8 08 2004


Democrats said Friday’s rally, where thousands of people filled the East Wing Plaza of the state Capitol and Soldier’s Grove, exceeded party officials’ expectations and may have been the city’s largest rally by Democrats. Initial crowd estimates of 20,000 from Mayor Stephen R. Reed were later revised upward by 5,000 people by police.

“It was amazing, amazing,” said Heinz Kerry, who along with her husband and actor Ben Affleck surprised guests when they went to The Pub in the Wyndham Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel, where the campaign stayed Friday night.

People start cheering “Kerry, Kerry, Kerry” when the Democratic nominee joined his daughter and step-sons for a late night dinner after 11:30 p.m.

“Also in the house we have the next president of the United States,” announced singer Tony Perry of the Tony Perry 3. “Let him eat in peace and vote, damn it.”

The group ate in a side room as guests who tried to sneak a peek called friends on their cell phones.

Kerry, his running mate and their families were due to continue today on the third day of their 21-state, 3,500-mile “Believe in America” tour, trying to build on the excitement from last week’s Democratic Convention in Boston.

Democratic Party officials said the turnout at the Harrisburg rally is a reflection of the Democrats’ unity, GOP divisions and that Democrats may be able to compete better on what is typically Republican turf.


Kinda cool to get mentioned in a political piece. Never mind that there is no Tony Perry 3 anymore — Irv was there for the paper and he wasn’t quite up on the news! No matter. I also found out today that Ed and Steve were at the rally, right near the staging area. The whole family has been up for the weekend for Bryan’s ninth birthday. We celebrated at Jones Beach — what a terrific day. At church earlier, I sang “All Good Gifts” from Godspell. Always wanted to sing that song! John Mayhew accompanied, which was great. I’m going to miss him — he’s leaving at the end of the month to take another church musician job.

I also talked to my friend Lance today. Seems his two best friends live nearby! So when his next tour of duty wraps he’ll be bound to come visit. By tour of duty, I mean lap o’ luxury: Lance has a six month contract to sing for Celebrity Cruises.




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