I received a phone call from my friend Lisa, who lives in Mass this past Saturday asking me if I wanted to go to the Bernie Sanders Rally in Hartford, CT on Monday morning. It did not take me long to say yes. I packed up my bags and headed out on Sunday for my 3 1/2-hour drive to the capital of Connecticut.
The doors opened at 7:00 am so we set the alarm for 4:45 a.m. because we wanted to make sure we got a good spot in line. We freshened up a bit, threw on some clothes and left our hotel around 5:15. We drove 3 miles into Hartford and the challenge was to find parking close to the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza where the rally was being held. We parked the car in a parking garage and walked roughly a mile to the venue. When we arrived there at 6:15 there were roughly 100 people waiting in line in front of us. Luckily we were able to sit until they finally let us in around 7:30. Of course I had to by some buttons and a Feel the Bern t-shirt.
We made our way through security and walked along with all of the other eager Bernie supporters to where the rally was being held. When we finally got there I could not believe how close we were. I noticed that was some seating to the right that was for people who were not able to stand for whatever reason. I have a bad back and do have issues with standing for long periods of time. Luckily I spoke to one of the volunteers and she said by all means to take a seat in the FIRST ROW! Lisa and I were so excited on how close we were going to be when Bernie spoke to the crowd.
We waited patiently for roughly 3 hours with all of the other Bernie fans who had also got up early in the morning to come and see Bernie speak. Slowly the crowd of around 3000 filtered in and everyone got more excited as it got closer to 10:00. It was amazing to see such a diverse crowd. While we waited for him to walk up to stage we go to talk to a lot of the other Bernie supporters who had traveled many miles to come and see him and the reasons why they loved him so much. The people that were sitting near us were so friendly and I was lucky to make some new friends that day.
Finally, the time had arrived and as Bernie approached the stage the crowd went into an uproar. Everyone was screaming Bernie, Bernie. Bernie. He spoke about the issues that he was passionate about. He talked about medical care for everyone, free college tuition, raising the minimum wage so people do not have to live in poverty anymore and so many other issues that need to be addressed that is wrong with this country right now. There were times where he had to stop speaking because the crowd would just start cheering and holding up their signs, me included. I was lucky I was able to even talk afterwards I was screaming so loud. He spoke for around an hour and afterwards came down and walked around to the front of the crowd to shake hands with people with the secret service all around him. The highlight of the whole day was when he came to me and took both my hands in his and squeezed them and gave me the most awesome smile. I still get goose bumps as I am writing this because it was such an amazing experience.
He insists that he is going to go all the way to the convention in July and I will be there right along with him because I will continue to Feel the Bern!!!