This is a report from Hugh. Hugh sent in a great report from SC in January, and he was in Asheville NC canvassing for Obama. I’ve made very minor spelling and formatting changes. Enjoy.

a little glimpse from appalachia…


In the hills well outside Asheville, I didn’t expect to find appalachian black folk, much less an appalachian rastafarian, but that’s what I found when I hit my turf. They were mostly Allen’s living along Allen Rd. A few folks weren’t back yet from church, but those who were were thrilled to see me and itching to go vote. A couple had seen Michelle in town the previous night. There was a party house with kids on the trampoline, one seasoned drunk, one loud inebriated white dude, and their pal who appeared to be the smart one, perhaps the Allen among them.

The somewhat loaded discussion was heavily pro-obama, but one of the moms hadn’t made her choice. So I had a good back and forth with her while not being too blatant about not listening to the peanut gallery that was more interested in my opinion of who Obama should pick for VP. The seasoned drunk was convinced it should be Biden. Evidently the lady in the house across the little valley could hear us. Her house wasn’t on the list, but as I jogged by later she ran out her front door yelling thank you! thank you! I ran up and gave her some more buttons and told her she would need them for the general.

Nearby, I knocked on one door atop a hill in a mobile home and woke up an elderly white lady, about 65 I guess. She is neighbors with someone named Dove Waking and someone else registered as Waking Dove, but neither of them were home. This lady, coming off her nap, was confused about what was actually being voted on that day, but she knew she liked Obama and “hated” Clinton. Later on I met another white lady, obviously poor and probably about 35, who hadn’t ever registered but who would vote for Obama if she was registered. She likes him. Awesome. That’s so great. DO YOU HAVE A DRIVER”S LICENSE!!! Ah well, at this point I began to think we might just exceed expectations.


After a tour through a suburban subdivision where we found few people home, we went back to the Panera Bread staging location and got another turf with apartment complexes. Once there, I decided to just go ahead and hit all the doors. At the first door was a mexican guy, about 50, who had already voted for Obama. The next door that answered was a white lady who was bashful about her choice but had already voted. Then, a little black kid who relayed to me that his parent(s) had already voted, so I gave him a few stickers and my last obama button.

Another lady wasn’t registered and had some crying infants to tend to. I then knocked on a door to find a young black 12 yr old girl home alone. She had heard of Obama. I asked if she wanted a button before realizing I had none left, so I gave her about eight feet from my roll of obama stickers. As I walked away she began to reel them in to the house. Now she’ll have enough for the general election.

At the next complex, I knocked on the door of an afro-american couple, Beatrice Gbain and R. Thomas, both of whom are deaf. Their daughter, about 9 years old, is their voice to the world. Of course, she is a very serious kid. We were able to establish that they were thumbs up for obama, that they had registered when they got their nc identification cards, that they didn’t know where the poll was and that they didn’t have a way to get there. I told them someone would be back, and then I figured I better be the one to do it.

As it happens, in the area there are two “9 Miller Road” addresses, and the staging location’s maps had the wrong one. Once I got them in the car, I became suspicious of having to get on the appalachian parkway for 6 miles. So I called the number on the door hangers and indeed the proper polling place was close by in the other direction. We enjoyed going out and back one exit on the parkway before eventually arriving at the poll. They had moved from NYC within the last year so it was the first time at this poll, not to mention the parkway.

Their daughter translated for each of them, signing to them and establishing their name, address, and party affiliation with the poll manager. After that though, much to her dismay, she wasn’t allowed to watch over the shoulder of either parent as they cast their vote. Nonetheless, she was proud when the votes had been cast. Now that is some serious flipping hope!

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