Supporters brave cold for Obama tickets

Students at Redlands Middle School will get a firsthand look at the 2008 presidential campaign from teacher Chris Prickett.

Firsthand, that is, if Prickett can get his gloves off.

Prickett was the first person in line at Obama headquarters, 844 Grand Ave., Saturday morning for tickets to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s visit to Grand Junction on Monday.

He wore a pullover and gloves because at 5:45 a.m., “It was cold,” he said. Some hours later, the gloves still were on.

Unlike most of the hundreds of other people who eventually surrounded the block awaiting their tickets, Prickett was strictly nonpartisan.

“It will be a good educational experience I can bring home to the kids,” he said. “It’s a very historic event.”

Obama is to speak at an event beginning at 11 a.m. Monday at Cross Orchards Living History Farm, 3047 F Road.

Technically, Prickett was the first one on the front porch. Others, he said, were waiting in their warm cars and began piling out shortly after he claimed the first place in line.

Right behind him was Evan Mok-Lamme, 13, who said he was excited for the opportunity to see Obama, a senator from Illinois.

Obama is “awesome blossom,” Mok-Lamme said. “I like where he stands on Iraq.”

Frank and Elaine Muldowney of Eckert weren’t far behind, having gotten up at 4 a.m. to get to downtown Grand Junction in time.

In part, they were struck by the opportunity to see a presidential candidate from one of the major parties, but they said they hoped for a bit more.

“I would like to know more about his health-care plan,” Elaine Muldowney said.

The Muldowneys also hoped Obama would address some regional issues, such as water.

“We’re excited to have a national figure who recognizes that Colorado is more than Denver,” Elaine said.

Robert Bowsher likewise hoped Obama might take some questions.

If nothing else, “I’d like a chance to shake his hand,” Bowsher said.

His wife, Joyce, said she placed great hope in Obama. She and another woman in line, Joyce Gillooly, sported brand new Obama buttons they bought from a vendor doing brisk business selling T-shirts, buttons and Obama bears.

“We need change we can believe in,” Joyce Bowsher said. “Not four more years of the same.”

Gillooly said she was eager for a look at a presidential candidate in the Grand Valley.

\“We may never get another one,” she said.


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