Stella Cretek

Humping for Obama

By - Sep 22nd, 2008 02:52 pm
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Saturday, September 13: I’ve just returned from the afternoon opening of Obama’s campaign headquarters at 534 West National Avenue in Walker’s Point. It was a homecoming of sorts as I used to live in a funky building adjacent to La Perla at 5th & National and later, worked at Art Muscle Magazine at 10th & National, west of the headquarters. Those were they days my friend, when artists partied hard in Frank Ford’s infamous StudioGalactica, and if not there, equally hard at Carrie Scoczek’s apartment/studio on south 5th. Walker’s Point Center for the Arts was in the space now occupied by La Perla, but it’s still around, currently in a historic building due west, and here and there upstart galleries struggle to hang on.

The best part of the opening was being in Nick Topping’s former digs, and if Topping was among the living, he’d likely be thrilled at the turnout. He was a socialist/activist, and his store was plastered with socialist posters. It was a hangout for all kinds of people. If history has it right, it was Topping who brought the Beatles to Milwaukee.

The young volunteers circulating in the crowded space had never heard of Topping, but I got at least one of them to write down his name and see if she could round up information about him and put it on the walls, along with sign-up sheets for the many items needed to keep the place running. “Everything we have so far has been donated,” a sweating volunteer said. A lady sat at a table selling Obama stuff, and I went home with a big round “Fist Bump” button dangling from my purse. It was hot and stuffy inside the space and folks were congregating on the sidewalk fronting the building. Mountains of food arrived in huge containers steaming forth smells of beans and rice, along with platters of chips and salsa, and bottled water. A band kicked in later as an assortment of local politicians filtering forth.

Kent Mueller, former proprietor of KMArt, dropped in for a plate of food and some conversation about the way back in Walker’s Point. He lives in the neighborhood in a historic home, and is certainly part of the local scene. I remarked that a sheet taped to the wall indicated the headquarters is seeking artists to paint portraits of Obama, so if any of you readers so desire, they can be dropped off at 534 W. National. The walls could use something more than sign-up sheets, and certainly artists could do worse than portray the next president of the United States.

There was quite a bit of buzz in the crowd about how tight the race is going to be in Wisconsin, and I overheard snippets about Palin, snippets about Bill supporting Obama, and snippets about “McSame.” From one of the sign-up sheets, it looked like there is a need for volunteers to carry the message forward.

EDIT: Sunday, September 21: I’m back for Barack

Quite a few volunteers showed up at noon to canvass the neighborhood, including a couple with their young child in tow. The 23-year-old Field Organizer of the campaign in the 8th & 9th Assembly District, Vanessa Solis, rolled in at noon to get folks started on their way. If you’d like to volunteer in any capacity, she can be reached on her cell: 899-3567

Photobucket
Full-time volunteer Christian Eichlenlaub & Field Organizer Vanessa Solis

Categories: Dem Bones

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