Remember two posts ago when I jokingly displayed a fake Bernie sighting? Well, be careful what you joke about; it may come true. And the truth is way better than fiction.
On Thursday, June 2, Bernie Sanders visited Chico State University. We'd be allowed entry to the event at 5:30pm. I arrived, the tenth person there, at 12:30pm. As hours passed, the growing crowd was very kind. We bought each other snacks and shared shade; weather reached into the triple-digits. One woman distributed poster boards and markers. I made a poster: Berning in Chico!
Time passed, newscasters showed up, saw my sign, and asked me for an interview. They interviewed a number of folks, and I'd ultimately land a spot at the beginning and end of the news-bite below! I'm posting all the links and such, because I don't know if it's posted correctly. You should be able to click on the picture. If you need to, you can copy and paste the link into your URL bar to see it too.
But wait, that's NOT ALL! After getting through security, I made a mad dash towards the podium. I soon found myself in swarms of people already claiming their spots as close as possible to a fence that would protect Bernie from thousands of fans.
I made my way to the second row. Then begging commenced: "Excuse me, can I have two inches of the fence, please? I won't block your view, I promise." I kept asking for a few inches.* (*We know I've done that before). My pleas were met with "No! This space is for volunteers," long snippy lectures, or -at best- "You can stand next to me, but not in front." Mind you, these people were approximately 1 to 1.5 feet taller than me. I wouldn't have blocked their view had I carried a mid-sized toddler, large banana, or your standard golf-cart on my shoulders.
I persisted, inch by inch, however. Eventually, I gripped the fence. But the people who pretended to scoot over for me insisted that I ask people on the other side to also move a bit. Really, Berners?! If you weren't resting both elbows on the fence whilst towering over me aggressively, there wouldn't be any issues now. Would there? Socialism, peeps! SOCIAL-ISM! [I ended up claiming all the inches I needed - my L.A. native capitalistic, corporate greed 4'8" ferocious mentality and all.]
The show began. Sarah Lee Guthrie played inspiring music. Susan Sarandon spoke with poise and smarts. She's GORGEOUS, and she wore pink tennies too.
Then came Bernie Sanders!
We shouted after every reasonable, passionate, earnest thing he said. And everything was all of that. He didn't look at his hand-written notes. He spoke eloquently for over an hour about our need to end racism, corruption in government, misogyny, fracking, huge college debts, etc.
At the end, Bernie Sanders walked along the fence. I got charged at by the swarms of people trying to shake hands with him, but I stood my ground (literally and figuratively), and then, it happened, my friends. It really happened. Bernie Sander's hand took my right hand. His handshake was warm, loving, compassionate, yet very firm and confident. I proclaimed "I love you!" I really did. Bernie heard me and looked at me, mouthed something, and kept moving through the crowds.
I can't guarantee it, but I'm fairly certain that what Bernie Sanders said in response to my expression of love was "I love you too, Robyn Alana Engel."
To my American friends, if you'd like a suggestion on which candidate to support, I have one.
To all, be well, and keep smiling.
I'll do the same.