The year was 1996. It was a brisk February night in Milford , New Hampshire .
In the town square, hundreds of excitable villagers marched, with torches in hand, towards Milford City Hall. They were either there, to run a threatening monster out of town, or to rally for the-next-president-of the -United-States : Bob Dole, or maybe it was both.
Men in white, floppy chef hats doled out free, promotional apple pie to the assembled mob. A woman with a washtub full of soapy water, and a washboard, was busily scrubbing those hard-to-get-out bloodstains from an American flag. You can’t burn a sopping wet flag , I guess. It was a time before Ted Kaczynski was fingered by his brother , and the Unabomber for President Action Committe were campaining in full force.
It was there that cub reporter Darren Garnick was ‘enthralled’ by a giant toothbrush wielding, Vermin Supreme. He recounted the scene for the Nashua Telegraph. In a letter dated Feb. 20, he wrote ‘Your bullhorn strategy is a stark contrast from conventional politics and deserves a wider audience.’ This led to a meeting in Washington , D.C. to film exclusive footage for the PBS documentary, “Why Can’t I Be President.”, produced by Award Productions. The segment included a glowing critique by Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, and a full on dissing by ABC reporter Sam Donaldson.
This also led to a name check in TV guide. In 2000, Award followed up with, “I’m On The Ballot”, which included Ralph Nader saying nice things about Vermin’s campain. Darren Garnick , is a great American and a great journalist, by which I mean has given more long term coverage to the Supreme campain than just about any other reporter. He is not above using his own infant daughter as a political prop. Darren wrote a great article “Why is the Bush Campaign So Afraid of Vermin Supreme?” in 2000. Hopefully we can get it on line sometime.
This election year Darren had the courage to cover my donation of verminmobilia to the New Hampshire Political Library : Darren also followed the Vermin Supreme traveling circus during the New Hampshire Primary, this year, with cam crew in tow. The result was an entry into the CNN ireport election coverage contest, that made it into the top 16 .out of some 140 entries.
I was speaking to Darren the other day and he convinced me that I needed a blog. Like the world needs another blog. Maybe not , but I apparently do. I’m not convinced, but here we are. Don’t blame me , Darren told me to do it He is promoting his new doc.: Hell Drivers Check it out.