*Note: Starting in September I sent several posts to The Huffington Post Off The Bus. Some of them were published-this one wasn’t.
By Jerry Waxman
Saturday, September 27.
It was the kind of day in Central Florida that the Tourist Bureau people dream about; Blue sky, bright sun, temperature in the low 80’s and no hint of humidity in the air. At 1:00 on a Saturday afternoon like this in a previous life, say thirty years ago, I would just now be coming off the golf course with my regular foursome and we would meet our wives at the tennis courts and have lunch. The rest of the afternoon would be spent playing mixed doubles and figuring out where to go for dinner that evening, and then whether or not to go to the casinos in Atlantic City. Life was good. Fast forward thirty years and 900 miles south of Philadelphia and I am searching for an address that even my Google map couldn’t find. Through trial and error I finally arrived. This place, ensconced in the rear of an office complex, will remain a well kept secret for the next thirty six days. My apprehension was quickly put to rest by the active crowd of enthusiastic supporters and volunteers both in the parking lot and inside the building. From Ten O’clock AM until well after Three O’clock PM there was a steady stream of people coming and going. Two gas barbecue grilles were constantly going and Tom, the steadfast chef, made sure that no one left hungry. As I observed the goings on I realized that my previous life was now just a part of my experience that served me well for my next life as a senior citizen activist.
The East Orlando office can easily hold between 50 and 100 people at any time, and it will serve the community well. East Orlando is really the key to winning Orange County. If all the volunteers and supporters work diligently Obama will win in Central Florida. There are two colleges in the area, Valencia and the University of Central Florida. When the two are included together they add up to significant numbers. There are also scores of apartment complexes in the area. I have now been appointed a team leader. My job will be to attract and empower volunteers to both canvass the area and make as many phone calls as possible to voters in our district. During this grand opening people from all walks of life were there. All age groups were represented as well as all income levels, ethnicities and religions. It was also a very friendly group. I met several of my fellow team leaders and I sensed real passion in this gathering.
The tide is turning in Central Florida. The community organizers here are astute and well trained at what they do. They are attracting very motivated people and there are boots on the ground all over the Orlando area. As I write this I am preparing for a meeting with the area organizer tomorrow morning where we will develop plans for covering our particular districts to be implemented within the next two days. The new office is located at 1842 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32826. If you are a resident in the area and want to volunteer please stop in. The office is open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day, Sundays included. You can also call 407 949 8604. I’ll be there for the next several Saturday afternoons-it sure beats golf.