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The Elephant And I Remember

Story ID:4162
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Diary/Journal Entry
Location:Soukane WA USA
Year:1962
Person:K & K & Dick Christianson
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The Elephant And I Remember

The Elephant And I Remember

The Elephant and I Remember
by Kathe Campbell

It's been only a few days since the 2006 mid-term elections. The Democrats have successfully taken over our country's house and senate seats and I sorrowfully sit at my computer licking my wounds.

Our founding faith finds American values constantly under assault, and this disturbs me greatly. Like most grandmothers, my thoughts tend to weigh heavily on morals and family issues. Abortion stops a beating heart, and children should have two parents working hard at their marriage. Drugs are a crime, kids shouldn't kill kids, and drunk drivers leave me fuming. I also find it fascinating that The Terminator flouts many core GOP values. And imagine a hot potato issue that befuddles a few duly elected weak sisters who can't decide who or what they stand for, just for starters. Oh, I have a million thoughts and memories in my duffle, but one in particular comes to mind.

My husband, Ken, and I were among the first to jump on the bandwagon of a brilliant and energetic young man as he announced his run for the Republican Governor of our state. As his eastern district co-chairmen, we had helped to successfully bring him through his nomination, complete with a young elephant. No longer babes in the woods, we blossomed into seasoned campaigners, beginning each day with, "First we pray-then we work."

And the work was sometimes grueling. As a chairman of (WOW), Women On The Warpath, I rarely saw our children. Cell phones were not the rage then, so phones were installed in our cars to keep abreast of the home front and each other. Occasionally the campaign trail became dirty business as we quickly trounced on the mud-slingers and their grist for the gossip mill. But we played the game astutely and wisely, keeping our powder dry, learning much, and having a ball.

As delegates to the National Republican Convention in San Francisco, we pinned our hopes on the presidential hopeful, Barry Goldwater. It was the experience of a lifetime, allowing all of our Grand Old Party enthusiasm to unabashedly hang out with thousands of fellow Republicans. Yes, there were a few rowdy tipsters in the Cow Palace, but much of the assemblage packed the workshops for smart and stimulating ideas. Nothing pleased me more when our Women On The Warpath league was snapped up by other states during roundtables and hospitality events.

Back home again, and the weekends brought our candidate to celebrations, anniversaries, dedications, and holidays with their parades, picnics, and high school marching bands. I followed the troops like a war-weary widow acquainting myself with the newest WOW gals. The media seemed taken with the ladies all decked out in moccasins, feathered headbands, and simple rope-waisted beige shifts, an exuberant show of women participating in politics en masse. We brought the townsfolk out for a good look-see in every city and hamlet, and on television and front pages everywhere.

With the general election only two months off, Ken organized an enormous rally in the populous Tri-City area where he was born and raised. An authentic stern-wheeler boat picked up our congressional delegation and gubernatorial candidate upstream on the Columbia River. They stopped at each community for handshakes and spiels while the local WOW gals saw to handouts, badges and bumper stickers. The final stops included the largest city with full frippery and fanfare designed for our good looking and popular front runner, according to the poles.

As the band played and hundreds of folks waited on the dock, a sudden squall caused the river boat to surge sideways and wrap around a bridge abutment. I had stayed behind with our children that day, feeling I needed to oversee the evening banquet and entertainment. Our son tore into the kitchen screaming, "Dad's boat is sinking, Mom, it's sinking in the river!" Panic stricken, we watched the news flash and sat glued to the television while they filmed the harrowing, but safe rescue of all aboard.

You'd think it was intentional the way our opponent's cohorts billed it as a shrewd and shameless way to monopolize air time and the front pages. Whatever . . . but none of us could help thinking the good Lord had a hand intercepting near disaster that day. For you see, despite all the hoopla and headlines, our candidate was not only a handsome and savvy rising political star, he was also an ordained Lutheran minister.

********
Ken and elephant.
Rep. nominee for Gov. - Dick Christianson