As some of you know, ol' Crusty lives out in the wilds of rural North Carolina. Though born and bred in and around NYC, this old urban burnout has somehow found his way out to the woods, where the oak grove that surrounds my house pelts the roof and the deck with acorns every year, where an afternoon on the deck lets me see hawks circling patiently, squirrels having throw-down turf fights over piles of acorns, and buzz-bombing by hummingbirds pissed that I'm sitting too close to "their" feeder (hummingbirds are vicious, territorial little critters, don't kid yourself ;)
Sunday the doorbell rings. Now, you need to understand, doorbell ringing on Sundays out our way means one thing: Christers wanting to come in and read the Bible with me. We're having none of that at Chez Crusty, and Lurlene The Hell Hound knows it, so she goes into her defensive position at the front door barking like mad.
I peek out as my wife restrains Hell Hound, and I see this sweet white lady of a certain age, with about a half dozen Obama buttons on her chest. She smiled tenatively, obviously feeling anxiety and maybe even some fear. I smiled and shouted to Hell Hound:
"It's OK, baby! You settle down now -- she's a Democrat!"
Ice broken, she and I shared a laugh.
"I stopped by to encourage you to come out and vote on Tuesday."
"Been there, done that. We did early voting on Saturday."
"Oh, OK. Um, did you ....?"
I gestured at my pickup and my wife's Honda, copiously pasted with Obama stickers. She smiled again.
"Well great, then you're all set then! Thanks for voting!"
We smiled and waved and sent the little old white lady Obama worker on her way. Out our way, her action -- walking down long driveways and knocking on the doors of strangers' homes -- is an act of genuine courage for anyone, but especially for an Obama worker. I don't know her name, and never will, but I salute her, and hope Obama wins if for no other reason than to reward her simple, unadorned courage.