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The Old Boys’ Club

by on February 9, 2011

When I was last employed, I worked as a campaign staffer for Kevin Van De Wege.  Those of us employed and dedicated to his cause met frequently in Clallam County’s Democratic Club office, which was convenient for me in a race that took up two and a half counties, since the office was the closest thing to my home and field work.  An interesting county, split Republican, Democrat, and other, Clallam County is full of retirees from California and Democrats who long for the good old days of FDR and Kennedy (and, although I’ve never asked, I would guess that the Republicans dwell on the good old days of Nixon and Reagan).  The Old Boys Club, I call these Democrats, who reminisce on fond memories of politics in the old days.

Since that campaign, and job, ended in November, I’ve been back to the Democratic Club office only a few times, and only at hours I guessed no one would be there.  I’d slip in with the combination, drop off some stray yard signs I’d found, and leave an office looking very much as I’d seen it in November.

Now, why would I, a Democrat with enough pride to volunteer, and then be employed by, a Democratic  state legislator, not return to that office to spend time with other Democrats?  First, you’ll notice that I didn’t refer to the other Democrats – with the exception of the campaign manager for Kevin, who was from a different county – as dedicated to the work it takes to win an election; I saw little of such dedication from the Old Boys Club.  Second, I saw that the Old Boys Club spent a lot of time sitting around discussing how things were in past elections (and, although I would like to say that they didn’t spend time contributing to the current election, they did; they contributed money and office space and letters; what they did not do, and I should not fault them for it, is canvass or make phone calls).  I fear that if I return to that group of men whose median age is about forty-five years my senior, that I will spend my time thinking of days gone by.

Indeed, since I am, through no fault of my own, of this generation without opportunity of employment or social mobility, I already find myself wondering if the best days of my life have not already gone by (do not answer that please, but consider its applicability to your own life).  The best days of life would be college, everyone says.  Except, of course, unless you went to Webb; at Webb they tell you – and it is true – that Webb would be better than college.  So, I am finished with college, which was to be that best time of my life but-not-for-those-of-us-who-went-to-Webb.

Already, I reminisce about college, which was to be that best time of life.  I have rarely kept in touch, for the same reason as my discontinued affiliation with the Old Boys Club.  I am afraid, perhaps wrongly so, of dwelling on the past.  If I am always looking backward, as the Boys Club does, I will always be thinking the best time I had happened long ago.  I would rather hope for the future than the past.

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From → On the Dole

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