Friday, November 10, 2006

Report From Return Day

Ferris Wharton and Beau BidenI spent yesterday at Return Day, Delaware's ancient tradition of post-election reconciliation.

The Thursday after each election, the candidates, party leaders, their staffs, and a state's-worth of political junkies gather at the circle in Georgetown to hear the official election results, join in a patriotic parade, and ceremonially bury a hatchet to symbolize their putting the battles of the campaign behind them.

Students from the Sussex Dance Academy were scheduled to perform in the morning at the youth stage; Colleen was joining the performance. I took her over early and we spent the day at Georgetown.

The youth performances ranged from gymnasts through singers and dancers to a tiny child giving a recitation.

We walked around to see the sights before the parade. It was fun to see who I knew. I ran into my old friend Mike Short, who is now the editor of the Sussex Post. I had a chance to talk to John Schroeder, once our state representative, before redistricting following the 2000 Census. I told him that Karen and I had written him in on the ballot.

Don and Dolores BlakeyI also had a chance to say "hi" to Don Blakey, newly elected to the General Assembly as representative for the 34th District. Don has been a Levy Court Commissioner in Kent County. He's a retired educator. I knew him first when he and his wife Dolores came down to join us in a production of Big River with the Possum Point Players.

They are a talented couple. And nice folks.

The parade was long, with many carriages and cars filled with politicians. The practice is for opponents to ride together and greet the crowds together. We got to see Tom Carper and Jan Ting, Ferris Wharton and Beau Biden, Joe Biden, and many others.

Two things stood out for me.

There appear to be more beauty pageant winners in Sussex County than there are elected officials in all of Delaware.

The parade entry marching right behind the very talented African American Step-Dancing group was the Delaware Grays, part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Cleaning UpI particularly liked the float by the Cape Gazette, which included a front-end loader laden with cleaned-up campaign signs and pulling a trailer with a large fake bull and the sign: "Election is Over. No More Bull."


jason said...

Nice pictures Mike. The old guy with the blue tooth ear piece is classic.

Mark said...

I was there too, but haven't gotten around to posting on it. I may not now that I read your post. You hit all the points of interest and did a great job. Wasn't it the absolute best day for a Return Day? Just perfect weather.

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