Tale of a Texas Town Hall

This is a 100% true accounting of my experience at the Lloyd Doggett Town Hall meeting at Veterans Building, Austin, Texas, 8/6/09
 - Susan Prince

Just to set the scene:

I am a white woman, 67 years old, 5'2" tall and weigh 115 pounds.  I am usually very healthy. 

I was at the first Town Hall that Doggett gave, but didn't have a sign; just my voice... and just yelled.  He called us (all senior citizens) "an angry mob". 

Today, I guess I was an Angry Mob of One.

At 3:15 p.m. when I arrived back at my home, I was still trembling and flushed from the heat and took my body temperature.  Normally my temp. is 97.8.  RIGHT NOW, it is the same degree that I was walking in for an hour and a half - 106 degrees Fahrenheit!!!  That translates into a heat stroke.   And my husband served our country, was terribly wounded and I couldn't stand on federal property with my sign.

My experience at the town Hall meeting with Lloyd Doggett August 6, 2009

It was on the news this morning that Doggett would be having another Town Hall meeting today at the Veterans Affairs Center.   Since my husband has used that Center (as a retired General with 90% Viet Nam disability), I had my ID military card and proceeded to go in.  I was not carrying any type of bag or purse -- only my sign. 

In the sign in area, the clerk behind the counter looked up my card, found me on the computer, and told the policeman that it was "o.k" for me to go in to the small auditorium.  I had my poster with me.  On one side was a blown up photo of my husband graduating from West Point and shaking the hand of John F. Kennedy.. it's a great picture!  On the other side, I had written: "NO  MORE  LIES!!!"

As I entered there were about 4 police officers in the blue uniforms and a lot of other people walking around talking on their walkie-talkies and checking everyone before people were allowed in. 

I went into the small auditorium, (more like a small movie theatre with 2 aisles) and sat down on the back chair facing 3 men who were my generation and had on their Army caps.  And we began to talk.

Within 5 minutes a police officer (blue uniform) came and got me and told me I had to leave with my sign because I was on FEDERAL property.  I asked "where can I go?"  His answer was "come on out with me and I'll ask my supervisor".  So I did and a few minutes later (all the while people are coming in and I'm standing there in the lobby holding my sign),  he came back and said "you will have to go outside".  I said "It's 106 degrees outside"!  I knew that because I had just seen it in my car which tells the temp.  I couldn't hear his reply so I leaned in a little and his response was:  "back up, don't get close to me"!  Now, here I am trying to hear and do what I was asked and he is afraid of me!  I backed up and asked him again where was the closest place I could stand and could I stay in the air conditioning".  His answer was "No, you have to go out on the sidewalk with your sign".  In front of the building there are several rows of cars and a wide cement area when you first come out of the building.  Near one of the arches, I saw some shade and so I walked over there and stood with my sign. 

Within 5 minutes, another police officer came over to me and told me I had to go out on the street sidewalk.  This is a very wide 4 lane street with an old sidewalk.  There is absolutely no shade.

I told him I would obey and for the next hour and a half I walked up and down along the highway in front of the building with my sign.  The temperature was at least 106 degrees - which is typical for Austin in August..  For the first hour there was no one else walking or in the sun.  Just me and then 3-4 people came out with small signs for Obama and they just wanted to fight... I'm too old to fight, so I just kept on walking.  I got a lot of thumbs up and horns... and one car stopped with 3 people in it that I declare I have seen on the street panhandling here in Austin, and they called me a delusional old woman".   Since I've been called worse, I just kept on walking. 

Give me Liberty or give me death.
This is a 100% true accounting of my experience at the Lloyd Doggett Town Hall meeting at Veterans Building, Austin, Texas, 8/6/09
 - Susan Prince

Just to set the scene:

I am a white woman, 67 years old, 5'2" tall and weigh 115 pounds.  I am usually very healthy. 

I was at the first Town Hall that Doggett gave, but didn't have a sign; just my voice... and just yelled.  He called us (all senior citizens) "an angry mob". 

Today, I guess I was an Angry Mob of One.

At 3:15 p.m. when I arrived back at my home, I was still trembling and flushed from the heat and took my body temperature.  Normally my temp. is 97.8.  RIGHT NOW, it is the same degree that I was walking in for an hour and a half - 106 degrees Fahrenheit!!!  That translates into a heat stroke.   And my husband served our country, was terribly wounded and I couldn't stand on federal property with my sign.

My experience at the town Hall meeting with Lloyd Doggett August 6, 2009

It was on the news this morning that Doggett would be having another Town Hall meeting today at the Veterans Affairs Center.   Since my husband has used that Center (as a retired General with 90% Viet Nam disability), I had my ID military card and proceeded to go in.  I was not carrying any type of bag or purse -- only my sign. 

In the sign in area, the clerk behind the counter looked up my card, found me on the computer, and told the policeman that it was "o.k" for me to go in to the small auditorium.  I had my poster with me.  On one side was a blown up photo of my husband graduating from West Point and shaking the hand of John F. Kennedy.. it's a great picture!  On the other side, I had written: "NO  MORE  LIES!!!"

As I entered there were about 4 police officers in the blue uniforms and a lot of other people walking around talking on their walkie-talkies and checking everyone before people were allowed in. 

I went into the small auditorium, (more like a small movie theatre with 2 aisles) and sat down on the back chair facing 3 men who were my generation and had on their Army caps.  And we began to talk.

Within 5 minutes a police officer (blue uniform) came and got me and told me I had to leave with my sign because I was on FEDERAL property.  I asked "where can I go?"  His answer was "come on out with me and I'll ask my supervisor".  So I did and a few minutes later (all the while people are coming in and I'm standing there in the lobby holding my sign),  he came back and said "you will have to go outside".  I said "It's 106 degrees outside"!  I knew that because I had just seen it in my car which tells the temp.  I couldn't hear his reply so I leaned in a little and his response was:  "back up, don't get close to me"!  Now, here I am trying to hear and do what I was asked and he is afraid of me!  I backed up and asked him again where was the closest place I could stand and could I stay in the air conditioning".  His answer was "No, you have to go out on the sidewalk with your sign".  In front of the building there are several rows of cars and a wide cement area when you first come out of the building.  Near one of the arches, I saw some shade and so I walked over there and stood with my sign. 

Within 5 minutes, another police officer came over to me and told me I had to go out on the street sidewalk.  This is a very wide 4 lane street with an old sidewalk.  There is absolutely no shade.

I told him I would obey and for the next hour and a half I walked up and down along the highway in front of the building with my sign.  The temperature was at least 106 degrees - which is typical for Austin in August..  For the first hour there was no one else walking or in the sun.  Just me and then 3-4 people came out with small signs for Obama and they just wanted to fight... I'm too old to fight, so I just kept on walking.  I got a lot of thumbs up and horns... and one car stopped with 3 people in it that I declare I have seen on the street panhandling here in Austin, and they called me a delusional old woman".   Since I've been called worse, I just kept on walking. 

Give me Liberty or give me death.