Looking Through the Rearview Mirror
(Denver)-My last day in Denver consisted of a pair of radio appearances. I started the morning by appearing on NPR's, Tell Me More with Michel Martin. I was one of the featured guest with my boy Jimi Izrael. He hosts the Barber Shop Segment.
(You can check it out at this link)Http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=94096378&m=94096367)
I followed that up with an appearence on Washington, DC Radio Station WAMU. On Friday the Kojo Nnamdi Show is transformed into the Politics Hour. It was taped live at radio station KUVO-Denver. The station is located in the historic Five Points nieghborhood. Making my way back to downtown I stopped to collect a few souvenirs. I learned this morning that Senator John McCain has selected a running mate, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. The conversation is changed, but few who are heading to the airport are paying attention. What did we see? What did we witness? What should we make of last couple of days?
The Republicans will be trying to write their own narrative of America in Minneapolis/St. Paul. GOP members will be competing with Hurrican Gustav, a category three hurricane bearing down on the New Orleans. There are mandatory evacuations for the Cresent City and surrounding area. It’s expected to make landfall on Monday the night President George Bush will address the convention.
Can you imagine the visual of President Bush talking about his accomplishments over the last eight years with a split screen of New Orleans flooding? It’s not a good look.
Here are some of my memories of Denver.
The 16th Street Mall – The free bus service, the shops, and the mall.
The Convention Center (not be confused with the Pepsi Center) – I spent much of my time in the media lounge but it had workshops, book signings and activities.
Invesco Field AKA Mile High Stadium - The home of the Denver Bronco's transformed into the "Obama Catherdral." Visually stunning and forever tied with Obama.
The Denver Community – When I arrived on Saturday there was a welcoming committee who yelled and cheered. “For me!!!,” no for everyone who came through the doors. People were friendly and gave me the necessary information to do my job.
My NABJ Brothers and Sisters - A lot of people have questioned our ability to cover this campaign while giving short shrift to the fact their are too few people of color on the campaign trail. We will continue to do exemplary work despite our changing work conditions. Much love to our President Barbara Ciara and NABJ Program/Development Director Ryan Williams.
Colfax Street – I walked nearly five miles of this thoroughfare looking for things I needed and found the eclectic side of Denver. There were bars, adult bookstores, ethnic eateries, musical venues, and more tattoo and piercing parlors then you could imagine.
I rode the RTD bus up and down this street as well. It’s a microcosm of the future of Denver. Indians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexicans, Native Americans, Eastern Europeans and those with little means are percolating in this city.
Lastly, I thought it strange the National Black Republicans posted a billboard saying Dr. Martin Luther King was a Republican (go in close to the billboard).
The Pepsi Center – My home for the week. I set up shop in the filing center under the basket goal where the Denver Nuggets practice. It was crude but cushy, and in close proximity to the big flat screen.
Radio Row- Where else could you be on in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, and across the nation in matter of two steps. Created in 2004 it’s has become a mainstay at these political party conventions.
Bloggers – Four years ago when I started this Blog there were only a few people or color “doing the damn thing.” Now the campaigns are credentialing Bloggers and giving them their own space. Several of my colleagues are must reads (Denise Clay, Munroe Anderson, Dell Walters and so many others). FYI, Bloggers need wifi…make sure there’s enough bandwidth and more tables.
Things I Heard
“Michelle Obama will make dark sisters the new flavor of the month.”
“The new chic is a suit and shirt with no tie.”
“Being green is cool.”
“Dude, can you get me a pass.”
“I’m from (insert city, state, country, or universe)”
“What do you think of Denver?”
“Let’s get a drink.”
“Please have your I-D ready for inspection.”
“I’m trying to find (insert hotel, restaurant, party, reception, or person).” The follow up is “Can you get me in?”
“Obama (a person shouting t-shirts, buttons, poster etc….)”
These two are inter-changeable
“Excuse me, can I take a picture with you.” Or “Excuse me, can you take a picture for me with and (insert celebrity name).
I was very fortunate to be in Denver. I knew I had to be there. Three weeks ago I had no idea where I was going to stay. I appealed to my fraternity Brother Allen Thompson to help. He would suggest I stay with him because he was so close to downtown. Thank you A.T. aka Slick.
Britt Tennell of Oakland also crashed with us at A.T.’s pad. With IPHONE in hand he volunteered for the DNC at the Sheraton Hotel. It was the hotel for the New York and California delegations. Britt kept reminding us,“you know they can work a Brother.” He tracked down everything from cleaners, directions, parties, receptions, and people. Remember he did this without getting paid, but got the experience of a lifetime. He’s on my people to watch list.
Mr. Tom Thomas, a class act.
Much love to Denver for hosting an awesome event.
The graphic of Obama comes courtesy of Samuel Fleming Lewis www.samuelfleminglewis.com