Another great group of Obama supporters congregated on the Park Strip in Anchorage today. This time, they were on an artistic mission. The goal? To create a giant Obama logo made up of pixel people in colored plastic ponchos.
When I arrived, there were about 300 people already there, and just starting to take their positions. I laughed because the size of this crowd would have totally blown me away a couple months ago, but now, after a series of enormous rallies (Alaska Women Reject Palin, Alaskans for Truth, Statewide Obama rally), it seemed perfectly normal!
Once again, everyone was all smiles, despite the VERY cold temperatures. The blue people were being guided into place, by people with bull horns. Then the white ones filled in part of the center. Then red ones. Then more white ones. All the placement was meticulously coordinated by someone operating a camera from the top floor of a hotel across the street, who gave directions via walkie-talkies to the crew on the ground. The event was promoted as an Alaska Women Support Barack Obama event, but men were welcome, and plenty showed up!
There were lots of progressive canines decked out in various types of attire, and it was a wonderfully diverse and enthusiastic crowd all around. Once again there was lots of honking from passing cars, and people rolling down windows to give us big thumbs up in the frigid air. There was one sad lonely guy on the corner with a sign that said, “Barack Hussein Obama Will Destroy the United States.” It reminded me of the guy on the street corner with the ancient dog-eared decrepit sign that reads, “The World Will End Tomorrow.”
Finally the finished logo was in place, and the group started chanting O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA! which eventually morphed into “Yes We Can!” And I allowed myself a few moments of imagining what it would be like if Alaska went for Obama this year.
Then the coordinator with the bullhorn told everyone to remember where they were standing and what their neighbors looked like. Then, from the top of a ladder he told everyone to disperse out of the “frame” and then when he gave the command, to run in from all sides and reclaim their positions. He warned everyone to expect total chaos, but that it would be fun. He was right. People of all colors – reds, whites, and blues – separated, and then ran back together with whoops and hollers, spinning in circles, clapping, cartwheeling, and jumping, and remarkably formed a pretty decent regenerated logo in less than a minute!
By the time I got back to my car, my nose was red, my thighs were burning, my fingers were numb, and my face was frozen in a big grin.
The rally was organized to send a last-minute photo message to the rest of the country that Alaskans support Obama in large numbers, and that not all Alaskans are in love with Sarah Palin….not by a long shot. I’ll post pictures of the official logo shot, and video as soon as they become available!