06. July 2009 · Comments Off on Texas Tea Party · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, Local, Tea Time

Well, I can’t use the “meanwhile, back at the ranch” line, since I used it for the last post – but the 4th of July Tea party at the Rio Cibolo Ranch went pretty well. We had a crowd of 5,000 turn out, in hundred-degree plus heat, to sit under the trees and in the main pavilion, listening to the bands and to our speakers … oh, dear, it was a long program, and having the opening ceremonies start in the late afternoon – when the heat is at the absolute worst – was not such a bright idea. But we had a lot to go through, and the bands played sets in between times, to break up the solid walls of talk, and everyone sat around drinking cool drinks. The kids played in the shade and ran around doing those kid games, with Frisbees and rode in a tractor-pulled wagon sitting on bales of hay … I think every time I looked beyond the edge of the crowd it was to see that wagon go past, full of kids. I imagine they were taking the kids down to the meadow where a herd of longhorns are pastured … that and the buffalo. Yes, the ranch has a buffalo – and darned as if it doesn’t stand exactly in the same pose as the buffalo on their logo.

I had sort of a press rendezvous point, behind one of the small banquet-halls, with a terrace cantilevered out over the edge of Cibolo Creek, which is fairly deep and looks like pale green jade, at that point. There was a nice breeze, which came just often enough to take the edge off the heat. I spent some of the first part of the party there, with my blog-pal, The Fat Guy, and a crew from Univision – a cameraman and a newscaster, a slender young woman who was the only woman I saw during the whole day with the courage to wear high heels. Otherwise, it was sandals, crocks and tennis. TFG posted his report here, and his pictures here, so you can pretty much get the idea of what the main venue looked like for much of the day. There were three other TV stations there also – the local affiliates of ABC, CBS and Fox, and a writer and cameraman from the Express News – the cameraman took a lovely series of photos –much nicer than anything I could have taken (Link here

Of course, the biggest element in the program was Governor Perry signing off on our “Contract with the Constitution” – a statement of principles, which we would like to present to every elected politician or prospective politician. If they sign off on it – good and well; if not … well, then, that says something. And if they sign off on it, and then don’t keep to it … that says something else. Up until the last minutes, we were under the impression that he would just zoom right in, introduce Marcus Luttrell, sign off on the Contract and zoom out again. He actually stayed for about three hours, some of it in rustic little banquet hall where the VIP dinner was being held, and the rest in the backstage area. When the VIP dinner was over and a lot of the guests were scattering to their seats in front of the stage, Blondie and I went and bought plates of chopped brisket on a bun from the food vendor, and brought them in to eat in the relative coolness of the hall. We sat next to the elderly lady known to us all as Matt’s Mom; Matt is the webmaster for the Tea Party Committee. His Mom comes to all the meetings and events with him. On Matt’s Mom’s other side was Other Matt, the husband of another Committee member who was wearing his 82nd Airborne baseball cap. After a bit, Governor Perry came over, and pulled up a chair opposite and began ragging on Other Matt, the old paratrooper for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes; the Governor had been an Air Force transport pilot, it transpired. So we had quite a frivolous and merry conversation, with Blondie ragging back at him, when he confessed that he had broken a collarbone lately in a bike accident – but not a motorcycle, a mountain bike, and I recommended that he give up on the VIP chicken dinner, and try some of the brisket from the vendor outside. Not quite sure why he glommed on to us, out of the people left in the hall – possibly because we didn’t want to talk politics or ask for a picture.

Anyway, eventually we went outside to the back stage, with bottles and bottles of ice water, and waited everyone’s turn to make their speeches, and the Governor to sign off on the contract. … It turns out that Senator Jeff Wentworth was also there, and also signed off on the Contract, only I was too busy taking pictures. Blondie took a good picture of Evan Sayet, and I took a very nice one of Steve Vaus, with his guitar in hand, waiting to go on at the very last. (With luck, they will be up on the Tea Party website soon.) And then after that, there were fireworks, quite spectacular and very close, appearing just over the top of the main pavilion, and neatly framed by a pair of trees. It was near to a full moon; after sundown the heat slackened until it was just comfortably warm. All in all, I think most people had a wonderful time at the party – the news coverage was good, and the Rio Cibolo people were very pleased. It would be nice to come back every year and do a 4th of July party there; but maybe start later in the day. The heat was so bad, and we both spent so much time running around in it, we were still exhausted on Sunday.

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