We went to the memorial service for Phyllis Busansky today. Almost a thousand people showed up, including almost every important Democrat in the area and some Republicans too, including Governor Crist (ick). There were some great stories told about Phyllis, especially one by the columnist Steve Otto. (That column is not about the story he told at the service, but ask me some time and I'll tell you that one, it's the story about how Phyllis' hair inspired an invention. And then there was the one about the time she got a police escort for her daughter's interview at Brown....) There were some emotional memories, especially by one of her sons. There were people of all colors represented, because Phyllis lived to make life better for those who have least. There were tears, but probably more laughes. What I loved the most about it, though, was the music that played as we all slowly filed out, You Can Get It If You Really Want (but you must try, and try, and try, till you succeed at last) which was not only music she liked, but music that was sort of the story of her life, and the lesson she lived for others.
Here's one of Bill Maher's New Rules from last Friday night:
"...every time Obama tries to take on a progressive cause, there's a major political party standing in his way: the Democrats. Now, people talk a lot about a third political party in America. We don't need a third party. We need a first party. You go to the polls and your choices are the guy who voted for the first Wall Street bailout, or the guy who voted for the next ten.
This year, we're hearing that a public option for health care is unlikely because it doesn't have the support of enough Democrats. Even Ted Kennedy's plan-- Ted Kennedy, yeah -- leaves 37 million uninsured. This is because we don't have a left and a right part in this country anymore. We have a center-right party and a crazy party.
And, over the last 30-odd years, Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital.
So, what we have is one perfectly good party for hedge fund managers, credit card companies, banks, defense contractors, big agriculture and the pharmaceutical lobby; that's the Democrats.
And they sit across the aisle from a small group of religious lunatics, flat-earth-ers and Civil War re-enactors who mostly communicate by AM radio and call themselves the Republicans. And who actually worry that Obama is a socialist.
Socialist? He's not even a liberal. I know he's not because he's on TV. And while I see Democrats on television, I don't see actual liberals. And if occasionally you do get to hear Ralph Nader or Noam Chomsky or Dennis Kucinich, they're treated like buffoons. Okay, these are not three of the world's most charismatic men, but then nobody is going to confuse Newt Gingrich for Zac Efron. And I have to look at his fat face on TV more often than that free credit report song.
Shouldn't there be one party that unambiguously supports cutting the military budget, a party that is straight up in favor of gun control, gay marriage, higher taxes on the rich, universal health care--legalizing pot--and steep, direct taxing of polluters? These aren't radical ideas. A majority of Americans are either already for them or would be if they were properly argued and defended.
And what we need is an actual progressive party to represent the millions of Americans who aren't being served by the Democrats. Because, bottom line, Democrats are the new Republicans."
, even just a little, like I did, you'd have been inspired by her.
Phyllis Busansky was the best kind of politician. Smart, compassionate, and truly in it to make life better for others.
She served on the county commission during the good years, when there were other Democrats and other women and they accomplished good things. She worked hard for the Democratic party and the people of this county through the bad years, when crazy right wing christians took over. She had the courage to run for Congress in my very conservative district, and she lost, but at least she ran, no other Democrat even tried.
This past November Phyllis ran again, this time for Supervisor of Elections, and to our surprise and joy, she won! And then found out what we all really knew, the Elections office was a mess, and she began to put things right.
Phyllis Busansky died unexpectedly yesterday, at a statewide meeting of Supervisors of Elections. It's a huge loss for all of us in Hillsborough County, and my hope is that those she inspired will pick up and carry on.
I always loved our garage door, painted by the previous owner to reflect the trees in the landscaping right there. But sadly, the door needed replacing, it was old and had issues, and so did the opener, and it wasn't storm proof anyway. So goodbye artsy door, and welcome to a new door, not interesting, but it works very well and very quietly, and will resist hurricane force winds, qualifying us for a bit of a tax break.
It's been insanely hot the past week, and feels even hotter thanks to the humidity which is so thick it actually has a presence on your skin. Too hot to be outside unless you are in the water. And Daisy has figured it out. It's too tiring for her to swim all day long, though she used to be able to do this. But there are two seats cut into the sides of the pool, and today Daisy was swimming back and forth between them, just hanging out in the water to keep cool.
We drove up to Atlanta Friday, May 8th, the day after Barbara's birthday, the day before Sarah's birthday, and 5 days before mine. Soon we were back in a car, heading down to Decatur, to Eddie's Attic, a great place to eat acceptable food and hear excellent music.
We started out with dinner on the roof, joined by the Schindler kids, Sarah and Grant, and their partners, Jake and Joanna. I was excited to see Richard Shindell arrive and unpack the car. Eddie himself took this picture of our whole group. It was a fun family dinner and then the younger half of the party left and the older half went inside to hear Richard. He was great, as always. Enjoyed the opening act, Meg Hutchinson, too.
A month ago we went up to Atlanta to celebrate birthdays, more on that later.
On the way up north we stopped in High Springs and met up with Krin and Olivia & CJ who were visiting -- they were headed for a day at the springs. It was a brief visit, and so fun to see Olivia pregnant and she and CJ so exuberant about it. She's even bigger now, of course, check her out on their website.