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401 people had voted at Birney Elementary by the time I got there at around 6 p.m., and this was supposedly very respectable turnout.

I talked for a long time to the “captain” of the enterprise, a 72-year-old mother of four and grand/great-grandmother of numerous others who said she did not want to speak candidly about Adrian Fenty or Michelle Rhee for fear of compromising her “femininity.” Everyone seemed fairly dead set on Vince Gray, save for two guys that ANC candidate/Gray supporter David White identified as “peaceniks,” who were busily engaged in a heated argument in a car outside with a man and a woman who were apparently Gray volunteers.

White said he had never seen the community so dissatisfied with a black politician before. He and everyone else I met seemed to have lived east of the river for their whole lives. White, a 52-year-old former D.C. firefighter, indicated he had larger political ambitions. I will attest here that he seemed to share my opinions on every issue of import we discussed, so he gets my endorsement.

Then Marion Barry dropped in, and wow, that guy has aged well, and one girl asked him jokingly why he wasn’t on the ballot. “No no no, the point is it’s time for a change,” he insisted.

Photo by Moe Tkacik