Sunday, August 21, 2005
What we find is something between a family gathering, an impromptu fire-brigade, and a giant game where everyone who wants to play can walk in and announce themselves as players and have everyone else welcome them in. In a small way, this feels like the descriptions of how the dismantling of the wreckage of the Trade Center rubble happened. People showed up to help, moved by an impulse of emotion and then backed up with their brains and pocketbooks.
Food is plentiful and free because folks keep showing up with cars full of supplies that they drop off without a thought. Tents and pavilions have appeared for those willing to stay. A guy from Atlanta, who shuttled me to Camp Casey 1 yesterday had bought a net-enclosed pavilion at Wal-Mart and drove down with it in the back of his truck. He was planning on dropping it off at Peace House before heading out again, not even spending the night.
Jenny and I arrived in the afternoon. It took a while to get our bearings. Blanche was a bit overwhelmed with the crowd at first. But we all settled in. Jenny immediately volunteered and was given a vest and hat and sent to direct parking. Blanche made friends with a very handsome Chow in a Code Pink scarf. I went off and talked to people.
We camped in a park near Peace House that had a yummy swimming hole that cooled us off. After one night in the heavy humid heat of night followed by a morning of brutal humid fire from the sky, we came to understand just how the folks camped for the duration alongside of Cindy Sheehan are suffering for what they believe. There may be a party feel around the edges, but simply being here in August is an act of will similar to sticking your finger in a candle flame and holding it there.
Joan Baez in giving a concert tonight, and we may go despite both Jenny's and my aversion to big crowds. The concert has a festival air around it, but for the core campers, it is a way of giving them some pleasure to counter the misery of their stand. The stories are moving, the mood upbeat, but I would have to be in such a state of rage or grief to be able to tolerate the elements here for even a few days.
Glad there have been few bad surprises. Our hearts are with you.
-Dave and Susie
Dave & Susie