Camp Casey Detroit--Day 10
I never knew being a peacemaker could be so much fun! Not only are we standing witness to the need to Bring Our Troops Home Now, but each day is filled with moments of unexpected wonder and delight. Today especially.
In the early afternoon, Kathleen Gallagher, a well-respected journalist at the Detroit Free Press, came down to Camp Casey Detroit and spent over an hour interviewing Abayomi, Pat Lent and Kelly Logan of our camp (Photos #1 & #2). She also photographed and interviewed some visitors to our camp, one of them a mother of two sons fighting in Iraq who stooped to examine the crosses that commemorate the loss of American life that this war is bringing to families like hers. She also photographed and interviewed two Arab-American famililies with young children who stopped to sign our petition to end the war now. She said her article would be published in Thursday's Free Press.
And then today was our long-awaited "Rolling Stones at Camp Casey Detroit Day." In anticipation of the Rolling Stones concert tonight at Comerica Park, we played Stones' CDs on a battery-operated boom box most of the afternoon and evening. Of course, I couldn't stay seated for that and was often up on my feet shaking my bootie, as they say. That was when I wasn't over in front of the ballpark (a short block away) listening to sound checks and dancing there.
By 6:30 PM, an hour before the concert was scheduled to begin, I was in front of Comerica park--standing next to two Raging Grannies, as it turned out--with the same sign I'd taken over to Ford Field for Monday Night Football two days ago. Where the football crowd had had about 8-10 outspoken pro-war folks who'd let me know exactly how they felt, the Rolling Stones crowd was almost 100% against the war...and vocal about it, too. I'd guess I saw or heard 150-200 positive responses to my signs to "Bring the Troops Home Now!" and use "Money For Our Cities Not for War," while only two said something mildly pro-war.
The response I will never forget came when I approached a group of maybe six young men and women in their 20s. When they saw my "Bring the Troops Home Now!" sign, one of the fellows broke into a huge grin, raised both arms high in the air and yelled, "Yes!" The young woman beside him shouted over to me, "He just got home from Iraq!"
If I didn't know before why I do this, I sure do now.
But vigiling for peace wasn't all I planned on doing over by that ballpark tonight; I intended to stand outside and dance just as soon as the Rolling Stones took the stage. By 9:45 PM, they did. WOW! For an original Rolling Stones fan like me, who had never before seen or heard them in person, this was quite a thrill. And it was fun to share it with some of my Camp Casey Detroit sisters and brothers. Norm, Andrea, Abayomi, Ann and I really got down! We found a spot out by Central Field that was open enough so we could hear wonderfully well, and could even see peeks of Mick Jagger's rhinestone belt and tight black t-shirt in the huge video screen across the field. There were lots of people beside us enjoying the concert without having paid a penny--or $63 to $163, which is what the tickets cost--and I personally think we were having more fun than the folks inside the ballpark.
After I'd heard the Stones play "Can't Get No Satisfaction," I was ready to go back to Camp Casey Detroit.
And the camp was hopping too! There must have been a dozen folks there when I returned about 11 PM. By then I was starved, so I went over to the Brown Bean Cafe and ordered a Greek salad-to-go. It was such a beautiful night that many of us stayed around talking until 12:30 AM. (Photos #1, #2, #3 & #4)
As I drove home I kept thinking that for many of us, these Camp Casey Detroit days will be remembered as among the happiest days of our lives. We're family now.