Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Slipping on ice and sore as hell

This is not actually a photo of me but is quite similar to the way I landed on Tuesday - except for the 10-gallon plastic bucket filled with sand that I descended on when I hit the ground.

On Tuesday I went out to knock on doors in Brunswick with Steve Carpenter who was driving/navigating our way through this cold and ice filled town.

We got two early signatures of Maine Green Independents on the petition to help put Lisa Savage on the ballot in November.  After that we hit a patch of 'not home' and addresses where people had moved.  We had four more houses to visit when I had an accident on the back side of a house along Park Row in downtown Brunswick.

In Brunswick there are many large old houses that over the years have been converted into apartments.  Along Park Row many of them have been converted into offices but one place had a couple apartments on the back side.  Steve dropped me off and I went looking for the proper door to knock on.  Once I found it I discovered the occupant was not home and I began to descend from the stairs I had climbed in order to knock on the door.

Just as I was ready to walk back down the steps (4-5 steps) a man asked if he could help me.  I told him who I was looking for and he said I was in the right place.  A bit distracted I took my first step on the ice clogged top stair and went flying like superman onto the brick landing below.  Unfortunately for me a 10-gallon bucket with sand in it was in the middle of the landing and I hit it square on - my left side rib cage taking the brunt of the impact.  The bucket remained standing the entire time.

My clipboard and petition papers went flying into the air and I sat on the ground moaning and groaning in pain for some time.  The man (who turned out to be in charge of keeping the ice covered with sand) quickly got some sand and covered the patch I had slipped on - better late than never as they say.

Finally I got up and the man strangely didn't offer a word of concern or a helping hand to me.  Instead he began to tell me that his boss had recently had a similar accident (and was severely injured) in this same spot because he had failed to put sand on top of the ice.  I'm surprised the guy still has a job.

In addition to severe pain in my mid-section I scuffed up both knees as well.  I limped back to the car where Steve was waiting and we went to four more houses on our list.  Steve went to the doors in my place but we continued with our hard luck not finding anyone home.

I told Steve I thought I should go to the emergency room.  I asked him to take me home where our car was parked - MB had taken the bus to Portland that morning instead of driving to work.  But after hearing my tale and seeing my condition Steve insisted on driving me to the VA hospital (Togus) one hour away in Augusta.

So I spent five hours at Togus, first getting an x-ray which found no broken ribs but the doctor felt I likely had cracked one or more of them.  Then after complaining of a growing stomach ache the doctor determined that I needed a CAT scan to check if I had injured my spleen.  First though I had to drink a lemonade flavored jug of dye over the course of an hour.  Then we had to wait another hour or more for the spleen condition results which happily came back negative.

By this time I had sent Steve home and MB, once returning to Brunswick on the bus from work, jumped into our car and arrived at Togus just as I was released.

The nurse who cleaned up my knees, took blood tests, and cheered me up, told me I'd likely be pretty sore for the next several days.  That turned out to be the truth.  I'm having to sleep on my back and getting up from bed or a chair, and any bending over, is quite difficult.  Deep breaths are also quite painful.

Steve and I were to go out again today to knock on more doors but last night I called him and told him I was just too sore to go.  So he told me he'd go on his own which impressed me but caused some real feelings of sadness on my part.  We've been a good team.

I am hoping that on Saturday I can go out with MB (I'll do the driving and she will do the jumping in and out of the car and knocking on doors).  We've got a long way to go to hit our goal of 2,000 signatures of Green Independents across Maine.  This accident put a real crimp in my style.

The two mainstream political parties in Maine really make it hard for 3rd parties to get on the ballot.  Collecting signatures in the middle of the winter is a tough task.  It's amazing though that determined people across the state keep going out anyway, trying to give the voters in our state the opportunity to vote for the alternative voice of Lisa Savage who won't be bought and sold by the corporate money that runs the political system in this country.

Wish us all luck and safe door-knocking.


PS Steve got 9 signatures on Friday on his own.  Good going buddy!


Blogger Lisa Savage said...

Bruce, we called you last evening to see how you're healing but you must have still been out with MB. What a campaigner you are. But you've got to take care of yourself, too. Hope you're feeling better soon. Can't wait to meet Steve he sounds like a fantastic team member.

1/26/20, 8:02 AM  

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