Sunday, June 5, 2011

When it feels like home

For a stretch of six hours, the worries of life melted away in pursuit of the fight over the worries of the world. And it felt good.

It was a light turnout in front of the Statehouse. But, it was an enthusiastic group which gathered in defense of liberty and the basic human right to live without the specter known as the force of government weighing on any of us.

I did not make my way there right away. I didn't want to leave my wife, Marcy, by herself for too long while she's doing chemotherapy at the OSU Medical Center. So, I arrived shortly before 2 p.m. I missed a few people who had already come and gone. And, the last vestiges scattered shortly before 3 when Richard, the gentleman who posted the dance party here in Facebook, got too dehydrated and feeling well-done in the sun to continue.

The gathering afforded me an opportunity to finally cross paths with a pair of liberty-driven political dynamos I've enjoyed the opportunity to get to know via Facebook, Valerie and Pádhraig, something to which I've looked forward for some time.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio's annual cookout drew a good crowd. There's still a fire in people's bellies to press-on despite the excessive anti-ballot-access measures voted-on by the state legislature. Since the last cookout, the brain trust in Washington, D.C., has piled another $1 trillion of debt on our shoulders. We're still ready to challenge the obsolete status quo.

The highlight of this year's cookout was a new feature conceived by Bob Bridges: auctioning-off opportunities to put a pie in the face of a party leader. The scheduled lineup consisted of Central Committee Chair Luke McKellar, Political Division Director Michael Johnston (also serving on the Central Committee), Central Committee Vice Chair Bob Bridges, and Executive Committee Chair Kevin Knedler.

Kevin was able to draw the highest overall bid for the pleasure of donning a face-full of whipped cream. But, just when it appeared that portion of the festivities were done, our Allen County Libertarian Party Treasurer Paul Hinds called out of the blue, "I'll pay $20 to put a pie in Don's face!"

I can only imagine what the look on my face must have been at that moment. Before I was able to process what I'd been thrust into, higher bids began erupting out of the crowd all around me.

And so I said, "Hey, if I can have a good laugh at others getting pied, then I can take one too."

When it was all said and done, for someone who wasn't on the pie-flinging docket I somehow elicited the second-highest winning bid: which was called by Josh Winkler.

While all this was playing out, I received a call and voicemail from Libertarian Party (National) Central Committee Chair Mark Hinkle, who thought so highly of my most recent blog -- dissecting local regulations of distributing meals to the homeless in Orlando and Houston -- that he was seeking permission to publish it at the LP Website blog.

After hearing the message, I felt compelled to share it with everyone who was still there. At that point I commented, "As if my head couldn't get any bigger," to which someone in the crowd replied, "So we'll need a bigger pie pan next year."

All in all, it was a good day for liberty in Ohio. And, I can't thank everyone enough for making me feel at home as a Buckeye.

When I got back to Marcy's hospital room, all that bluster and ego stimulation melted away upon seeing the one with whom I hope to spend the rest of my life feeling awful and looking so uncomfortable. Cancer just has a way of making you feel less effusive.

But that's OK. I feel at home. And, it feels good to be a Buckeye.

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