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Allen West for Congress April 22, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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I attended the April 15th Tea Party rally in West Palm last week. It was my second rally after the inaugural gathering in the rain last year. I made another sign and my lack of creativity or the need to not change the message saw me parading the same signage as last year.

Last years Tea Party protest

This year’s event was a bit smaller than last year. Probably just a hundred or so less but just as energetic and anti-incumbent as ever. The highlight for me was the keynote speech by Allen West. West is running for US Congress, district 22 here in Florida—my district.

I will admit I have never before felt such a connection to any politician (with the exception of Ronald Reagan) before. And it’s not just Lt. Col. West’s message that has me stoked. This guy has a vibe, an aura that is unmistakable.

I was standing just off the stage to the right listening to the long list of speakers that filled the two-hour rally. The event was emceed by Doug Giles, the father of ACORN exposer Hannah Giles. Hannah was the first to speak.

Hannah Giles

Her brief remarks got the crowd wound up and me wanting to get a picture with her. I had agreed to help pass out fliers promoting a no vote on a proposition up for a vote this Fall. That proposition would completely strangle development and is a blatant socialistic attempt by the Left to create more bureaucracy.  Feeling obligated to the cause I spent the time passing out the fliers rather than weaseling my way behind the stage for a photo with Hannah.

With my fliers finally distributed I wandered back to stage right and noticed Allen West had arrived and was greeting folks behind the stage. I’m normally not one to go all ga-ga over any celebrity. Twelve years in TV, I saw my share of big stars up close and worked with many in various promotions; (Tom Selleck, Kevin Costner, Bob Uecker, Lynn Austin, Joe Namath, Catfish Hunter, etc.) But I needed my picture with Col. West!

I scoped out the scene back stage and saw that I could walk practically to where he was standing. He didn’t have an entourage and was shaking hands and giving photo ops to all who asked. I decided there was no time like the present and asked a professional photographer he if would mind snapping a photo of the two of us. The guy took my camera and I then turned to Mr. West and introduced myself, asking for a picture. He couldn’t have been nicer. He lifted the ‘yellow caution tape’ that created a silly little barrier between us and stuck out his hand for a shake. My first impression was how soft his hand was. I don’t know why I was expecting something else but I was. Maybe because he served over 22 years in the Army with three tours in theater. Maybe because he jumped out of airplanes and lead men into battle. Anyway, it was one soft hand.

Allen & me

I babbled something about how excited I was to meet him and I was the first in my neighborhood to put an ‘Allen West for Congress’ bumper sticker on my car. He thanked me and I retrieved my camera from the photog who had snapped what I hope to be a very precious memento one day.

Allen West could very much be the president of the United States one day!

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