Sunday, December 14, 2003

Okay, Today is still pretty fresh in my mind....Kemmie was willing to drive-her hub was home with the kids..Scotto(my treasure!) was fine hanging home with the 9er game and encouraged me to go along "Take some money-Have a great time!"
Still it felt a little like we were in high school and cutting class!!!
No hitches as we found the Argent, a rather posh hotel right next door to The Four Seasons Hotel on 3rd street...Happily, tickets were still available and up to the prelunch reception we went where drinks and cookies were available. Kem & I grabbed coffee & tea, found a table did a little people watching and gabbed a bit.
Folks were "guarding" the door of the banquet room-Kemmie has the big beautiful smile and without asking any questions the man at the door nearest to us, let us in.
The room was very large, tables of 10 and 12 had signs designating different chapters of Northern California ACLU on them. There were also tables set aside for a variety of groups including -Adopt International, The National Committee Against Repressive Legislation etc...
After doors had shut behind us- we realized we had wandered right into the soundcheck. Just hotel personell and the usual Weir/Wass crew were there. I expected for us to be asked to leave but we were left alone. Kem brought along her digicam (good going!) and used it- still we were allowed to stay!
The guys fiddled with Blackbird and KC Moan a little- Bobby sounded terrific! Time came too soon for the fun to end. Rob and Bob et al retreated to somewhere else and in came everyone else.
The elderly and disabled folks were the first to be let in, they found their tables then got into the (3) buffet lines. I was happy with my coffee and didnt eat or notice beyond fruit, cheeses or sweets what was offered. As the room filled to what I expect was full capacity, the opportunity to people watch was amazing.
There was a welcome given by Quinn Delaney, followed by a state of the union address by Dorothy Ehrlich. An award of courageous advocacy was presented to Judith Volkart for activism including speaking out about the dangers of the USA Patriots act.
Before Bob and Rob were presented, youths who took part in a youth Civil Liberties program reviewed their activities.
After that, Bobby and Robert Wasserman were introduced. Unlike the usual routine, Bobby stepped forward to make a few comments. He credited Dennis McNally for matching him up with this ACLU function and spoke about his own involvement over the years with environmental protection groups..He explained his own concern about orgs such as Greenpeace possibly having their tax exempt status revoked. He then was ready to do, as he put it, "what we does best" and the music started up.

Our first treat was "Ashes and Glass" Kem filmed all of it I believe. The sound was unbelievably clear and strong. The next song was "Throwing Stones" I was into it- but sitting on a chair facing tables, I wasnt aware til the sing a long "ashes to ashes" part- that there were Deadheads in the room- Everyone turned at the same time to see maybe 4 guys in tie dye up and dancing in the back..It was funny because they hadnt been visible at all til then- this was a suit and tie, sweater and skirt set.. Still sounding really great with a WONDERFUL jamming just going - a tall man at one of the centermost tables, leaped to his feet- tore off his coat, tie and (a gasp from the seniors) ripped off his shirt to reveal a big ole tie dye, then ran across the room to where the 4 Deadheads were dancing..(lawyers!) It was just another weird moment that seems to happen wherever Bobby happens...
Crowd applauded but that was all for Bob & Rob. Kems and I spent a few moments with Bobby & Rob and Dennis in the foyer on our way out. Everyone was in the best mood. I meant to thank Dennis for getting Bobby and Rob there..but like all my best thoughts- that one fizzled off and I said some lame thing about books..argh!
Bobby and Rob were all smiles and very relaxed..I was so happy to have been there, I couldnt really think up anything to say and so stood there smiling at both of them..The beautiful thing was having them smile back...
I love December!