Dazzling Dallas

Colonel Mason's prior report is appended. I counted twenty-six 'vigilizers' before the two young ladies from the West End joined us. I think there were probably 30 or 32 total, counting those who came and left. I decided at the event that my 'official' guess would be 28 participants. It was a gorgeous day, sunny with temperature in the 70s.

One reporter covered the event, Jonathan Fox of the Dallas Observer. He interviewed Rick, Bob Williams, and me. There were six to eight participants who heard about the event on the Internet via DRCnet and November Coalition web sites. This was the first time I counted people in attendance that I didn't know, and more than I could count with confidence. I look forward to this "problem" getting bigger. The nationwide publicity on the event helped a lot in getting more people to come out.

This was also the first time we had passersby stop and join with us until the vigil's end. There were four who joined us, including the two women mentioned above. The Libertarian candidate (Kelly Rush) for the 30th congressional seat and her companion handed out flyers, our literature and carried signs awhile, too, as I recall.

This was the first time we ran low on signs. We did run out of sticks to mount signs onto. I had made two new 30x40 ones: "Two Million is Too Many" and "PRISONER - America's Fastest-Growing Occupation." Rolf made a 40x60 version of his captioned photo of a 2-3 year-old black girl bawling in her prisoner-parent's arms: "The Drug War Destroys Families. Any Questions?"

He mounted it on the back of his pickup truck, which we parked in the first spot next to Houston & Main. Also on his truck was the sign announcing the next vigil for March 27th.

George DeMerle showed up as he said he would. Dressed in black and white prison stripes, he was quite a hit. I told him he could have "any sign in the place" to carry. He stood in the center of our greatest concentration at Houston & Main, near Rick and his bullhorn.

Our prisoner family members, Virginia Traylor and her nephew Sedrick, spent most of their time near Houston & Elm.

When we get more people than signs, we'll have to get some to volunteer to hand out literature. Craig Johnson likes to hand stuff out as well, but his Grandmother died recently; so he and his Mom both went to Kansas for the funeral.

Bob Ramsey, Drug Policy Foundation of Texas & Vigil Leader

Dallas Vigil Lively

Here's a quick report on today's vigil. Rick Day assumed the position of vigil leadership this evening and certainly did his usual fine job of stimulating the group. Rick says he counted twenty of us in the protest. I was under the impression there were more, but I didn't count; so I take Rick's judgment as fact.

There were a lot of familiar folks in our group, and we welcomed some new faces. I believe the mass of us were on the wrong corners and hope next time we'll move closer to Elm where there seems to be more traffic. Feeling sure that each participant has particular stories and best memories of tonight's vigil, my delights include these:

I'll remember the man in pinstriped clothes driving a Mercedes and slowing his car to a crawl in rush hour traffic in order to read my anti-George Bush sign. Maybe one hundred other cars slowed also, but his was the most dramatic and deliberate. We figure he was either an attorney or a drug dealer, or both.

There was the 'long hair' who approached me to say, "Hey, I'm with ya man, but could ya please stop blowing that stupid horn? A lot of us are working late up there (pointing to the eighth floor of an adjacent building), and it is driving us nuts." When I said I was surprised my 'blow horn' could be heard that far away, he pointed to open windows. It was 82 degrees today. I agreed to put my horn away if he would take our flyers back with him for circulation, which he did.
And so the fight grows. Viva la revolution!

One Dallas Vigil Coordinator