From the Berkeley Area we planned to head down to LA, to shoot a gObama Party fundraiser, and then stay a couple of days in Huntington Beach with Robs’ sister. With his scratchy throat having become a full-blown cold, I asked Rob repeatedly if he wanted me to take a turn at the wheel, but he said he didn’t mind driving. We’ve traveled clear across the country and I’ve driven a total of an hour and a half!
At around 7:15, after our first taste of LA traffic, we arrived at the party to find preparations in full swing. We met Lindsey, who began organizing the event with her sister and boyfriend, after the three moved into a small house with a yard that ascends, in staggered terraces, up the hill out back. It is, in fact, the perfect space for a party! Each terrace featured a different station: a bar, a stage, a dance floor. My favorite though, was a carnival-type photo booth where couples could place their heads in the cut out faces of a giant reproduction of the infamous terrorist-fist-bump New Yorker Cover! Rob and I had the whole front yard to work with, and even the bands, who were busy loading in their own equipment, were impressed with the extent of our set.
By the time guests started showing up we were ready to roll, and I set out to scout for the most interesting partygoers, from which there were plenty to choose. After they were finished on stage, I snagged the 60s inspired folk duo, who kicked off the festivities with their version of the National Anthem, which somewhere around “rocket’s red glare” broke into “We Shall Overcome.” We got a portrait of the featured Obama cake with it’s designer, who had beautifully replicated Shepard Fairey’s Obama logo in icing. The gO-gObama Dancers hammed it up in front of Rob’s camera, as did the Sarah Palin impersonator, all of whom then had to run back to entertain the growing crowd.
By 12:30, Rob was still photographing “one last person” I had recruited, and I was chatting with a pair of guys in denim overalls, who had been watching us work. They complimented us, at length, for our commitment to the project and to this historic campaign. And after having their portraits made, we were invited to a Bar-BQ the following day at their “Funky Junk Farm,” where the two customize Air Stream trailers for celebrities. What a fascinating crowd!
Before we packed up, Rob got a few last shots of our co-host, Chris, who, although he had already changed out of his crotch-highlighting flight suit, still did the most eerie George Bush impression I’ve ever seen. By 2AM the crowd had gone, our gear was packed, and the party venue was thoroughly trashed. We were all exhausted, but everyone had had a great time and the event had been a huge success, raising over $3000 for the Obama campaign!
After sleeping in late the next day, Rob and I got to walk along the beach in his sister’s neighborhood, and take a slow day. But Rob, who’s cold didn’t take kindly to being kept up the night before, was quick to remind me that this was not a day off, as we still planned to get a red-carpet photo of his sister and brother in law in front of our hosts’ home.