Saturday, January 10, 2009

There is an Obama Store in Austin

So for no apparent reason I woke up early this Saturday morning. And for no apparent reason I showered and shaved even though the only thing I had planned for the day was to do the laundry.

And finish my TEC filing.

But then around 9:45 AM Susan called.

“We’re driving up to La Grange today to get some kolaches at Weikel’s and to meet my friend from Bastrop County who has 50 Obama wine glasses to sell us. Then we’re going up to Austin to the Obama Store and to eat some barbecue. Wanna come?”

“Well . . .ahh . .

“…If you want to meet us at the house at 10:30.”

It’s hard to turn down barbecue, but to finally lay my eyes on the famous Obama Store in Austin, now that was too much to pass up. Besides, I was up, washed, shaved and dressed.

At 10:30 I was there.

The long ride to Austin is made much shorter with the tales of trials and tribulations we shared. How our families fared in the Great Depression. How Fort Bend County government is filled with cronies who have little to offer the taxpayers but their undying friendship with county bosses.

How we are going to have a great Inaugural Ball this coming January 20th.

And we finally arrived at The Obama Store. The Obama Store in Austin is easy to miss but not if you are looking for it. And with this street address, 1111 11th St., it is difficult to forget

Democratic activist Glen Maxey runs the store and sells all manner of things Obama. The Fort Bend Democrats’ Obama Boutique has nothing on Maxey’s setup.

Along with the requisite Obama T-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers he has mouse pads, Obama 2009 calendars, coffee mugs, plastic cups with Obama’s smiling face printed on it, Obama straws, Obama tote bags, Obama carpets and blankets, Obama posters and rally signs.

An Obama children’s book entitled “My Momma voted for Obama”.

An old Texas politics warhorse and former State Rep. from Austin, Maxey was asked not to participate or campaign for Democrats in Austin. It seems he opposed an African-American woman in the March primary for Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector, so his services were not required. This was manna from heaven for Maxey.

Instead of campaigning for Democrats, Maxey was free to sell Obama merchandise, an enterprise that has resulted in the settlement of all his political debts.

Now since its primary, Texas has not seen hide nor hair of Barack Obama. All of their numbers said that whatever they did, Texas was not yet ready to elect an African-American to the highest office, so there was nothing they could do – Texas was a write off.

So they wisely stayed away.

But this had a singular unexpected effect. There was a “campaign vacuum” in Texas. Obama supporters were everywhere, but no one could find a place to get a yard sign or a T-shirt. You could buy one online at the Obama store but there was a backlog of orders and the waiting time was long.

So some of us, Maxey in Austin, and the Fort Bend Democrats in Rosenberg and Stafford, took it upon ourselves to try and satisfy the growing market for Obama paraphernalia.

Face it, these things will be quite valuable one day – memorabilia from a truly historic event.

We were there for about a half hour. Never was there a lull in business. Now this is absolutely true: it is 3 months since the election, and 9 days before the Inauguration and the store was filled with customers looking for anything with Obama on it.

How long this will last, no one really knows.

But one thing I know for sure. Glen Maxey will be forever grateful to the local political machine for their unofficial blackballing.

It’s true what they say, you know. When one door closes, another one opens.


Anonymous said...

Barack Obama is NOT The Messiah people. He is a human who will make many mistakes just like every other president in history. How come when Bush became president there was an uproard about the $40 million that he spent for his inauguration. The NY Times and all of the liberal newspapers continued to say "you can feed a 3rd world country with that kind of change". Obama is spending 3x that much and not one person has said anything. I for one can't wait for these 4 years to be over with. It is ridiculous just b/c he is black everyone treats him like he is God.

Hal said...

My, my, Anon, you sound bitter. It's not because Americans just said "no" to a really old man and his empty headed MILF is it?

Nobody says Obama is God, Anon. I look forward to disagreeing with his calls in the future. But just about everyone, even you Republicans seems to agree that what we are going to have as a President is far more thoughtful, intelligent and eloquent than the one we are just about to shed ourselves of.

I for one am looking forward to the next eight years.