Monday, November 2, 2009
The Dutra Report: Day 8 & 9
DAY 8 - BOZEMAN
Nastiness. Our first encounter. As our red Reagan bus pulls up into the parking lot at the Bozeman Heritage Christian HS for the evening rally we are blocked by an SUV, preventing our bus to park behind the blue bus and out of the roadway.
It was clear the occupant of the SUV has a different point of view given its bumper stickers. The driver, a middle aged lady, is taking pictures from her car seat.
I asked her for the courtesy to move to allow the second bus into the lot. Well -- and I'm gonna be as accurate as I can be -- she was not very cooperative. All she wanted to do was engage me in a heated argument about how we are disrespecting the president.
At about the 6th request -- refusing to engage because it is cold here in Bozeman tonite -- she finally relented and moved her vehicle.
As I turned to wave Ray our bus driver to enter the area - I saw the SUV slowly going down the next driveway snapping away pictures and waving a jolly good nite to us all.
Bozeman is a college town. My guess is she is the University librarian.
Meanwhile in the school gym there are several hundred (400 plus) Tea Party supporters responding to the message of our speakers Deborah, Mark, the Owens, Amy, Kenneth and our singers -- limited government, reduced spending, no Obamacare and lowered taxes.
Meanwhile Levi Russell, our media guru, is phoning, emailing and encouraging local media coverage at every stop. The response has been good with but a few exceptions. It apppears the local media does not have the same attitude as big media which wants to write off the Tea Party response as a flash in the pan. It's obvious the local media is witnessing what's real.
Leaving for Billings for overnite. It's been a terriffic day in Big Sky Country.
Driving the big sky country since early morning. Other than the experience in Fallon and Carson City, the weather has been very cooperative for our Tea Party Express II venue rallies.
There is no snow on the ground here in Rapid City though we understand there was a biggie blizzard within the last week.
This is the first venue in which we are "fully" inside....including the buses. We are in the rodeo pavillion on the local fair grounds and while it's a mild 55-degrees outside, both bus loads are extremely appreciative to be inside though some of our city folks on the buses are not prepared for the "country smells" inside the pavillion. Ok -- it smells like horses and cows -- but there is no B.S. from our speakers !.
When we get to Denver I am told we will be in an ampitheater near the Capitol. We are hoping for mild weather.
FYI, our official photographer Mary Pearson just passed the 20,000 photos mark on the tour. It's the digital age of course but when she is not taking photos, she is in the bus or in the motel room categorizing and burning to disc all of these photos. Many will make their way to the web site eventually. It's a huge task but Mary always has a smile on her face and a helping hand to all. She is on our red Reagan bus where she helps pick up everyone's spirits, especially after a six hour ride.
Rapid City is the only rally scheduled for today because of the travel time. From here we leave to overnite in Chyenne WY, another long drive.
We also don't have consistent cell or Internet connection today as we are driving through the unpopulated high plains. On the ride into Rapid City everyone has been checking their coonections and when a signal occassionally pops up everyone jumps on it only to be disconnected. So not sure when this post will eventually go out. We also have compared notes on who has which providers but in fairness no one provider was well connected today.
The venue here in Rapid City is another terrific American setting. The only thing missing are the rodeo horses behind the busses in the arena. I estimate there are more than 500 people in attendance. And while this may be in the Black Hills, they are pulling for the conservatives candidates in tomorrow's elections in New Jersey, Virginia, New York and California.
As you may know the Tea Party Express endorsed the conservative candidate in New York's upstate special election House seat. The bus troup is on pins and needles over tomorrow's election. Fox News is on 24\7 on the red bus (ok, caught part of the World Series last nite on drive into Billings) and the blue bus is alternating between Fox News and CNN coverage.
Big applause over Amy Kremer observation that "we hired these politicians and we can fire them."
The Rivoli's -- Kay and Ron -- have rejoined the troup. They left after the Portland rally to fly to Branson, Missouri for a prior engagement on Saturday nite. They experienced a harrowing flight into Branson. Kay was really so shaken she didn't think she would make it back to the tour but they are with us again to sing their great songs.
This marks the half way point of the tour. Tomorrow should be a great election day and the first sign that America will correct it's political mistakes of 2008.