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Wednesday, July 2

build me up, buttercup

We decided to ride bikes at the waterfront. The new Canal site was to have a ceremonial opening, I needed a break from the studio and Hillary was going to be there. I choose to keep this a politics-free blog, but just as a woman, I wanted to be there, maybe catch her eye and say "thank you" with a look that she would understand. A sisterhood look. I know. Goofy.

It was a glorious day. Sun and heat and a breeze off the water and all the flowers in full bloom.

It was tricky getting to the site because there were all sorts of somber looking men in suits hanging around, like Mr Warmth here

I can't imagine what kind of dangerous people he expected to find in such a mellow crowd.

Russell held the bikes while I squeezed into a spot where I could see the speakers. Hillary had already spoken, but I found her there, looking young and happy, doing what Senators do, every so often waving at the women who wanted to catch her eye. Some were campaign staff, still wearing t-shirts that read "Give 'em Hill" or " Just can't wait for 2008".

And then the speeches were over, all the requisite pats-on-backs had been administered. They gathered on the foot bridge to ceremoniously "wet" the canal, just as it had been done when the Erie Canal had been opened. They tipped their ceremonial pails and poured the ceremonial water into the canal replica and the crowd applauded. I looked up from the camera and saw that line of men in suits. Gray/black/blue. And in their midst, like a buttercup in a parched field, the woman in yellow. I'm not sure what made me choke up. Maybe imagining the women who had been there for the first ceremony. In layers of hot petticoats and buttoned up shoes. Women who weren't allowed to vote or own property, who would have been joyfully dumbstruck by that woman in yellow.

All of a sudden, the Coast Guard shoots off a tiny cannon that sounded like a giant cannon and made one of the Secret Service women, a woman who apparently had not been briefed on all the ceremonial stuff, reach for her holster and go charging into the crowd. Pretty funny. She realized the truth about 4 seconds into her dash and had to pretend she planned it that way. It was great. Broke that reflective mood right in half, I tell ya.

Right after the cannon shot, we hear a deep horn sound and saw the Cotter with all its sprays going, making it's way slowly, past the hot-skinned folks who knew enough to hug the rail to catch the cool mist.

The" important" folks were whisked away to a reception in a line of black cars. We pedaled over to the ice cream hatch for a float and I walked along the water's edge to cool off.

I'm thinking Hillary might have liked to change places with me. Just for a minute.

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