Project Blog

Don & Gay’s House Meeting

Aug 14, 2008

Monday morning, after the Powwow for Change the night before, we waved goodbye to our new friend, Jill, and hit the road again. This time we were headed for Cleveland and a little R&R with old friends, and enthusiastic Obama supporters, the Gutgsell family. And although we had a lovely dinner that night, it wasn’t all rest and relaxation. Remember the retouching Rob needed to do on the backdrop from the Easton event? Once he’s satisfied that the photos are presentable, we have to catalog the names and email addresses of the subjects, Rob’s got to upload hundreds of shots, and then we can finally notify people that the photos are available! And then, of course, there’s the hunting down and scheduling of future events! It’s a lot of work to try to do on the road! But in exchange for letting us turn their home into the We Are the Ones Project Headquarters for 24 hours, we got a really great portrait of the Gutgsells in front of their home, on the red carpet!

On Tuesday morning we were back on the road, off to Columbus to meet Don and Gay Buckingham at their Beachwood Neighbors for Obama House Meeting. I had RSVPed to Don’s, and a few other events in the Columbus area, posted on When responding to these open event invitations I always include a description of our project and ask if we can come and do our thing. But recently I’ve begun to suspect that many event hosts don’t read the notes attached to their RSVPs. So when, on Monday, I still hadn’t heard back from anyone in Columbus, I decided to use the phone number provided in one event posting. When I spoke to him, Don confessed that he had not looked at the content of my RSVP, but told me that he would love for us to be there to take photos at their house meeting! (Note to self: use the phone numbers when you got ‘em!) Don did express some concern that they would only be expecting a few couples for the event, but I assured him that we would make due.

We showed up an hour before the meeting and were hardily welcomed by Don and Gay, who offered us ice tea and oatmeal cookies before we began setting up in their backyard driveway. A while later, Don Jr. came out to introduce himself. And when I went back inside to check on the progress of the meeting an hour later, I found that only Don Jr.’s girlfriend and an Obama field organizer had joined our hosts. Don Sr. was just beginning to apologize for the meager turn out when another couple arrived at the door with their 3 year old daughter and brand new baby. I reiterated that we were grateful to take the portraits of anyone who would allow us to, and that it would be nice to have a little more time with fewer people. So we took our time, Rob got some more great photos, and we both thoroughly enjoyed the company of yet another wonderful group of Obama supporters!

That night in Columbus we stayed at the home of old friends, who, unfortunately, were out of town at the time. So although they are huge Obama fans, the Polks were unavailable for a photo op on the red carpet. But we did find an unexpected surprise when we checked our email that night. Our newest friend, Don, had already made a generous donation to our website! It is truly incredible, the benevolence and hospitality we have received from strangers and friends alike, all of us brought together in a common purpose!

One Response to “Don & Gay’s House Meeting”

  1. Great stories! Keep up the posting. Lots of folks are supporting you.

    - Luke Fodor

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