thursday. the last day of the convention and my last full day in the city of brotherly love.
frustration from two days prior continued to linger and physical and mental fatigue was beginning to set in, but i was up, again, in time to be at breakfast at 7am. that morning’s breakfast was going to be a special one; it had been arranged to have senator bernie sanders himself come and speak to the delegations staying at the hilton valley forge hotel.
thoroughly excited, i made sure i was downstairs in the conference room in plenty of time and to make sure i had my choice of seats.
in addition, and prior to, bernie’s speech, we welcomed former maryland governor martin o’malley. his speech was good, but honestly, i was so excited to see the senator up close and personal, i didn’t pay much attention. instead, i kept glancing back at the entrance to the room, waiting for the senator’s arrival.
unfortunately, because some bernie supporters were so unhappy with his loss and previous endorsement of hillary clinton, the senator was being harassed. there had been protests at his hotel (i didn’t even know where he was staying). so bernie was a little on guard and his secret service detail was definitely on guard. so, instead of a grand entrance from the back of the room, he was quietly rushed in through the kitchen entrance at the side of the room.
his appearance was sudden and though there was certainly applause and a rush to welcome him and maybe shake his hand, security moved him promptly to the stage with little fanfare and he began his address to us.
i tried to get some pictures of a couple of our young and bright bernie delegates presenting him with lei and gifts from hawaii. unfortunately, in the hustle and crowd, it proved difficult. i did, however get this great picture of a crying asami after presenting the senator with a lei:
his speech was good, but not a deviation from anything i’d heard from him over the last couple days. it was just thrilling to have him there, knowing what his campaign meant to so many people, including myself.
then, when he concluded his was whisked away back through the kitchen as quickly as he had entered.
though there were more events at the convention center, not to mention clinton’s acceptance speech that evening. i, however, decided bernie’s visit to our hotel would be a fitting end to my official convention experience. i wasn’t really keen on hearing hillary speak, nor bear witness to the celebration (and smugness from some) of clinton’s supporters. instead, i gave away my credentials to one of the party faithful form hawaii who had come to philly to staff the delegation; she was a clinton supporter and had no doubt she’d enjoy being there to see hillary accept the nomination much more than i would have.
so, a gray and rainy day spent packing, relaxing, editing photos, and writing marked the end of my convention delegate experience. in some ways, it had been the longest few days of my life. in others, it was over as hurriedly as it had begun. i was sorry to see it come it an end without any real climax, but so it goes.
early the next morning, i boarded a shuttle to the airport happy to begin my vacation spending quality time with friends and family in the midwest.