Aunt Jessica has her own place again in Omaha, so she had an “apartment warming” at her new place for our cluster of mutual friends and family members. That meant snacks and games and a long afternoon together talking about Pokémon, among other things. Kate brought her three girls, so naturally Hannah and Aaron had friends to keep them occupied as daddy played Origin o Words with the rest of the crew in the living room.
Vivian, in the meantime, was having a Bachelorette Party Scavenger Hunt with Venche and her girly friends off in Westroads.
Then on Monday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence came to speak at the Mid-America Center. Even before he was Donald Trump’s running mate, I’d been following his career in Indiana, particularly when the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed a few years ago. I got to see the usual batch of political junkies, media types, and button-sellers I had rubbed elbows with back during the primary season. They also had a batch of left-wing protesters, who were literally raising red flags (i.e. for communism) outside the Mid-America Center.
The crowd was decidedly smaller than the one that came to see Trump last December or even Hillary last week, but it was a fairly good turnout for the running mate. Tana Goertz, an Iowa native who appeared on season 3 of the Apprentice, was the emcee for the evening, and up-and-coming Iowa Senator Joni Ernst got to introduce Pence before he took the stage. He seemed very statesman-like, with a clear stump speech that didn’t run off the rails for ninety minutes like Mr. Trump tends to do. He wasn’t even phased when a few left-wing radicals started screaming in the middle of his speech (only to get shouted down with thirty seconds of “USA! USA!” from everyone else present). I hate to say it, but I wish he were at the top of the ticket this election year.
I got to shake hands with Gov. Pence as he came around to greet the crowd after his speech (and gave him a copy of The Book, of course). It was nice to have one last chance to rub elbows with political folks before November (which strangely enough included Abe Lincoln). I’m guessing I won’t get to do this sort of thing again until probably 2019. We’ll see.