The Convention has finally begun! With the official opening last night and the emotional ceremony, I was up late. After a thirteen hour day at the Xcel center, I decided I would blog about my experience today and get a couple of hours of sleep last night.
During the morning and afternoon, I was assigned to help the Afghan TV reporter interview locals and delegates. We started off with going to Mickey’s Diner – a must see. I also had lunch there. This is a famous and historical diner, akin to Edith Macefield’s home; a historical landmark that was threatened by development. It stands out because development has surrounded the 1939 art deco diner which was originally built in New Jersey. It has one bar where you may sit and order your meal from a menu with pre-war recipes or you can sit at one of the four booths which have a 30 minute limit. Pre-war is in reference to World War Two, not Iraq. Our next stop was to Heimie’s Haberdashery, a shop where you can get a shoe shine, shave/ hair cut, a tailored suit and a stylish hat. We spoke with the owner, who told us the tale of how his grandfather was a tailor in St. Paul, and to this day the owner fits men and boys whose fathers and grandfather’s first sports coat came from his shop. The style of this shop is reminiscent of 1920’s style, with antique furniture and employees with styled mustaches. I asked him, “How have accessories [on the suit] changed over the years?” His reply was twofold, stating that men no longer needed hats to keep the soot out of their hair or pocket watches to tell the time. What has evolved though, as he pulled a cell phone out of his three piece suit, was how and what the pockets of the suit are used for. His example was pockets on a vest that were previously used for pocket watches have now been slightly refitted to hold our modern day pocket watch, the cell phone. There has not been an overall change in where and how a suit is tailored, but its uses have morphed with our culture. After he offered to sell me a hat, which would have been nice, but thanks to technology we do not have soot filled air. I politely declined and headed to a press conference in the Foreign Press Center.
I attended two press conferences with the Afghan TV reporter, one with the McCain Campaign spokesman and one with a couple of Senators who have recently traveled abroad. The reporter asked a question in regards to our policies with Afghanistan. Upon the answer to the question, we rushed back to the trailers outside the Xcel center to transcribe what had been said so that it could be used for the evening news. During the time between these press conferences, I headed with mic in hand to interview delegates on the Convention floor. I found delegates ranging from Bar Harbor, Maine to Fallbrook, California. They have one thing in common: they were excited about McCain and were honored to be here.
After all of this, the Convention began. I headed for the floor. I accidentally positioned myself in front of the VIP seating: Cindy McCain, George H.W. Bush and the Medal of Honor Veterans who were two rows behind me. I also headed to the photographers area and got some great photos of the speakers, check them out below.
This is the link to Heimie’s Haberdashery:
I referenced the story of Edith Macefield, a local hero in Seattle; here is part of her story:
This is the link to the Wiki site on Mickey’s Diner; they do not have an official website:
Here is the Afghan TV reporter interviewing GOP participants about the Convention:
This is a shot just before the Convention officially began:
Cindy McCain sitting next to John's mother Roberta:
Cindy wanted a photo of us apparently:
Cindy McCain taking a seat again after the speech about her daughter Bridget, but where did Bridget go? Here she is hugging former First Lady Barbra Bush, former President George Bush (41):
First Lady Laura Bush:
Former Senator Fred Thompson speaking in front of a photo of John McCain: