Orlando Tea Party

All I can say is WOW! I haven’t written much lately – frankly, I’ve been too disheartened to do so. I actually thought, for about 5 minutes, that maybe our new president wouldn’t be too bad – thought perhaps I’d misjudged him and he was really just young and inexperienced. Like I said, that lasted about 5 minutes. Then he opened his mouth and spoke those fatal (to my hopes) words “I won”.

And with that utterance, all hope died, and he cemented, forever in my mind, the picture of the arrogant, immature, scheming and conniving son of a gun that we’re stuck with for the next four years.

So what can we now do? Well, when I heard about the Tea Party movement and found that there was going to be one in our area, I knew I had to go – and drag the family along with me!

It was a beautiful sunny day on the shores of Lake Eola in Orlando, and we all enjoyed it. We were running late, arrived about 20 minutes before the official start of the event, and due to the crowds, we couldn’t get within 200 yards of the amphitheater. But we could hear most of the emcee’d words by our own Bud Hedinger. Bud is a long-time Florida notable who currently hosts his own radio show in the afternoons on 540 WFLA after Rush’s show completes at 3 p.m. Bud read a list of grievances sent in by listeners, and that list was later signed by thousands of attendees.

The crowd was very polite, and composed of all ages – infants to aged. I saw a dog with a sign saying “I work for my food”, and an elderly woman with a sign on her walker. Everyone seemed friendly and happy to be a part of the assembly, and I did not note any garbage being strewn around.

Initial reports that I read or heard placed the number of attendees at around 3000, but I’ve since heard over 6000; that seems more accurate to me. The Disney Bandshell Amphitheater where the event was staged will seat 936 people – since it’s kind of a “bowl” design with a berm of high ground surrounding it, and that hillock was completely covered over with attendees, we couldn’t even see the seats when we arrived, but I’m certain they were all filled. The only way I could get any pictures of the stage were for my taller-than-I husband to hold his camera up in the air and shoot!
Toward the end of the event, we rented one of the electric gondola’s to take a little ride on Lake Eola, and it gave us a different perspective on the crowd.

One thing that rankled all day was the lack of ANY media coverage prior to the event. I shouldn’t be surprised, I know. We were competing, as far as events go, with the Winter Park Art Festival and – believe it or not – a Lemonade Stand. Now I certainly have nothing disparaging to say about either event – we have been, many times to the Winter Park Art Festival, and the young girl who’s mother died of cancer was surely running her lemonade stand for a worthy cause. But wouldn’t you think that some small mention might have been made prior to the event? What’s really disgusting to me, is that after the event, my family and I decided to have a late lunch/early dinner at a small cafe (The Metro Espresso Pizza Cafe). Due to the fact that there had been absolutely NO media coverage prior to the event, these small businesses near the event had no warning that they might get some extra business, and therefore, they were completely unprepared. We actually had a very nice dinner, and our server was very sweet and apologetic that it took so long for our orders to come up, but we assured her that we were fine and all was well. She told us that they usually have quite a bit of advance notice on events at Lake Eola, but this one – no notice whatsoever. So, note to event organizers – you can’t count on the media to advertise for you, but it would be great if you contacted local restaurants or businesses if your event time would coincide in some nice extra business for them!

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