Tuesday, October 03, 2006

September 10, 2006

September 10,2006 I couldn't spend the entire weekend in New York because yesterday was my birthday. So my wife and I went to the movies and went to dinner. There was no way I was going to be in New York and leave her home alone on my birthday. She is not really that thrilled that I am involved with in this venture in my life but she tolerates it but being in New York on my birthday with her sitting alone, she would have really have given me a major guilt trip. But we had a great time.

So I took the train up from Trenton and went to check to see if someone had turned in my lost hat from Friday. I don't think I'll ever see that hat again. I got to my hotel early and stored my luggage. Then I took the bus to the Cooper Union and got there early enough to see Eric Williams again as he was setting up his table. I then was fortunate enough to get to meet Jim Fetzer and Kevin Barrett but only got to shake their hands as they promptly went into to hall. I really would have liked to talk to Kevin Barrett as I had emailed him a few times when I was helping David Slesinger set up 911courage.org but I missed the chance. One by one the group started coming in so we started setting up. Sherry and I and few others went upstairs to start to get the ticket selling area and t-shirt tables set up. Then we were going to get the shirts set up on the tables and in size orders. The group from Loose Change was there as well with their t-shirts and was a little pushy in my estimation. They need a little back step and need to remember where they started. A little stardom has gone to their heads. They need to know how to talk to people that are a little older than they are and to know that maybe we know a little more than them sometimes. Their boxes may have been marked with the sizes of their t-shirts but our t-shirts were put out on Friday night and may not have been repacked in the original boxes. So when we were putting out the t-shirts they just put the t-shirts in the piles that whatever the box said, not looking at the t-shirt tag. I had made a mention that you should check the t-shirts in our boxes to make sure that they had the right t-shirt tag. But then again, they put out most of their t-shirts anyway. Later on that evening, we had found several times, t-shirts of different sizes mixed in with different sizes in the wrong piles and from the wrong boxes. So I knew what I was saying but then I was wrong saying what I had said to the younger crowd earlier in the day. I then met up with my ticket selling friend from Friday night, Diane, whose name I had forgotten, (Sorry Diane). She helped out with the t-shirts. Sherry got a little intense while we were setting things up but later on in the evening, she knew what she was doing. 8) She came to me later and admitted he was intense. We had a group hug and I knew she is always a little intense. She packs a lot of energy in that short frame of hers. A little dynamo. But we got it set up and done with a lot of help from Dan, Gordon and the guys from Loose Change and some other young guys from the group who I do not know (Sorry guys).

So, as on Friday night I volunteered to work the door and sell the tickets. As fate would happen, I was paired up with my email friend Mia Hamel from Tampa FL. She was the one I had also been working with on 911courage.org for a while and we talked about getting together at the weekend. Les had sent Mia up to the door to work the tickets. Nice irony. She was part of David Slesinger's plan to use nonviolent civil disobedience at the opening of Oliver Stone's movie World Trade Center. So Mia worked the Internet prepaid tickets and I did the cash sales. Diane ended up doing the t-shirts after she had helped set them up. She got help a while from Gordon when the ticket sales were brisk in the beginning. I stayed upstairs while the others traded off and took breaks to go downstairs and watch the speakers. I was in dire need most the day for change. I needed ones a lot and then fives and tens as most people came in from the ATM with $20 for a $12 donation and fives and ones went fast. So then I would ask for 2 ones and give them a ten back so then the tens would go. So it was a challenge to balance out the change. By the end of the night it basically worked out. I had to charge different prices at times to keep that change balance but it worked out. There was one other significant problem that raised its rather ugly head. One of the other Loose Change gentlemen approached me while I was selling tickets. He patiently allowed me to continue to sell tickets. I knew who he was as I recognize him from his pictures and that he had spoken at the church Friday night. He also is one of my friends on my myspace page. After I was done selling tickets, he says to me without mentioning names, "Les Jamieson told me I can have 2 tickets and I'm not paying for them" in a tone that was quite indignant and surly. Now for a kid in his early 20s talking to a man in his mid 50s…if I would have talked like that to my father, he would have hauled off and …have been put in jail if it would have been today. Because that was the way things were in those days. I know, I know, it's not then but like I said before, these young gentlemen need to step back and remember where they were a few years back. Mired in a small hick town, delivering pizzas, doing tours in Iraq and doing what? So they made a big splash in the movement with a video and now they're big shots but you don't talk to people, especially older people like they're nothing. I may only be starting out in the movement but I have just as much right to be treated like a human being than anybody else. The next time, and I really hope there is no next time, he gets dressed down a few pegs. I chose not to do it then because there were too many people standing there and decided against it at the time. Frank Morales came upstairs to say that Les wanted everybody from the group onstage to get accolades from the crowd for a job well done. Someone had to stay at the door to sell tickets to the people coming in so I decided to stay there and allowed all the others to go downstairs. I am new to the group and don't get up to New York as much as all of the others in the group so it was not as much a big deal for me. Later on Bruce came up to sit with me at the ticket table and he did me a favor by going out at dinner break to get me some change a few times.

After dinner ticket sales became brisk as they came to see Alex Jones, Loose Change-The Final Cut and especially the rap star Immortal Technique. At one point I was asked not to turn anyone away because the star had sent out 100,00 emails saying he would be giving this concert. But I had forgotten about the city fire codes and maximum capacity rules and was later reminded as ticket sales were dwindling that I couldn't over sell more than what was printed. Fortunately my friends from my Philadelphia group PA911visibility.com, Wendi Polinow and Jon Gold from The YBBS.com had come earlier in the day. (They had called to see if they could share my room at the hotel since they were coming up for the night and coming to Ground Zero. I would have but my hotel was one step up from a hostel. They could have stayed on the floor but it had no carpets on them and it was quite small but they never would have gotten passed the clerk at the front desk. It was way too small. He was right there as you walked in and there was no big lobby or foyer to sneak passed.) Harvey Newman from the Circle of Life Ministry, a great friend of the group and an activist came by and I asked him to get me a SOLD OUT sign ASAP as I was running out of tickets quickly and I had told a few people that I wasn't turning anyone away so I hope that they didn't have any problems later that evening. And eventually I did run out of tickets. I went downstairs afterwards to try and say good night to some people as I was heading back to the hotel for an early AM call but most of them were onstage or in the crowd it seemed. I said good by to whomever was in the back and took the bus back to the hotel and officially checked in, called my wife and relaxed before I went to bed before getting up for an early AM awakening. I had told Les that I would head to Ground Zero to hold down our spot there at Church & Fulton Sts around 4 AM and to look over the area to check on the police and Secret Service because Bush was supposed to be there that morning. But Bush went the day before. But I was in for a rude awakening the next day and for quite a bad start to the day. More to come.

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