There and Back

Everything unpacked put away and dirty clothes in the washer. Back to normal or sort of. The weather going and coming to and from Philly was gorgeously cool and then the shock of Oklahoma in July hit us as we started across Mizzou culminating in 100 plus as we cautiously re-entered Oklahoma. But glad to be home anyway.

It was a great convention with lots of fun lots of work and lots accomplished. Philly still has world class cheesesteaks but we found a great deli that also has other world class sandwiches. Hershel’s Deli in the Terminal Market Place across from the convention center. Philly is truly a city of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection as they are fond of saying. So much to see and not near enough time to see it all.

We had a great side trip to Maryland to visit a fine Bayside café close to Steve’s sister’s home which is actually on the canal between the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay. Great seafood! The Phillies Giants game turned into a 14 inning barnburner with the Giants winning in the 14th. I lost a foul ball in the lights and it hit about 4 inches from my foot prompting a near fight for it between the guy in front of me and the guy behind. But when the guy in front captured the ball and gave to his friends daughter the made up and all was well. The guy behind then received a text from his wife telling him we all got on TV on the channel broadcasting the game. So I got to be a TV star for about 3 seconds.

Getting to see and hear Ed Schultz the champion of the worker when he gave a rousing speech at the Convention on Wednesday was great. Elizabeth Warren couldn’t be there but she spoke to us live via satellite and also gave a great speech. We had several other great speakers including the head of UNI and international union of organizers and the president of the New Zealand Postal Workers Union.

But the highlight for me was getting to walk (with a bunch of other veterans and Letter Carriers from Vermont) with Senator Bernie Sanders and stand with him on the podium in front of thousands of my fellow letter carriers has he gave a rousing speech in favor of saving the Postal Service and raising the minimum wage and helping workers in general. It was a great feeling to be able to do that. 3 other Branch 458 Delegates walked with me and the others. Donna Miller Air Force Veteran and mother of our Branch President David; Mac McClendon by friend and co-worker and one of my traveling companions and roommate at to and from the convention also like myself an Air Force Veteran and Mark Simone one of our branches Steward’s and Formal Step A advocates who is a Marine Corp Veteran.

We actually got to stand at the front of the crowd on the podium as Bernie gave his speech. A great way to end the convention. Pictures of that will follow in a couple of days.

The trip home started yesterday at 2:45pm EDT in Philly and we made it all the way to Columbus Ohio on Friday night. Then up early this morning and on the road for nearly 14 1/2 hours to make in this evening. Tiring but it was a fun trip going and coming as I had 3 great travelling companions in Larry Schoenfelder are texting enforcer (no texting while driving), Mac McClendon who made a lot of pithy and interesting observations and our leader in crime Steve ‘Cowboy’ Riggs.

We enjoyed Philly, Troy Illinois, Wheeling West Virginia on the way up and Columbus Ohio on the way back with a few stops here and there for food gas and rest breaks.

It was a great convention and a lot of fun especially getting to see old friends like Marie Rassmussen (she’s not old but she is a great and gorgeous lady) and my old friend whose day TT delivered by mail when I was going to college in WF Texas back in 60 & 61 Micky Morris among others and learning to use my new smart phone (and getting dumber by the minute with it).

Great to be home though!

Bob Bearden


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