Thursday, November 04, 2004

Election 2001

A story about my mother and the Democrats. (In honor of her visit that will keep me away from the computer starting tomorrow and all through the weekend.)

In October 2001, I was buying groceries at the Wegmans in Ithaca, and I paid for my food with my credit card. The clerk saw my name and asked, "Are you related to Carol Hirta?"

I said, "Yes, she's my mother." I was only slightly surprised. My mother taught high school science for about 30 years; normally I don't run into her students that far from Schenectady, but it wasn't unreasonable.

The clerk responded, "I live in Dabny."

I was confused. My mother has lived in Schenectady her entire life. I gave the clerk a funny look.

The clerk said, "I live in Dabny. I send her my taxes."

At which point I asked, "Carol Hirta, the chemistry teacher from Schenectady?"

And she clarified, "No, no, Carol Hirta the town clerk in Dabny!"

And I said, "Oh, different person." And left with my groceries.

I poked about in the phone book and on the internet. Turns out that Carol Hrtia (slightly different spelling!) is the town clerk of Dabny, NY. And she was running for re-election on the Democratic ticket! It was obvious what I had to do: my mother needed a "Re-elect Carol Hrtia Town Clerk" sign to put in her lawn almost 200 miles away in Niskayuna, NY. (Yes, it's true, I'm not really from Schenectady; I'm from Niskayuna.)

So I started calling around. First to county Democratic headquarters. I left a message on their answering machine: "Hi, I'm trying to get campaign signs to show my support for Democratic candidates in the town of Dabny. Give me a call at 607-592-xxxx to let me know where I can get some." No response. I called another Democratic group: "Hi, this is Becky Hirta, I'm trying to get my hands on some of Carol's campaign materials. Give me a call at 607-592-xxxx." No response. Nothing! I was unsuccessful in my quest!

Next year her term will be over. If she runs for re-election again, I'm going to have to be more resourceful and to find someone in the area to get a sign for my mother.