Today in Chicago, a group of dedicated Mudflatters gathered for the second, in hopefully a long line of Mudstock events! I was so thrilled to get the photos and great write-up of yet another real-life get-together of the Mudflats community! Here’s the writeup from ‘Bec Hussein of Illinois’ complete with pictures from Bec and Shikago!
To make things interesting, three of the Mudflatters’ screen names are “Chicago”, “Chicago” and “Shikago”! You can have fun figuring it out!
Well Chicagos, Shikago, and Chicagoans, the rest of us were with you in spirit! Thanks for sharing your wonderful afternoon with us.
I’m heading back to the burbs on a train packed with Bears fans (yay – they won today) and American Girl Place visitors. I just had the loveliest experience, thanks to Mudflats, and that was attending our impromptu Mudstock II – Chicago. With a “can do” attitude, Shikago, Chicago, and I (Bec Hussein of Illinois) decided that a pre-election meet-up was possible. Shikago jumped into the planning full force, and surprised us with many special mementos for the day.
The appointed hour was 11:30 AM, Sunday, November 2. The gathering place was by what we all call “The Bean” in Lake Michigan in downtown (The Loop) Chicago. The magnificent sculpture is actually named “Cloudgate.” But we all have come to call it The Bean because of its bean shape. It is fast becoming one of Chicago’s most famous landmarks. We opted for it over gathering at “The Picasso” in Daley Plaza, where in past decades such a meet-up would most likely take place. , just west of
First on the scene was Shikago, with his cart of equipment featuring a small American flag. My daughter (Mudflats lurker) and I were happily greeted by Shikago. I pulled on my newly purchased yellow boots, as Shikago told us how the lovely bouquet of balloons he had spent his precious funds on were ordered to the trash bin by a park security person roving around on a Segway. Something about park rules against balloons around the sculpture. A big disappointment, but we still were quite the attraction with our signs and all. Chicago soon arrived, my yellow boot Mudflats nametags were distributed, and more Mudpuppies came on the scene.
We were joined by Carla, USABarbie, lurker Liz and her husband Walt, and Joe (sorry, didn’t catch his screenname). Next, arrived our very special guest, Lila Bang-WalMart, fresh from her appearance at Mudstock I in Pittsburg! She was in town for a medical convention and we were so thrilled that she chose to play a little hookey from that to join us, and hold a record for participating in BOTH pre-election Mudstocks! How ironic that Lila was staying at the “W” hotel for her visit here. As a special treat, she transformed herself to a , posing for a photo holding the “Elect Governor” sign that Shikago had made.
Shikago had his tripod set up for the group shots, and we happily posed. There were people all around and we may have received some startling looks, but no one assaulted us. I had printed up a few business cards with the Mudflats address, in case anyone asked about us. I was sorry not one was handed out.
As we walked a couple blocks to the restaurant, we went past the forming lineup of network trucks setting up for the big election rally. Eurovision was doing a live shot of The Bean in one corner.
As we enjoyed lunch at Pizano’s, there was a great exchange about who we were, what we did, where we lived, and of course, all kinds of election thoughts. Another Mudflatter, (screen name Chicago) found us at the restaurant and she joined in the conversation. A short while later, USABarbie’s boyfriend arrived, another distinguished guest. He is closely involved in the set up of the giant Obama rally for Election Night and shared what a massive configuration of sound and technical equipment is being put in place.
Shikago is sadly without a ticket for the event, but is totally psyched to be part of it and will find a spot somewhere in the massive surrounding vicinity of the tickets-only section. USABarbie will be there too, of course, and I hope some of the massive sound equipment will reach out to wherever Shikago lands. Most of the rest of us have decided we prefer the comfort of our own homes that night, with our TVs blaring and computers whirling on Mudflats and all other possible information-ready Websites.
As we all departed for our trains, busses, planes and automobiles, Shikago presented us with a lovely packet of items he had created – including a Mudstock II tee-shirt iron-on transfer. A very thoughtful and generous person, that Shikago!
All at Mudstock II agree that our fascination and knowledge of Alaska has either been sparked or expanded, thanks to Mudflats. We learned that Joe has done extensive exploration of the State and he was eager to share suggestions of wonderful spots for us all to visit. I hope to head there during the next year. Others have already been, or, plan to return in the near future.
In closing, we send our very best Chicago greetings to all the other Mudflatters/Mudpuppies from Alaska and the other “49” states, Canada, Australia, and many places around the world. This has been a most welcoming, encouraging, and sanity-strengthening community during the election. Of course, we couldn’t be prouder to have the next president of the United States, Barack Obama, as a fellow-Chicagoan. We know the road ahead will still be rocky as the country pulls together. As Shikgao said in the special prayer/meditation he wrote and read to us before we ate — our country needs healing. Obama is the one to get this started.
Now that we found Mudflats, there is no way that we can stay away from those crazy Alaskan politics. We have to see a few other chapters of this story played out. Though we all need a little break from the all-consuming obsession that this election has become, we aren’t ready to leave Alaska on its own. So you are going to have Chicago, and all the rest of the Mudflats community, hanging in there to hear AKM report what happens next. We all know how we’d like the story to end! Let’s hope it includes a new Alaskan senator in Washington, an old one off to prison, a former state employee vindicated, and the brakes slammed on any notion that a particular Alaskan governor will be able to “rear her ugly head” in 2012!
Dutifully submitted by:
Bec Hussein of Illinois