I just spoke with Jim a couple of minutes ago - it will be another 5 to 6 hours before he will be home.
Meanwhile, after Jim posted his message at 4:15am Friday morning (after maybe 5 hours of sleep at best) he drove to the IRS building only to discover that parking is only allowed until after 9:30am. He then returned to the hotel where he found me standing outside having some coffee and a smoke. From that point in time, we found ourselves pretty much overwhelmed and at the mercy of events as they unfolded.
I joined Jim and his wife at breakfast and we discussed new action plans, while Jim took phone calls from other FairTax folks from GA, AL and TN in addition to greeting and talking with still more folks stopping by the table. We decided I would go to the Pentagon to manage the event planned there and Jim would head back to the IRS building in time for the 9:30 parking.
I left the hotel about 8:15 and got to the Pentagon about 8:45 - 15 minutes later than I had planned. When I got there, I soon learned the activities for the day were not open to the public and that Obama would be there as well. Besides that, it was raining. I walked to as close as I could get to the memorial to collect any FairTax folks who might have arrived before me and herded them back to the Metro stop (under cover from the rain) and waited there for more FairTaxers to arrive. I checked with Jim shortly after 9:30 and we decided to cancel the Pentagon event and have people to make their way to the IRS event.
The rest of the day went rather well. The IRS rally was really good, even though it started a little later than we had planned (we waited for everyone to get there). We had a small crowd of about 200 (do understand that this is a good showing considering how quickly this was all put together and the weather conditions) by the time we got started and all of the speakers made it. As planned, we then made our way to the hill and entered the halls of Congress. Many representatives were visited and reminded about the FairTax. Especially the "Blue Dog" Democrats.
It was a long day and we made our way back to the hotel about dinner time. A group of ten of us FairTaxers headed to a Chili's within close walking distance for dinner and to discuss the day's event and plan for the next day. Of course, Jim continued to take phone calls and meet with people during the remainder of the evening and it was late by the time we all made it back to our rooms for a nights rest. We would start even earlier the next morning.
We were all on the Metro by 7:30am on 9/12 and it was pretty much non-stop from there. We had 16 FairTax flags (with poles) to transport and assemble for the march (special thanks to Jamie Wheeler) after we arrived at the Federal Triangle stop and then find the other FairTax groups/members to carry them. We attached poles to the FairTax Nation banners at Freedom Plaza not long before the march began.
Again, another very long day for all of us. We spent many hours on our feet and did a lot of walking (marching to the Capitol building was only half the distance, we had to make our way back to the starting point too). By the time it was finally over and we found our way back to the hotel, we were very tired and in various states of pain.
Are we complaining? No, just explaining. Jim was tireless in his efforts and worked very hard to make sure our efforts were a success. There just wasn't enough of time for him to do all of that and keep posting to the site as well.
I'll let Jim supply his own response to this experience. As for me, I can't begin to describe my own feelings of sheer joy to be part of this great outpouring of Americanism. I lived in DC for fourteen years before I moved to Florida and thought I pretty much knew everything I needed to know about life inside the "beltway". It took me an equal number of years to learn about life outside the beltway. Yesterday, we passed the national Archives as we marched our way to the Capitol and I found myself wondering how many of these good Americans even knew that this is where our great founding documents are kept and can be viewed by anyone (I've gone there 3 times). I had driven PA Ave many times, but never once walked it this way. I had seen many protests there before, but never one like this. I found myself fighting back tears as we marched - tears of pride, and tears of fear.
I am glad Jim (and all) is doing well. I would think a week of rest might be in order.
On 9/12 standing near Freedom park about 8:30 AM I was afraid we were not going to have a great showing. By ten, I was surrounded and the crowd was still growing. I began to feel emotional that this many people actually cared About noon I was trying to get a picture from near the Center of Pennsylvania Ave where as far as my camera could see in both directions, it was Packed. Now if all of us can each get five more people involved we might have some real momentum. On a side note, I just received a reply from my Senator Richard Burr indicating he supports the Audit the Fed bill (As though he suggested it) but does not like my suggestion to him that it needs to be dissolve. Here is another "representative" one who needs to be gone. My new Rally cry is the same as the sign I carried, " Vote out the Career Politicians" .
Yes, he has given lip service to supporting Fairtax. There is no vote to judge his actual intentions. He may be doing what Heath Schuler does, support things that he thinks has no chance to win. Then should the item actually come to vote, he quietly votes with his party. Burr is however a Career Republican Politician.