Monday, October 29, 2012

Storms near and far

Two years ago, when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, like so many others I ran out into the crowds, simply enjoying the raucous mood. Last night, there was a whiff of something in the air that warned us off. There were fireworks, horns honking, much shrieking -- but it didn't feel quite right.

The headline in the morning paper (where this picture was published) catches the scene: Delirium, Destruction in SF. I can't say whether the heavy police presence around the corner helped or hurt. But the scene felt wrong.

So we didn't go out -- until we heard loud bangs at the back of the house and on the roof. Somehow a group of young people had climbed over from somewhere, tried to get down in our yard, broken through a fence and back gate. One girl had fallen/leaped from about 16 feet high and landed on her back on the pavement. She was lying there moaning. The others were hurriedly trying to get away or standing over the girl. We tried to keep her down, but her only desire was to have her friends drag her away and eventually they did. Let's hope there were no broken bones or permanent damage from a moment of delirium.

I nailed up the broken gate. Destruction and delirium happens.
Meanwhile the East Coast waits for Hurricane Sandy. Let's hope (government-organized!) preparations preserve life and limb.

Sandy will disrupt the election, though how much we won't know for awhile. But I can testify what it is like to be working on an election through a major earthquake. In 1989 we were in the final stages when the Loma Prieta shake knocked down a section of the Bay Bridge and several freeways, killing 63 people. San Franciscans seemed numb in its aftermath. It took a week to meet individually with all the people working to get out our vote, share experiences, allow ourselves to settle. We forged on, but it was a struggle to overcome inertia -- not what you want in mid-campaign.

We had three weeks. Folks working on East Coast campaigns have only a week. I am thinking especially of the efforts for marriage equality in Maryland and Maine. They almost certainly depend on volunteer energy. Let's hope Sandy doesn't knock these folks off a promising track.


kathy a. said...

wow, how bizarre and scary. i don't really understand how wrecking stuff = celebration.

my summer roommate tried to jump off a roof and ended up breaking her back -- no spinal damage, but huge pain and long recovery.

Michael Strickland said...

So nice to read we had the same instinctual response last night. We lasted 20 minutes in Civic Center Plaza and knew it was time to go home and hide out after two innings.

Sort of enjoying watching lower Manhattan turning into a storm-battered Caribbean island tonight, probably for some of the same reasons that people (mostly young) want to act out destructively at sanctioned moments like a sports championship.

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