October 20th, 2008

10lb Parrott

Civil War - time to fish or cut bait...

It's time. Much as I have misgivings about the idea of running for President, I'm throwing my kepi into the ring. President of the National Civil War Assn, that is.

I had six months of soul-searching, and kept saying "I don't need those problems," but never fully got it out of my mind. I kept coming back, and back. Because if things go the way they are, with the person currently declared for running for President, people are afraid of a backslide into a divisive and unpleasant phase of our history. And I finally said "Okay, someone needs to put up serious opposition." And I decided the club needed me.

And I've had so many people at the event, this weekend, shaking my hand and saying "I'm so GLAD you're running!" with relief in their voices. Interesting. People afraid for the future of the club. I've heard that more than once. Well, that's why I'm doing this. I'M afraid for the future of the club. I've had so many burnt-out club organizers also tell me that they will do everything they can to support me from the shadows, if I'm elected, and can steer me through the hazards, though they know I know where a lot of them lie, already. Even more interesting...

And maybe that's what we need, a person who knows the politics, who's been through the wars, seen the Elephant, and taken hits from every side, and is still here. And knows how to talk to everyone, and hear their concerns, whether I agree with them or not. Because we all have something in common: we're all passionate about our hobby.

I have no idea if I'll get elected, but I know it's right. I have felt remarkably good, grounded and centered, since I made the decision to run. Because I realize I have something to offer in service to the organization, that no one else can. Continuity. I really have seen it all, since almost the very beginning, and I've seen what worked and what didn't. I've seen the ups and downs, and been through it all. And because of that, I know I can deal with it.

It's going to be interesting, no matter what happens. But I'm in, and as a song says: "Pray I'll be Wellington, not Bonaparte."