AS TOLD BY TARON MURAKAMI
I was at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in August 2000, I had made a group of girls who became my good friends, we stuck together pretty much throughout the whole convention since we all didn't have credentials to get in. Cindy Oni, Kellie and Sarah, and sometimes Kelvin, though he's not a girl. Anyway, so we finally got into the convention center the last night when Gore gave his acceptance speech. Needless to say it was an awesome event (Dav you need a Democratic story on your page). We were having such a hard time getting credentials all week, and our advisor was nice enough to lend us his credentials. So on our way in, Kellie caught something on the ground at the entrance, so she picked it up, and low and behold, it was a FLOOR PASS! An actual floor pass someone must have dropped. So we got to go on the floor which is something really special. All week the other kids in the program who had credentials had been so snooty about them and they wouldn't even share with us. That night, when Kellie had the floor pass, she saw one of the snooty girls and she was so impressed with the floor pass, she asked to borrow it (the nerve!), but Kellie coolly said that there was a line and she couldn't give it to her (I think that girl was a Republican, seriously, she was).
Another story, was something was wrong with Oni's camera (she's from Texas), like she checked the film and batteries and just the whole thing didn't work. So I'm thinking, how can I help her out, then I go to my bag, and Oni says "The only way you could help me is if you have a camera in your bag" which of course was unlikely, but in fact, I pulled a camera out of my bag! See, earlier in the day, I had attended a lunch with the Hawaii delegation and United Airlines gave everybody these free disposable cameras that looked like airplanes. They were cute. I have no idea if they worked, Oni never told me whether he pictures came out or not, but it was funny anyway.
Then there's Cindy (from Iowa). Cindy LOVED Peter Jennings. I am not kidding. The whole time we were at the convention she talked about wanting to see Peter Jennings so badly, like she was always looking over to the ABC press box and the media center but he was never around. The whole night went by and we never saw him. After the program was over, EVERYBODY in the entire Staples Center (this is where the Lakers play if you don't know) went for the doors to leave. It was really crowded. Somehow, Oni and I got separated from the other girls in the crowd. We were shoulder to shoulder with strangers. Then Oni (who was much taller than me) turns around, and she says to me, "hey, isn't that Peter Jennings?" and I look back, and it was him! Cindy was nowhere around, so I gave Oni my camera and she shot a picture. As the crowd moved, Jennings got closer to us, and before I knew it, he was right next to me. He said hi, and I said hi, and I asked "did you enjoy the convention?" and he said he's glad it's over, and he rushed out. Later when we caught up with the others, we told Cindy what happened, and she didn't believe us, but Oni and I would never lie about something like that. And I told her I talked to him, and she's like did you had a whole conversation with him? It was too bad she never got to see him, but I at least sent her the picture so she knew we did.
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