On November 23, 2015, my sister and I made the short 40-mile trip to attend the Donald J. Trump rally in Columbus, OH. We arrived at the Convention Center shortly after 1:00pm for the 7:00 rally and were stunned to find only 5 people there ahead of us. But, YAY!
An hour went by and the total number in line increased by only a handful. True, it was a Monday, and it was Thanksgiving week, but I still expected more than a dozen people to be there. I jokingly told my sister it would be our luck to have this be the first Trump rally that wasn’t full. Ha!
We were so thankful the Convention Center was open so we didn’t have to wait outdoors, as it was COLD and windy. We had a front row view to the comings and goings of media people wanting to interview everyone in line, the memorabilia vendors hawking their wares, the Secret Service people checking things out, and access to food and drink, so the longish wait bothered us not at all.
I don’t know how it’s been at any other venue, but there was a lot of confusion on where we were supposed to go once the doors opened. We had been assured by one of the campaign workers that those of us there the longest could go where we wanted. Once inside, one man was vigorously trying to usher us to the stands behind the stage. Nope, not where we wanted to be. He called over another guy who disagreed with him, so while their backs were to us we took off, leaving the staff to argue amongst themselves. We made our way to the front of the stage and settled in for another 2-hour wait.
It took awhile for the room behind us to start filling up, as others seemed unwilling to ignore the guards herding them into the stands (or maybe that’s really where they wanted to go). It definitely would’ve been nice to have a seat, but not at the expense of looking at Mr. Trump’s back during the rally.
A wide variety of music was on a loop – loud, but not so much that we couldn’t talk to other rally-goers as they started filing in. Hey, Jude was a big hit, with supporters in the bleachers standing and waving their signs during the long outro, and much of the crowd singing along with the Beatles. (I have video, but not in a format suitable for WordPress apparently, darn it).
At some time after 6:00, a pastor asked for blessing, someone from the OH campaign spoke, we said the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the national anthem, then waited some more.
FINALLY! “Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States, Mr. Donald J. Trump!” Woot!
He started off with the well-known (at least to Ohioans) “Ohio” chant – he says “O-H” and the crowd responds “I-O”. Way to warm up a Buckeye crowd!
It’s been long enough now, and I’ve seen so many of his rallies online since then that I don’t recall anything specific about his speech, except lots of cheering for what he said.
When he finished speaking, he made his way down the stairs and immediately started moving along the line. Man, the shoving from behind got really bad, and the closer he came, the worse it got.
I had nothing for Mr. Trump to autograph, but did get a hand squeeze and a “thank you so much” when I said we’d been praying for him. My sister thanked him for running, and he leaned in for her to kiss his cheek. In fact, she now has a souvenir Sharpie mark on her cream-colored sweater from where he grabbed her upper arm. 🙂
Then, in a flash, he was past us.
Here are a few media photos we’ll always treasure.
There’s only one thing left to say – TRUMP 2016!!