A Short Vacation, from Ken Smith

February 19, 2008 |

We drove 60 miles to another city to attend a training session, all day with lunch included. We learned how political parties organize themselves.

We learned Washington State is the strongest Democrat harbor in the nation.  We learned the county we live in, the city we live in, is populated almost entirely by Democrats. We learned the Party leaders in this state are rated in the top 3-4 short list of superior men and women in the nation. I don't think they were bragging.

Since this activity was held on a national holiday, and Washington's Birthday at that, the event was well attended. Ina and I, however, were minority in that most attendees were more or less official delegates and active Party members — people already entrenched in the Party.

We learned the Democratic caucuses were attended by nearly 250,000 citizens — and the Republican caucuses attracted a mere 20,000.  What a difference!  I don't know what happened in other states, but if Washington State is anything like an indicator Republicans are going to lose the next presidential election. Place your bets.

What is more, the Clinton name was almost verboten in that gathering.   Senator Obama's majority was such a heavy presence that Clinton people must have been thoroughly chagrined, and thus silenced.

Training lectures with slide shows continued from 10am through 4pm, with the sack lunch break.  At 5pm the big awaited event occurred, a Crab Feed, a tradition for the Democratic Party here.  Crab fishermen provide hundreds of fresh crabs from the Pacifc Ocean and from the Dungeness spit area.   More than than, salmon and clams too.  Dished up by volunteers who also served cole slaw, pasta, garlic bread, and baked beans. Beer was sold at a separate counter, other end of the huge room, space rented from St. Martin's University.

Parenthetically, some of the original buildings are still standing on the campus.  One of them is brick, three stores, with full basement, housing class rooms, a dormitory, and chow hall.  This was the former St. Martin's High School, a Catholic boarding school for boys which I attended in the 9th grade before dropping out to go to sea as a merchant mariner during World War II.

The Crab Feast was filled to capacity and more. The people who attended the day training session were joined by hundreds who had subscribed to the $40 final event only.  Speakers were prominent state Democrats, with the main draw a Senator from Montana.

Crab lovers were satisfied to the full.  A guy at our table got back in line twice again after he finished his first half crab.  I don't eat the stinking things myself, as I worked in Alaskan waters where the big ones come from; these are scavengers, eat all the dead things on the ocean floor, including humans who have drowned.

We stayed at a new place for us.  Ameritel chain.  I believe it's a Mormon business, cause they are in Idaho mostly.  I recommend them.  Our price was $109 except for the added taxes; king bed, well appointed, wireless Internet which actually worked in our 4th floor room.  Included was fine breakfast service with table by a fireplace, buffet style of course. Omelette with bacon, where the usual is corn flakes.

On the way back home this morning fog slowed traffic but it never got bogged down to a stall.  Am at home to find my position stinks like the crab.





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