I’m looking out of my window right now, watching the first few light sprinkles of Hurricane Isaac begin. Folks aren’t expecting this storm to be as bad as it could be, but preparations are being made anyway. We have water, canned food, ice, batteries, a weather radio, board games at the ready, beer (hurricane party!) and our back porch cleared of projectiles.
While we anticipate this storm coming in, 50,000 GOP delegates are also arriving into Tampa for the RNC. Yep, 50,000 republicans are arriving into my little city while a hurricane gathers strength just south of here and city officials and security folks scramble, on high alert, madly shutting things down and battening down hatches and trying to make this place welcoming ALL at the same time.
How do I feel about all this?
I’m not from Tampa originally, but it has been my home for seven years. And right now I am feeling strangely over-protective of it.
I know. Florida gets a lot of crap for being… well… Florida. We are the butt of endless jokes. Some are deserved, many are not. I’m not sure what the hate is about, exactly. Every U.S. city and state has its nasty bits and its beautiful bits. But it’s as if Florida, almost like New Jersey, is allowed to be crapped on.
So, there’s that.
And Florida has had some tough times recently. Our Tea-party Governor’s approval rating is appalling (statistically, Lebron James actually fares better), funding for education has been drastically cut, empty homes are left everywhere, unemployment is a mess, on it goes… But we are trying to fight our way back and we’re seeing some good progress.
Now add 50,000 RNC delegates. And a hurricane.
Now cue MORE Florida jokes, GOP jokes and nation-wide cheers for destruction because that’s what they had coming to them. It’s FLORIDA, after all, with a bunch of republicans in it. HA HA!
Hey, I’m a democrat and I’m not super fond of what these folks stand for but, people, be nice. I even wrote a post about why I welcome this convention to our city. For crying out loud, our little city was just sitting here, hoping to host a party for one side of the political coin, trying to stake out a little spot in the national spotlight… and now all of THIS.
THIS could totally kick Tampa’s ass and give all those convention-goers a bad taste in their mouth when remembering their time here. And it could just keep the rest of the nation laughing at us and making more jokes and not taking Tampa seriously for anything. Because when you try to do something serious here, a hurricane will just wipe it out anyway. So, why bother.
Maybe the storm won’t be a big deal. Just a lot of wind and rain. Hopefully, it just makes for a good story and lots of good times and a whole bunch of hurricane parties. And the sun will come out… and everyone will cheer and see the good… and the damage won’t be so bad… and all will be well!
(My optimism = DENIAL.)
Yesterday, my family decided to spend our pre-storm time with some local beauty before it got crazy. We headed over to Clearwater Beach and took some pics in between periods of rainfall. It was beautiful. Because it IS beautiful here.
THIS IS A NICE PLACE TO LIVE.
I got your back, Tampa. Hopefully some of our visitors — and those tuning in to watch this crazy — will, too. Now, pass the warm beer and flashlights!
*drizzle, drizzle. gentle breezes.*
Er. OK, just pass the warm beer, then.