Day 10 - Jan. 3, 2015
This day would be my last full day in Iowa. The first thing we did that morning was to go to the Machine Shed Restaurant to see Governor Mike Huckabee talk. For once, we arrived on time and got a seat at the restaurant. It’s just that my seat was backward, and facing the wrong way.
That meant that I had to crane my neck around just to see the guy.
I did get the chance to meet him as he came into the restaurant, and get an autograph, but not a picture. Thankfully, he had yet to go and talk with the corner where my mom was sitting, so I scampered over there to get a picture. Even though I was wearing the same jacket at the time, he still didn’t recognize me from literally two minutes ago.
Huckabee started off the Q&A (Questions & Avoidance, because remember, we’re dealing with politicians here) by telling us a story.
I didn’t really remember what the story was about, other than a delayed plane and a flight attendant asking for volunteers to fly the plane, but nothing too important.
He then made one of my favorite quotes of all time.
“We were in Atlanta, because as anyone who’s gone anywhere in the Southeast knows,” he began, “that wherever you go, you will always have to stop in Atlanta first,” People seemed to find this hilarious. Then he continued, “When I die and go to heaven, I’ll probably have to stop in Atlanta first,”
It was the best joke I’ve heard in ages ... at least, I hope it was a joke.
As a side note, after his talk, I went and asked him a question about some education reformations, which he avoided gracefully, but the kicker was that this was the THIRD time I talked to him in about half an hour, and he thought I was a different person each time.
That night, at a welcome party held by a host family for a PYLI student, Swallow brought up the first germ of an idea. It was to be my last night in Iowa. We planned to leave tomorrow because my school started.
“Hillary Clinton’s coming to town tomorrow,” he told us. “It would really be a shame to come so far from San Francisco and just miss her. Her rally is tomorrow at 6 pm, but doors open at 4:15.” That just goes to show how many people were going to be there.
“I’ll check our flight time,” my mom replied. “It is…” she started. “umm… tomorrow at ahhh…” she kept looking. “five PM.” “My God,” I muttered. “We can’t miss our flight! Can we?”
The party was fun, though, and Mom pretty much whiled away the whole time debating with Swallow on whether we should miss our flight. Apparently the airline can put you on a later flight anyway.
When the party was over, and we were back in our hotel room, Mom ummed and ahhed over it for hours that night. She really really really wanted to see Hillary, and it looked alarmingly like I was going to as well.
“It would be such a shame to come all this way and just barely miss Hillary by an hour,” she really tried to sell it this time, because the other nine times didn’t do much to sway me.
“Whatever, if you want to see her that bad,” I replied.
“Great! I’ll call the school tomorrow, and we can call the airline!” Mom was ecstatic, even though she tried not to show it.
The result was that there were no flights to San Jose the following day, but there were two seats on a 5:30 AM flight the day after. That meant adding an unexpected two days onto our Iowan itinerary.