Thursday, May 8, 2008

Earl's and more

Yesterday the class began with a conversation on the current presidential race and its forecast. it was interesting to talk about the mail-in ballot system here in Oregon, and people seemed much more enlightened about it than i was. i mentioned the Obama volunteer center on Killingsworth and it was decided that we would drop in there. someone else mentioned that Earl's Barbershop on Alberta had an Obama sign as well, so we went there first. we didn't see any McCain or Clinton lawn or window signs in the neighborhood.

At Earl's Barbershop, Earl told us that he had been a barber for 26 years. He is originally from Louisiana, but moved to Oregon with his first wife. He studied Political Science at PCC in the 80s. We asked how his neighborhood has changed in the time that he has been here and he said that it was different and he liked that there were fewer gangs around. He had newspaper clippings, barber related posters and political signs, among other things, posted all over his walls and windows. When asked if he supported Obama he said "yes". He told us that he supported Sho Dozono's bid for the mayoral position because he feels he could bring more change and a fresher perspective to the office and Portland. He said that Adams has been around the Portland political scene too long.

There was a patron at Earl's Barbershop who was waiting his turn for a "makeover". His name was Claudius. He told us that he had been going to Earl's shop for 25 years. He said that he went there about twice a month, "or whenever I need a makeover". He said that the neighborhood has changed, and he isn't as worried about being around when its dark out. He lives on Broadway in NE though, and says that he likes it because the transportation and necessities of life are readily available.

We went to the Obama volunteer center on NE 15th and Killingsworth, just a few blocks north of the lot. I had mentioned the great handmade signs to Harrell and the class and everyone was really impressed by them. I asked them who made the drawings and they said a boy named Thomas made them. He liked to come into the office on his way home and draw the pictures. They were super.

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