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Update:

Hi Marylanders, Virginians and Washingtonians !

JamieG from MD asked me to republish this old diary from 2013 to wet your appetite to meet again on Aug. 23rd, 2014. Same location. I hope you all will come again. Let's heck out plans of how to elect the better Democrats, or if no that, how to beat the worst Republicans. See you all.

Hi all, I just came back from Union Station, where JamieG from MD had organized tirelessly and compassionately again the third meeting of the "Capital Kossack Gang".   I participated in the first meeting only, and today, after having missed the second one, I got a serious guilty feeling attack, just half an hour before the meeting started. I wanted again to slip away with dubious excuses, but somehow it didn't feel right. So I grabbed the camera to take some pictures and drove down to Union Station in Washington DC.

I am very happy I did. Here is what I got for you to look at. All I can say is that nothing is more rewarding than to meet people in person, no matter what. There are just so many dimensions you don't "get", when you know someone only from comments and diaries. And there are so many, whose comments and diaries run under the radar or are known only among the group members they belong to. (or is i just me missing too many diaries?) Many are long-time commentators and authors, others lurkers and readers and obviously engaged activists all of them. So it was my pleasure to have had the chance to make them visible for you. They all deserve it to be seen, imo.

Ready?

Let me start with this very serious incident happening so much in the background, nobody witnessed it, but, heh, I am no nobody and therefore I have visual proof. This DID happen, something I never would have expected:

This very handsome gentleman on the right had a long serious talk with our host JamieG from MD. In the back of my mind I saw them talking and talking and then it seemed to culminate in a rather unexpected move. The gentleman seemed to say said to JamieG from MD: "If you don't agree with my views, you better leave". Oh, I was dying to know what that was all about...

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But then our fearless host Jamie "stood her ground" and apparently succeeded to make said gentleman think about what he just had said to her and brought him to a more pensive, almost regretful state of mind.

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I didn't catch his full capitulation to the charme of Jamie:
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But no worries, this picture says it all ...

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Jamie knows ... how to win... :-)

If I just could better hear what everyone was saying. Because you see with these two gentleman, you better know what you are talking about and think before you speak. On the right is no other than our well-known Navy Vet Terp and on the left is gordon20024.

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Both are Veterans, long time members at dailykos and even though I have sometimes commented harshly about my feelings of what happened in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, you know, if you are a Vietnam Vet or any Veterans, who went through combat, and are such nice guys as these two, you just forget it all, and say "chapeau and kudos". Actually they reminded me of their the role they played in the past and be grateful for all their services they have offered us and sacrificed.  

I remember Navy Vet Terps comments, when I looked up his diary series and I just gasped because I always was so impressed and also helpless reading and understanding much of what he wrote. It's amazing that what you read online and what you see in real time emanates so much more of the humanity and personality. I am just glad I got to see everyone.

Can you imagine that gordon20024 actually drove four hours to meet us here in DC from Roanoke in VA ? And the gentleman to the right of him, Navy Vet Terps, drove down from Baltimore, also quite a long trip (though he says it's "relatively" short, which means to me it's relatively long. But he is faster by the Marc train than me driving by car from Greenbelt to Georgetown. Figure that.)

gordon20024 not only looks like an old school gentleman, he is definitely one.

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He wrote a list of all participants for us and even allowed me to use it and take home. Thank You, Sir. You helped me a lot.

And just because Navy Vet Terp wears a serious hat, doesn't mean that ...the longer the evening, the nicer the pictures ...isn't still true. Here is Navy Vet Terp a little bit more relaxed without the hat.

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(psst, he is cute, isn't he?)

Now, speaking of cuteness, we had a lot of it amongst us.

This very soft spoken lady is Veena S1:

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According to her profile she is a recent member of VA Kos. She emanates such a wonderful calm eloquence that I think it's no wonder that she was surrounded by those intensely listening admirers:

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To the left JTinDC and to the right gordon20024. I hope I will meet her again. She was talking to four men at once and never once had to raise her voice, that's a serious skill.

I am proud of my two photos of JTinDC, because he is a rather silently listening man. I wondered how I would make him comfortable and smile, and just at that moment Veena S1 did the trick. Here he is with a big smile:

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and with a cute ponytail (he told me I should remember him by his ponytail. Hi there, JT :-).

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We had happy and funny and smiling ladies all around. These two ladies you don't want to miss on any meet-up.

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They have stories to tell that make you laugh and all you want is listening to them.  To the right is JanetT in MD and to the left is liz dexic. JanetT in MD is now is on my list to follow, as she opines clearly about what is going on in her mind and I don't want to miss it. Liz dexic is full of life and laughter, she talked a lot and all I caught is that she is a passionate "Renaissance Fair" supporter. I think she somehow is a fundraiser to reckon with as well, but I couldn't follow the story. May be she tells us a bit about it here in the comments? As you can see here, she has to tell you something:

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and does it with a big smile:

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And after louisev had a long hearty chat with MollyD:

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she said good-bye content and happy all the way.

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This is our lovely MollyD, a grandmother I would love to have had as a child and would love to be myself. She seems to be calmly, happily and comfortably resting in herself,  it's a joy to watch her smiling and conversing.

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And she knows how to choose her chatting partners. Here she is with louisev, but look at the young and dynamic and oh so handsome man on the right. This is JR.

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Other than that he might be an Orioles fan, I don't know anything about him, but I request a chair at his table in the next meet-up. Can't get that opportunity slip by again. Handsome and thoughtful, don't you see it? That doesn't cross your ways every day.

And now we get to the younger sweet ones in the group AND the younger serious ones!

Seeing these two, I have to admit, my heart melted away. This is the youth we want to leave with a better world behind than we have found. To the left is dcatalin and to the right his sweetheart with no handle. He still hasn't managed to encourage her enough to open up an account on dailykos. Sweety from Columbia University,  would you pleace join us here? We need you badly. Take a heart, I am sure you have a lot of very smart things to tell us.

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Now meet the only man, who really, really seriously talked about politics with us. This is Pademocrat and he makes you listen.

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I tried to catch as much as I could of what he said and know he is strong supporter of Senator Warren, especially with regards to her disabilty policies (I hope I did get that right, please correct me if I am wrong, Pademocrat).

As you can see here, politics is a very serious matter to him. (He is a summa cum laude graduate in Political Science from American University, the university which brings the "Morning Edition" over WAMU each day to Washingtonians) and I urge you to read his last diary...because ... you know ...nobody comes to Washington DC who doesn't want to get ahead ... and I wished he could find what he is looking for. May be his situation has changed meanwhile to the better? Pademocrat, do you want to share something about it here?  

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Well and as you can imagine, I have to put the blame for why I can't tell you more about Pademocrat on this smashingly smiling gentleman in the front of this photo.

He saved my day, swept me off my feet and made me talk and laugh and relax. This is no other than gorgeous Mr. JamieG from MD, aka as STI, Jamie's husband. He told me some stories ...
(psst ... but he admitted to me he almost never reads Jamie's diaries, don't tell Jamie,  but isn't that something? I was speechless.)

Now, THAT would be a subject for the NEW DAY, asking "Do you read, sneak after, are jealous of or be in support of your significant other's diaries and comments?" Can't wait for your answers. (NEW DAY team what do you think, is that an appropriate subject?)

Anyhow, Mr. JamieG from MD, aka STI, sat to my right and as I said before, he made me feel sooo good.

Now the man sitting to my left, well, that's a tiny itsy bit of another story. This is the only expert you will ever meet, who is so handsome and relaxed that you just stop breathing sitting to the right of him. Meet Mr. stevenwag.

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He was the only one I clearly remembered from the first meet-up, catching my eyes and ears like there is no tomorrow. Yes, I started to admire him for his profession and experience and he almost managed to scare me a little bit too.

You see Mr. stevenwag is a man knowing the world from top to bottom, east to west, no country he hasn't visited, does know every little dirty secret about their electioneering methods. I know I could listen to his life's professional experiences overseas all day long.  

Mr. stevenwag, I hope you don't mind my frank admission that I am desperately curious. Of course you made my mind racing thinking about all the stupid ranting comments I ever made on dailykos, wondering in what kind of category in your books I might have ended up.  

I hope to convince you hereby, I am just a gullible, pretty under-read and under-educated (more or less immigrant) mother of one, working on the lowest level in the largest studio of the largest German TV company in Washington DC, trying to catch the news wherever and however I feel like it.  

You made me so nervous I started talking a lot of how my work is set up and trying to find thousands of excuses and reasons why I hang out on dailykos and pester people with my mostly inappropriate and frustrated stress releasing comments ...(can you see me sweating and moving moving nervously back and forth on my chair?).

Just as I thought I had succeeded in making my case, you, Mr. stevenwag asked me the quintessential question: "Why would a company like the one I work for even need to read dailykos?", he asked.  

Oh boy, that hit a nerve. I couldn't get rid of the question the whole night and still can't come up with a reasonable answer.

But for sure, as nobody else in our studio reads dailykos but me (I say damned if they don't, damned if they do), I can only come up with this. I know too little, and even if I know that my colleagues are much more apt in getting their news and views from all sorts of sources, they still don't get enough. That's why I try help out on the end of the line with those sites they never visit. And yes, I often get information from dailykos' best writers faster and more detailed than somewhere else. I love the press and the mess on dailykos. It's a mirror of what is going on in American's minds. And I love that.

Let me warmly and enthusiastically recommend Mr. stevenwag to share ALL he knows with us, because there is just no better source on US foreign policies we can get hold of in person. May be a couple of diaries in the future? You would be a great asset for us to listen to. Thank you, Mr. stevenwag for being patient and so kind with me.

(Wiping my sweat off my face) ... forgive me, you do understand I need refuge in someone, who doesn't intimidate that easily, don't you?

I have chosen him to be the guy I would run to and hide behind his back. Meet Mr. Bronx59.

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I don't know anything about him other than him having a hearty laugh and a big smile. He looks to me like the Teddy Bear you always wanted to hug but never were allowed to: Dare I? ... {{{Bonx59}}. I want to sit at his table next time and feed him some home-cooked delicious thingies I would prepare, yep.

With that thought I come to the end. It was a great help to have the pleasure of taking your photos and writing this diary, because that's the only way I will remember you all. But I also would like to understand more of what you are talking about. As much as I like the Union Station underground food court, it has a lot of background noise and it's hard to follow the conversations.

Let me say, I would be happy to host a meet-up in fall, permitting the weather is still warm enough to have a barbeque outside in my very modest (and not that pretty) backyard. I would love to cook for you and serve your favorite drinks and dishes and have all the time and tranquility to listen to your chats.

Good-bye for now with a couple of group photos and my heartfelt thanks to be that kind and friendly to me and for putting up with my writing in whatever words come out of my mouth, unedited. (And no, my office spell checker just works in German, darny, so whoever gets upset about my spelling, grammar or syntax,  blame it on the Germans).

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from left to right: stevenwag, JamieG from MD, Bronx59.

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from the left to right: liz dexic, JanetT in MD, JT in DC, gordon20024, Navy Vet Terp, louisev, MollyD (waving her hand), JR, dcatalin, the sweetheart from Columbia University with no name, Pademocrat, STI, stevenwag
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Me waving "Hi" to all (a bit stressed out..:-)

See you later in the comments.

PS. I know I must have made one or two mistakes at least to identify the persons in the photos, because I have on my list a JanetT in MD and couldn't find a photo of that person in my collection. So, please, everybody foregive me, when I mixed up names and correct me in the comments. I have to go now pretty quickly and won't be able to answer to your comments for a while. But rest assured I will update and fix the errors later on.

PS.PS. All mix-ups should be straightened out now. Good Night

Originally posted to mimi on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 10:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos, Maryland Kos, and DC Kossacks.

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