Wednesday, November 05, 2008

How Faeries Vote


Welcome to The Day I Never Thought I'd See! I'm your host, Anne Johnson. I've been in this world awhile, but it has not ceased to amaze me. Thank goodness. Because why get out of bed in the morning if you've seen it all?

There's a law on the books in New Jersey that you can't wear political items into a polling place. No shirts, hats, pins, etc. At first blush this seems like a violation of the First Amendment. But if you live in New Jersey, you understand pretty fast that you could get in a rather rancorous disagreement with someone intead of voting, just based on your tie tack.

Nevertheless, being bluer than blue, I wanted to wear some sort of little token that subtly gave away how I planned to vote.

I had a teeny tiny AFL-CIO pin with the American flag and "Union Yes!" on it. I knew exactly where I put it, because I planned to wear it to the polls.

So yesterday morning, I reached for it, exactly where I had left it ...

You're a regular reader, right? You know what's coming...

The pin was gone. I searched the shelf, the surrounding countertop, my sparse jewelry box upstairs, my bowl of faerie wear. Little pin gone. Or not gone (as we know), just hidden by the faeries.

In a last-ditch attempt to find it, I opened The Big Junk Drawer. Every kitchen has one -- that place you throw stuff that you hardly, if ever, use. And in there I found a pin. Not the one I was planning to wear, but a pin nevertheless.

The pin was an Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic pin.

The Grand Army of the Republic was, of course, the Union Army in the Civil War. My father's ancestors enlisted in the Union Army by the fistfuls, some in the infantry, some in the cavalry. Two of them are buried at Andersonville Prison National Cemetery in Georgia.

So I went to vote yesterday wearing my Allied Orders pin. (Allied Orders is a society of descendents of Civil War veterans.)

My daughter The Heir and I went into the voting booth together, because she was keen to press the Obama button, and I was equally keen to let her do it. But I also felt in there the presence of my ancestors who did what they could to help runaway slaves during the dark times, and fought as they could to free the slaves when the war came. My father's people voted with me.

Later in the evening, as we were watching the returns, I went into the kitchen to clean up. Lying there on the counter, in plain view, was the little AFL-CIO pin.

The faeries wanted me to reflect not on my own immediate struggles, but on the desperate historic struggles that my ancestors saw and sought to avenge. Let no one say this election was not about race. It is about race. It's about stepping away from the way things were and trying out a new path for how things should be.

Leave it to the faeries to understand that.

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7 Comments:

At November 05, 2008 , Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

A beautiful post and very moving! Thank you! And hey, America, yes you can!!

 
At November 05, 2008 , Blogger sageweb said...

Wonderful Post! And Yippee!

 
At November 05, 2008 , Blogger Him said...

If only they had hidden Lee Harvey's rifle that day.....

 
At November 05, 2008 , Blogger Morning Angel said...

Best Post Ever.

 
At November 05, 2008 , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

fairies should run for office..

 
At November 06, 2008 , Blogger Hillbilly Fairy said...

KUBIANDO!!!!!! Long live Barack Obama. I was driving home today admiring the last golden leaves of autumn when this grimy pickup truck pulled out in front of me. SAVE AMERICA! was scrawled on its rear window, along with this:
BUCK OBAMA.
How rude.
I wish I could read your little story to them.... not that it would make any difference to idiots like that....

 
At November 06, 2008 , Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

Good story.

I've been thinking about the GAR too -- I photographed a Tiffany-glass dome in Chicago that is part of a memorial and will post it one of these days.

 

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