“John McCain says he supports cider in the fall, but …,” joked Benjamin Paloff on his walk back from the Farmers Market, stopping at the Obama bake sale at the corner of First and Liberty. Saturday was Day Two of a projected three-day effort to register voters, sell some cookies and cider – plus some art – and enjoy the beautiful weather, all in support of Barack Obama’s campaign. Actually, as the sign made clear, it was half in support of the campaign: “Full Disclosure 50% for Obama 50% shared amongst the kids”
Two of the kids, Elijah and Amelia, belonged to Carrie Hatcher-Kay, who was providing the on-site adult supervision. She related how explaining to a three-year-old why their family supports Obama had to be reduced to basics.
That means Obama: looks for other energy besides oil; inspires everyone to get involved; loves the air, the trees, the water, and wants to keep them clean. Plus, John McCain has eight houses and he doesn’t like to share.
Sharing was a key ingredient in the choice of the bake sale site, because none of the bake sale staff lived at the house where it was taking place. Jane Barney, who Hatcher-Kay described as their “adopted in-state great grandmother,” was sharing her front lawn with them.
She met Barney some 15 years ago serving together on the board of Canterbury House, when Barney would have been a year short of 80. At the bake sale when The Chronicle arrived was Jonathan Barney, Jane’s son, who retired from a 30-year career working for the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago.
He was headed off to the Michigan-Illinois game and was dressed like you’d expect a UM alum on homecoming weekend to dress. Before leaving he mentioned that the house where his mom now lived used to be an SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) house.
Jane herself came out briefly for a chat before we were finished documenting the bake sale, and asked if The Chronicle knew the history of the house: it was one of the houses the Staeblers built back around 1910. What about the SDS era? Barney laughed and reported that there was a basement door with a red fist painted on it, which attested to that part of the house’s history.
Barney’s name will be familiar to Chronicle readers who remember the beginnings of Avalon Housing or the New Hope clinic. She helped push those projects forward. And some might remember her as a Ward 5 Democratic Party “boss,” although Hatcher-Kay said, “she was not at all boss-like.”
Total revenue for the first day’s bake sale was around $30 with the second day’s effort projected to be close to that. The third day’s activity would be a function of the kids’ energy level. The total was partly a function of the cookies’ price point: $0.25. As Elijah (age 3) said, “Everybody says keep the change!” Makes cents for a campaign with a slogan, “Change you can believe in.” The plan was to hand over the Obama campaign’s share in person at the local Obama headquarters at First and Liberty.