Cologne – As the sun rose over Stuttgart, our hosts Kerin and Barbara helped us into the bus, ready to set out for our next destination: Cologne. We spent most of the day in our little home on wheels. Each of us developed a strong preference for a particular seat. I think we sought something constant from day to day. On this trip, nothing else is routine!
We stopped in Heidelberg first. We found John right next to the road along the Neckar River. We almost missed him because we were transfixed by the view. Quaide had left some mystery packages there. We had to check for contraband, naturally. We indulged our curiosity before Karsten could drive us out of town. “Election protection.” The message is clear and simple but the surprise upon opening the box took everybody aback. DA condoms!
I should note, at this point, that Karsten single-handedly saved the Old Bridge of Heidelberg — painstakingly rebuilt in 1947 — from destruction. I was convinced that we should drive across it to find our destination. Karsten was adamant that we shouldn’t — and so one of the world’s vulnerable monuments still stands!
There’s nothing like a local friend for finding restaurants, and the timing was just right for lunch near Karsten’s home.
When we arrived in Cologne, Bill showed us the ideal location he had arranged. We were on an encouragingly busy pedestrian shopping area in the heart of the city, and there were plenty of local Democrats there to help!
It was sunny and I had finally located my sunglasses, so I took to the street with my sign. I met some very young Americans who promised to tell their friends about VoteFromAbroad.org. At the stand, the rest of the team registered Americans, while local residents were eager to read my sign.
I thought of what Eve and Jacqueline did in Stuttgart. Although I don’t know much German, I decided to try it in Cologne. It was not a bad idea, per se. But in retrospect, success is in the details. Eve and Jacqueline were clearly promoting votefromabroad.org. My sign, on the other hand, indicates that I am a lonely American attempting to make friends in a very unconventional way. With the first sign, I got smiles and people met my eyes. With the second, they often veered away…
Thank goodness some sensible people were working the table. They met lots of local Dems and some new Americans too. Pretty good for two hours’ work!
Ribs, fish and beer at Steve’s house hit the spot after a morning in the car and an afternoon on the street. Perfect weather for a BBQ!
As usual we had generous hosts. Thank you, Kerin, Bob and Tim!