Tuesday, March 20, 2012 / 6:42 am

Obama in Oklahoma

Yes. I brought him here. Sorta.

by Donna Schoenkopf

President Obama

Did you know that we all are literally at the center of the universe?

The first time that notion registered in my brain was when I read about the idea of every single thing actually being at the center of the universe because the universe was infinite so how could it have a single center?  Ergo, every point in the universe IS the center of the universe.

So don't deny your importance, Dear Reader.  You are the center of the universe. 

(But then, so am I.)

So you will excuse my chutzpah in thinking that I, Donna Schoenkopf, am the reason President Barack Obama will be coming to Oklahoma TOMORROW!

I am on tippy toes, I am so excited.  He hasn't been here since before he was elected President.

I am (sorta) convinced that he's coming because I invited him.  He's a couple of days late from the date on the invitation, but he's one of those guys who is late sometimes.  Not as bad as Clinton, but remember Bo the Presidential Dog?  Came late.  Didn't come right after the election.  I was getting a little antsy about the Presidential Daughters getting their dog and I found my toe tapping in perturbed anticipation.

Anyway, the reason for me taking credit for his coming here goes like this:

I wrote him a letter.  Here it is:


December 1, 2011

Dear President Obama,

I know this is highly out of the ordinary.  But I thought I would give it a try.

I am inviting you to the Pottawatomie County Democratic Club St. Patrick's Day Fundraiser next year on Saturday, March 17, 2012 in Tecumseh, Oklahoma. 

I am sure you know that Oklahoma is the reddest state in the Union and we Democrats have had a tough time of it here.  But we are a feisty bunch and we NEVER give up.  We thought you would like to see what it's like in the trenches.  I mean, how great would it be for you to show up in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, population 6,457, in the heart of Republican territory?

It just takes my breath away to think about it.

Our lives have taken very similar paths.  I am from Hawaii, too.  I was born in the hospital YOU were born in (Kapiolani Maternity Hospital) in 1943.  I was supposed to go to Punahou School, too, but my dad died when I was ten.  He's buried in Punch Bowl, as your grandfather is.  My mother and brothers and I moved to the States (as it was called then) in 1953.

I am a retired school teacher.  Taught mostly third grade in the Inner City of Los Angeles for about twenty years.  I am a version of a community organizer, too, came of age during the Civil Rights Movement, marched with Cesar Chavez, was my union rep for years, and got arrested for protesting nuclear testing in Nevada.  Because I am from Hawaii, I have an intense love for the environment and even built my little house in the country in a sustainable, environmental way.

I am an ardent admirer of yours and … well, there are no words to express how I feel about you being the President of the United States of America.

Hope you can make it. 

Aloha nui nui,

Donna Schoenkopf

He's only a week late.  I think that subconsciously he was thinking about Oklahoma and me, his Hawaiian ohana, and just said, “Let's go to Oklahoma,” not knowing why.

(Let me have my dreams.  Okay?)

Now I am worried about his plane trip.  We've got torrential rains and they're not going to let up until Thursday and his plane lands on Wednesday night.  I will have to focus my love beams on keeping that plane straight and true.

The word is he's going to an Oklahoma City Thunder's game on Wednesday night.  I have thought of buying a ticket and bringing a huge sign saying, “ALOHA, PRESIDENT OBAMA!”  But I bet there will be a lot of frisking going on and that they are sold out anyway.

So I will drive to Cushing on Thursday, where he's going to look at the pipeline.  I will have that giant sign and stand along the road with a big, fat smile on my face.

And wave and wave and wave.

“Aloha, President Obama!” it will say.  “Aloha nui loa!”

Donna Schoenkopf recently retired from teaching at 61st Street School in South Central Los Angeles, and has moved back to Oklahoma, where she spent her teens.


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