Alison Lundergan Grimes and Caylie Ferguson age 11, walking the candidate back to her bus.
Clinton, KY. June 22, 2014 - Hickman County and its county seat, Clinton are at the edge of American civilization. The US Census just redefined the area as now being “Frontier Status.” This is one level below being a Rural Area.
With the second lowest county population of 4,800 in Kentucky, life stands as a sharp contrast to Central Kentucky. There is only one stop light in the county. No McDonalds, Wendy‘s, or Burger King. No Pizza Hut or any Mexican restaurants. The food of choice is Bar-B-Que.
The entire area is off the beaten path. This not a normal designation point. This area is worn down with the feeling that its own state government in Frankfort has forgotten them. After all, it is a five hour trip from Frankfort to Clinton.
Yet, on the morning of June 21, 2014, Alison Lundergan Grimes brought the outside world to West Kentucky. Her West Kentucky Jobs Tour, aimed to visited all four of the Kentucky Mississippi River Counties.
Starting at 8:30 am in Fulton County she traveled to the only spot in Kentucky that has to be reached by traveling into and out of Tennessee. This is the Kentucky Bend area where the history of the Mississippi River has cut off direct connection by any Kentucky road. Access is only through Tennessee.
In the Bend lives one family. Alison got their vote with her energy and message of making their lives better. The candidate for US Senator preached a new Kentucky in which progress and hope of new jobs can be established in the next four years for all Kentuckians, no matter their geography of life.
From the Bend, the Bus Tour rolled into the City of Hickman, Fulton County’s seat of government. Alison was met by 21 people ready to hear her message of how things could be made better. She delivered on how she would fight for their cause in Washington DC. She offered a better day if they would just get out and vote for her.
At exactly 11:00 a.m., the Alison Campaign War Wagon (Bus) came to a full stop in the shadows of the Hickman County Courthouse, Clinton Kentucky. It took her a full eight minutes to walk the 100 foot distance from bus to the Hickman County Women’s club building.
As she walked, a crowd of about 20 people join her. The scene look like an image from the Bill Clinton race for President. People just wanted to be in the same space of the candidate and maybe have a few seconds to say hello, touch them and welcome them to their part of the world.
Upon entering the Women’s Club, Alison was met by 35 real Americans. These were not the businessmen in $1,000 dollar suits of Louisville or Lexington. Nor were these ladies with white gloves and shopped in only the best places of Central Kentucky.
On this day, Alison stood before hard faces and rough hands who had worked a lifetime in jobs that demanded sweat and tears. These were what Hemingway, Steinbeck and Faulkner would call Real Americans, for they live life up close and personal with nature.
Time for them is about how to survive each day. They must do with less and less for the American Experiment of the early decades of this new century. But on this morning, full of sunshine they came to hear a politician.
Against this backdrop, at 11: 12 am, political magic struck.
From the hands of 11 year old Caylie Ferguson, Alison Lundergan Grimes was handed a necklace with a set of wings attached. As Alison bent down to hug her, the little girl reached up to the candidate and said, “These wings are your freedom to soar.”
The AP reporter didn’t see it happen. Most of the people in the room were busy talking to each other, waiting for the candidate to speak. However, for a few seconds there was no campaign for the world; no campaign to save the US Senate from a self imposed Dark Ages from potential Republican rule; no fight to forge a new era of national will to make America work again.
For a few seconds there just two set of eyes meeting. These two ladies, one just 11 years old and other one older and wiser, held and forged a deep bond of solidarity. The room noise faded for both, as these two women found a new level of strength, one in sandals, the other in cowboy boots.
For a few seconds, the arch of American history stood still. Both women would leave this room as changed spirits. Both had found a new hero in their lives. These precious seconds would give the Kentucky candidate for US Senate, a new surge of personal energy.
After her speech, she offered as to how the moment with young Caylie had affected her. She will carry a new inner strength, from which she will take head on into the next 12 weeks of political war against the total power base of big money corporations and Washington insider special interests.
This mood burst like a bright balloon, as the room energy demanded that the candidate to move along. Grimes stood before the crowed room, and ripped into how Mitch McConnell had failed to live up to their needs. For twenty minutes she tore into the 30 year incumbent Kentucky senator’s record. Her base message was McConnell had forgotten about West Kentucky and the River Counties. He had traded them for big money special interests friends.
Standing tall, in light green casual shirt, blue jeans, and cowboy boots, Alison held high her “Wings to Soar” necklace, and proclaimed this was her new spirit to uplift all women in Kentucky, be they 11 years old or 80 years old.
At exactly 11:45, the campaign returned to their road tour. As Alison walked back to her bus, she walked hand in hand with her newest political supporter, a little girl going into the sixth grade.
This would a day for both of them to remember in their lives.
Jobs Tour rolls into Clinton past the historic Hickman County Courthouse
Ready to go - Grimes ready to give another give 'em hell Harry speech before supporters
Darryl Sims meets the candidate.
Grimes and Caylie's necklace - wings to help her fly.
Grimes says opponent's time is up.
Alison and Caylie at the campaign bus. Grimes will make several more stops in the Purchase on this first day of summer 2014.