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06/14/08
A Great Bill Martin Story
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 12:39 pm

I’ve been very remiss in blogging - as usual because I’ve been writing (laying out the fifth book in my historical series for Simon & Schuster - Book Four in the series, CITY OF GOD, will be published in late autumn) and that plus keeping up with my consultant work for clients of AR&E sucks up about 26 hours a day. 

Now that I’m addressing the long silence I am doing so with a story that has nothing to do with literary agents or books of any sort…  But I cannot resist sharing it and won’t even try.  Here’s what happened:

It pays to be early risers.  We have a Philadelphia  townhouse where we live and have our offices and the busy street it’s on always grows a full crop of litter.  Just before 7 a.m. this morning Bill was out doing  his street cleaning thing and saw a big SUV closing off traffic.  Being Bill he went to ask what they thought they were doing.  Turns out it was the Secret Service blocking traffic because Barack Obama  was going into the gym across the street to work out.  Bill told  them it was okay.  (Secret Service - literary agents - they all get told exactly what he thinks.) Then he alerted me and a neighbor two doors down who is very active in  Democratic politics.

I quickly threw on some clothes to go with  my bed hair and ran over to my neighbor’s stoop (closer to the gym exit than ours). Someone scooted down to Starbucks and came back with half a dozen coffees.  Two other neighbors came out and another couple from around the corner who were walking their dog asked what was happening and joined the group.  (Daisy - our dog - quickly explained to the other dog who owns this block.)  After about half an hour (gorgeous fresh morning so we didn’t mind the wait) out comes the senator.  I thought he’d wave and give us a thumbs up. 

Perhaps  he noted the Obama signs in the windows of some of us, or those my politically active neighbor had instantly produced to hold, or he’s just too good a politician to mistake a moment - whatever the reason he came right over and shook everyone’s hands - and at Bill’s murmured urging, spoke a special few words for the 84 year old mother-in-law of that same politically active friend and neighbor.  Happens that family are African-American and the mother-in-law has early stage dementia (but knows who Barack Obama is and that he’s a candidate for president).  Happens as well that the others in our impromptu group were white. 

It was a true only in America moment and whatever your politics, in the ease and grace of how he handled it,  
Obama was a class act.  Leave it to me to be the one to bring  things down to earth.  As he was getting into his car I piped up,  ”Give ‘em hell, Senator.”  Oh well, I never told you I was restrained.  Much less apolitical.

 

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