a grander scale was a mirror of mine … all of the challenges, set backs, and gather it together to try again. Even now, I feel as if the nation made a mistake.
So there he is: Twenty years younger than I am. Much less experienced than I really want in a President, but brilliant, willing to learn and with the basically liberal goals that says caring about others is in the best interest of the country as a whole. He is followed by the throngs, screaming their adulation. Everything about me cringes. Too much hype and hypnotism, “They like it better if your resist a little” echos in my ear, but Hillary says trust me, I’m still here and watching him for you. He’s okay. So I will vote for Obama and hope, but I’m definitely keeping an eye on him and I’m not about to scream.