“Are you positive this is legal???” Noah asked me for the fourth time as we headed out the door early this past Saturday morning.

“Yes!  We live in America.  You know, Land of the Free?? It is perfectly legal to speak out for what you believe in. Now hurry up!”  I directed, as the entire family jumped in the car.

Perfectly legal?  Yup.  Perfectly stupid?   Potentially.

We had spent the night before making posters, emailing neighbors, and coming up with chants to protest the closing of our local Wawa convenience store.  Oh, and I promised the local television news station that there would easily be 100 people at this rally at 8:20 a.m. and yes, they should absolutely cover it LIVE.   Now all I could think about is Norma Rae… and me standing with my sign lone sign on Providence Road making a complete ass of myself.

We had tried to spread the word and my partners in crime (you know who you are Goodwins) had gotten more than a few positive responses, including The Well Read Hostess who, whether she knows it or not is destined to be my best friend.  But all was quiet when we arrived at 8:00 a.m.  Not surprisingly my family was the first to show.  Chase and Dave hung back but Noah, bless his liberal heart, grabbed the Honk to Keep Our Wawa sign and ran down to the curb.  I stood next to him with my sign.

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Honk.  Honk.  Honk.  HONK.  HONNNNNNNNNK.

With each show of support, his grin would grow wider.  And suddenly people started showing up.  In droves.  With signs.  And kids.  And coffee.  Within 30 minutes we easily had 80 people. 

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Then the news crew arrived.  They did interviews and video.  Here is part of the web story they did with some footage.

The Delco Times also covered the rally.  Suddenly I am a community activist and you know what that means, baby – just two steps away from the U.S. Presidency!!   Here is their story.

Now we are all very informed and educated people.  And we all know full well that there are real atrocities in the world and this Wawa closing is not one of them.  But to those who criticized our effort (read some of the comments on these stories), please understand that our town cares about many things, of which this little home grown Wawa is just one.  And it was this one concern that we all shared and were willing to wake up early on a Saturday to teach our children about freedom of speech and provide them with a sense of community.  Even if our rally doesn’t save the Wawa (and it’s not looking good folks), it created a tremendous amount of goodwill among our neighbors and we were lucky to be part of it. It felt a hell of alot better than doing nothing.

“Can we protest again next week?”  the boys asked on the way home.  “That was a great time.”

And it was –  for reasons they really have yet to fully understand.

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