…No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part…

After the insanity of the December 12, 2000 United States Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore the conventional wisdom wanted those of us who supported Al Gore to quietly go out of sight. They didn’t want to be reminded about the inconvenient particulars of the ascension of their chosen one.

At some point in the period after the election I became aware of a promotion by a local development group to place commemorative bricks in the newly refurbished downtown sidewalks. For $40.00 you could have a set number of characters on a brick permanently placed for everyone to see. I had an inspiration. After trying out various permutations I settled on “Al Gore won in 2000 by 543,895 votes”. I went over to the group’s office, filled out the form, and plunked down my forty bucks. I got a receipt. When the director of the office saw the text for my brick she laughed.

The 2000 election commemorative brick as it appears today in its permanent setting.

The brick at the time it was held hostage.

There was a committee which vetted the proposed content for each brick. My brick passed muster. After several months I checked to see what the status of my brick was. In so many words I was told they were waiting for the ordered bricks to arrive. Months later still they finally did arrive. My brick was placed in front of the library storefront.

A local republican busybody saw the brick, gasped, clutched her pearls, and registered a complaint with the development group. Apparently she didn’t like being reminded of the particulars of dubya’s ascension either. The development group pulled the brick. On learning this I went to the development office, photographed my brick, and let them know in writing in no uncertain terms that the brick should be placed back in the sidewalk. After much hand wringing and coverage in the local alternative paper the development group relented and placed the brick in another location.

Last night I was downtown for a meeting. I stopped by to see my brick, brushed off the winter road treatment sand, and smiled. It’s been a long eight years.

That was the best $40.00 I ever spent.