precinct committeeman boy
loris, south carolina sits in the “low country” near myrtle beach, where, if you stroll the the boardwalk, you will notice a “psunami zone” sign complete with a beachgoer in full retreat from a towering claw-like wave. then on the road to loris, from myrtle beach, another odd sign gets your attention, “loris elementary, bully free”…? what did they DO with the bullies?! or worse, TO the bullies, which makes the adults what, bullies? finally in loris proper you pass the funeral home, which seems way too busy. in fact on the evening of march 14, the funeral home was packed, with cars lining highway 9 for a quarter mile in both directions. this was my first mistake. i stopped and walked up to the building, where people where lined up outside like they were in line for, well, i thought, to sign up for precinct committeeman. this must be the place, i said to myself. and as a matter of formality, i stopped a stately couple leaving the function (must have already signed up, i keenly guessed) and asked, “is this where you sign up for republican committeeman?”
“no”, the stately gentleman said with an alarmed (and somewhat disturbed) look, “this is a funeral.”
somewhat at a loss, i then asked, “would you know where THAT meeting would be?”
“that would be the old church on the next block”
i said thankyou and then awkwardly strolled alongside them back to my car, which i had parked, oddly, right next to theirs.
as i walked in to the meeting i was met by the president of the northern (not north) horry (not horry county) republican club (i amused myself silently, we are not “(w)horey republicans, and definitely not northern). the president had long shaggy hair, a sports coat and old sneakers on. a “look” i hadn’t seen since a public defender i once used in fort lauderdale ,FL ( but that is another story.)
we moved quickly into the sanctuary and sat in the pews as the man whom my “group” would later elect as committeeman president got us all aquainted with the process of electing committeemen delegates. we said the pledge of allegiance, recited the republican creed ( i do not choose to be a common man!…) and got a blessing from, i’m guessing, the resident pastor.
9 towns went without any representation at all, no one showed up to become a delegate.
for me, it was a treasure. my first foray into the universe of politics other than the voting booth. i hope it is all as interesting and fun as my first night. but i did it, i am now a precinct committeeman (actually the official vote is next month). but i feel more like a committeeman BOY than anything else. just learning, somewhat awed by the process and the people.