The photos from the pep rally are below the fold - I have a tale to spin for you first.
On March 10th, 2011 as my significant other (girlfriend just sounds corny when you are 44) were stepping away from the protest to get something to eat - we passed by the Orpheum movie theater where a young man was on a ladder taking down an old marquee. We probably would not have even noticed he was taking the marquee down had the ladder not been in the middle of the sidewalk. As we walked by I regaled C with with stories about the Orpheum; telling her how my sister had seen The Who open for Herman's Hermit's at the Orpheum, how I had won advance tickets to see Return of the Jedi in the grand old movie house, my almost getting into a fight at a George Thorogood concert (Seriously, a fight at a George Thorogood show). We ate dinner at a newer Mexican restaurant on Gilman street and headed back to the square. The young man at the Orpheum was taking the ladder into the lobby. I decided to look up and saw the marquee that you see in the photo above.
When I took that photo I had no idea that it would go viral. I have seen my photo in Mother Jones (credited to someone else), in multiple places on Facebook and Twitter and I am always surprised at the places that photo shows up.
Now you may ask, "why are you bringing up a photo you took in March?" Well after the Recall Walker Pep Rally I was standing in the lobby of the Barrymore looking around to see if there was anyone I might know. And then I saw it. My photo on a button on a guys jacket. I walked up to him and said,
"Hi, I am the guy who took that photo."
He responded, "I am glad to meet you, what a great photo."
We talked for a bit and then he asked me if I had made any money off of the photo. I said that I had not made a dime and in retrospect, I wish I would have copyrighted my photo.
Then as I drove home I recalled the speech I had heard earlier in the evening given by this man:
Randy Bryce, a Milwaukee Ironworker, said one of the most poignant things of the evening when he said that Scott Walker had actually done one good thing. He brought us together and that our movement has no leader, no one saying you do this, and you do that. There is no hierarchy - we are working together collectively, each of us giving what we can to the movement. Each of using our own strengths to make the movement as a whole stronger. My part of the movement was words and photos. That was and is my strength. We each have had our own strengths in this movement. For some it has been organizing, for others it has been collecting signatures, for some people, like me, it has been recording these moments for posterity. As Randy said, "History is written by the victors and we will write the history of this movement."
My photos and my words helped tell the story of what was and is still happening in Wisconsin. Would it have been nice to have made a little money off of some of my photos? As I look at my Christmas budget this year and wonder how I will buy gifts for my son, a part of me says, "yes." But, that photo means a lot to a great deal of people and knowing that, knowing that people can look at that photo and use it as a rallying cry means more to me than any monetary gain I could have received from it. It is what I gave to the movement and I am proud to have been in the right place at the right time to take that photo and then to have shared it with the world.
On my way to the rally I had to stop and pick up some cash at the credit union. In the parking lot I see a pick up truck with people all around it. They all had clipboards in their hands. They were signing recall petitions.
I hopped out of my car to take a photo an low and behold it Amanda, the leader of the Obama team I was on in '08. She was out in the cold collecting signatures.
Not as cool as the last marquee I took a photo of - but pretty cool nonetheless.
Shhh....be vewy, vewy quiet, this cow is going weasel hunting.
Yours truly...signing a RECALL WALKER petition. (Note to self: Wash hat)
The backdrop on the stage
Ben and Sarah Manski - Emcees for the evening.
The Raging Grannies! (Scott Walker really pissed off the wrong grannies)
Phil Neuenfeldt President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO
Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) - I wish I had a copy of his speech. He was channeling Winston Churchill at the end of his speech and I could not write my notes quick enough to quote him.
Former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager - she told a great story about a young man who is working his butt off to support his son...and how Governor Walker is pulling the rug out from under him by slashing Badgercare.
Representative Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) A man I would like to see run for governor.
Representative Andy Jorgenson (D-Gerrymandered out of his district)
John Nichols and his "540,000 magnum petition."
RECALL WALKER! RECALL KLEEFISCH!