Tuesday, January 10, 2006


DH: Hacker, Hailey speak to TDW of growing up Democratic

Abilene, Jan. 10 - Judge Aleta Hacker and State Rep. candidate Dr. Mel Hailey spoke to the monthly Texas Democratic Women meeting at Abilene Civic Plaza Hotel last night, sharing vignettes of their growing up in homes with Democratic parents and values.

Judge Hacker speakingJudge Hacker, left, the lead speaker, spoke of growing up in New Jersey with her immigrant grandparents, and of making extra money as a child ironing shirts for her relatives. She spoke of inklings that drew her into the political process, the critical one being during the Vietnam conflict when a postal clerk in Georgia would not permit her to mail an absentee ballot. She shared the importance of tempering one's views out of consideration for the feelings of others, such as not speaking of "Mr. Bush's war" around her son, a newly commissioned West Point graduate who will likely be heading soon to a war zone. And she spoke poignantly of being a Democrat in neighborhoods where she was outnumbered, sometimes the only one.

Dr. Mel Hailey speakingDr. Mel Hailey, right, speaking extemporaneously, shared his thrill of meeting Billy Graham at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, and calling his mother to brag. She responded that this was alright, but asked whether he had met Rosa Parks there as well. In fact he had, but he learned only then that his mother had been a beauty operator in Alabama when Mrs. Parks made her heroic stand on the bus there, and Mrs. Hailey had spoken up in Parks' defense, only to be threatened with the loss of her job.

Dave recognizing Anna & JewelCounty Chair Dave Haigler, left center, made a special presentation to TDW officers Anna Vedro, left, Jewell Halford, right, and Barbara Backus, not pictured. Haigler said we have had a core group of 30-40 dedicated Democrats who have kept the party alive these past two years, but Anna, Jewell & Barbara have been the most diligent in things like volunteering to keep the party headquarters at 453 Pine Street open and staffed. Haigler presented them with a chocolate rose, a t-shirt of their choice featuring 2006 Democratic candidates, and a package of bumber stickers featuring the DemLog and candidates.

TDW president Vedro announced that next month's meeting will feature the Southern Poverty Law Center and presentations starting at 6:30, Feb. 6, by candidates.

Alice Spier at club meetingAlice Spier, right, said that the clubs and party will host U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky at events on Jan. 29 and 30 in Abilene. Alice and Dr. Virginia Connally are on the steering committee for these events.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
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