Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stephen Harper and the Elusive Mr. Akin

I’m still flying ten stories high! What an awesome afternoon! The Stephen Harper rally in Kitchener at Bingeman Park was incredible. The room was jam-packed with excited supporters. My friends and I arrived well ahead of time, and snagged a few of the remaining chairs that were left. I had brought along a photo of Mr. Harper and myself taken at a media event a few months ago. I was hoping he would sign it, but my hopes dimmed as the crowd grew bigger.

The media started trickling in, and I noticed Globe columnist Christy Blatchford out of the corner of my eye. She was standing on a media riser and chatting amicably with a fellow nearby. I recalled my email to fellow blogger David Akin of CTV that I was going to try to say hi to him, but since he was not in sight, I managed to ask Christy if she knew where he was, and mentioned that I had hoped to see him.

She said, ”Oh, you’re the BLOGGER!”

“Um, yeah!” Wow, who knew? Well, yes, I guess I am, come to think of it.

Anyway, she said she’d watch for him. As the pandemonium rose, and even more people jammed in, I felt a nudge at my elbow. Someone was telling me to look at Christy, who was smiling and pointing back at a very tall good looking gentleman, who I recognized as David Akin. He returned my wave and smiled, all the while talking on his cell. There was no hope of even getting close to him.

Stephen Harper eventually arrived to a thunderous, cheering crowd. He was introduced by the amazing MPP Elizabeth Witmer, and then he started whipping up the crowd into a frenzy! He was awesome! His message of hope for a country so starved for integrity in leadership, was inspiring and uplifting.

As he made his way out towards a side door, I knew it was now or never to try to get my photo signed. I wormed my way towards the departing entourage, and was stopped by the RCMP bodyguards. I held out my photo and silver sharpie with a hopeful look on my face, and I guess I garnered their sympathy, and I was allowed to stay in line.

“Lady with photo to be signed”, I heard one fellow mumbling into his mouthpiece.

Mr. Harper was making his way down the line, but his back was to me as he went past.

“Prime Minister Harper!”, I called out, and he turned around. I held out my photo and pen, and he signed it. Then we shook hands. Awesome.

Afterwards I was looking for David Akin by the media busses, but he was nowhere to be seen. I did however run into Monte Solberg, who I had met once before at a rally for our local candidate, and he remembered my name! Incredible. What a great guy!

All in all, a most amazing day. The crazy part is that it was easier to shake hands with Stephen Harper and Monte Solberg, than with David Akin. Who knew?


Steph said...

That was truly an incredible event. I was so excited to finally see Stephen Harper live and in person. I am totally jealous though that you got to shake his hand again and got him to sign your photo. I couldn't get anywhere near him but was happy to catch a glimpse of him while standing on a chair!

Gerry said...

Joanne this sounds like an unbelievable event. Really sorry I missed it, but your description is the next best thing. Caught a snipit on CTV last night and the crowd looked truly excited. Congrats on getting your picture autographed, I have a feeling you'll be treasuring it for a long time. Monday will be a truly defining momoment for the Country. Keep up the good work.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks Gerry and Steph! Gerry, you are so right about it being a defining moment. I am so encouraged by how Ontario is finally waking up. It's awesome!

Joe said...

An amazing person referred me to your site. I have read quite a bit of it now. It sounds like you had had an amazing day pursuing Mr. Harper. Truly very rare.

Thank you for putting together this wonderful site. It's great to hear the opinions of people who really care about our wonderful country. I admire your detail and vividness you add to the subject!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Wow, thanks Joe. I appreciate your comments!