From the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to accept it,” said Mr Prosser gripping his fur hat and rolling it round the top of his head, “this bypass has got to be built and it’s going to be built!”

“First I’ve heard of it,” said Arthur, “why’s it going to be built?”

Mr Prosser shook his finger at him for a bit, then stopped and put it away again.

“What do you mean, why’s it got to be built?” he said. “It’s a bypass. You’ve got to build bypasses.”

I think that’s the Douglas Adams version of “Why do you want to climb the mountain?”…”Because it’s there!” I am having one of those moments. I got this idea lodged in my brain yesterday, and it hasn’t yet gone away. When I woke up early this morning, I had the opportunity to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t, because I’ve got to do this thing. A Blog for America “family reunion”.
The idea was hatched here, after hearing from Grandma Marcia, a one-time regular commenter on Blog for America. I opened up People-Powered Howard: Meet the Blog Family, a “little” web project I took on back during the Dean campaign, to refresh my memory as to which “Grandma” she was. I knew there had been at least a couple of them, and one of the Grandmas had been the inspiration for Meet the Blog Family. Well, turns out that was Grandma J.

At 9:39 p.m. on December 5, 2003, in the Drive for Democracy: Innovation and Energy in Orlando thread on the official Dean blog, Grandma J wrote:
“Someone way up above mentioned a roll call. Does anyone remember the Sleepless thread(s) where we all responded about why we are so involved in this campaign? And I cried for days. Or the thread where someone asked how old we all were and it was amazing to find out our average age (can’t remember now, but it was definitely over 30)?

Maybe it is time we do that again with all the new people we have here.”

Wow! That was two years ago? Well, guess what I decided I “had” to do? A little background about my motivation here…my husband Demetrius and I were really inspired by the Dean campaign, and got hooked on the blog pretty early on. Neither of us had really been political before, and neither of us was cut out to do phone banking or canvassing or any of the “traditional” campaign activities, so we needed to create our own niches. For Demetrius, it was pretty easy to figure out what he had to offer, and he started doing graphics and flyers for the grassroots, by request. For me, it didn’t seem as obvious what I could offer. But I was always on the lookout for a way that I could be, as they said on Thomas the Tank Engine, a “really useful engine”. So anyway, that’s why it possessed me to respond to Grandma J’s query with this:

I have vounteered to start this project, and be Keeper of the Blog Bios. Everyone who wants to can send me a brief introduction–your blog name/handle and a little bit about yourself. Only as much as you feel comfortable sharing publicly (in other words, no more than you have shared publicly in the blog already). And, if you have a blog “claim to fame”, such as a slogan you suggested that caught on, a poster you created, or anything else people might like to know about you and your unique contribution to the campaign and the blog community, please include that too. Since we always have new people joining, and the blog moves pretty quickly, it might make it easier for people to get to know each other.

Holy cow! I had no idea what I was in for! When I asked people to send in their bios, those suckers just poured in. I barely had time to skim them, because I was so busy trying to get them organized and laid out on a page…which ended up being three pages, A-F, G-M, and N-Z. It was a huge amount of work, but it was definitely worth it.

Go ahead and scan the names on those pages. Are you one of them? Are there names you recognize there? I know a few still post at Blog for America, and a number post on a group blog like Kos, My Left Wing, Booman Tribune, and MyDD. Some have their own blogs. Some are not blogging much, but are very active in local politics. Two years after this project was “born”, I’d like to have a blog family reunion or sorts. I’d like to hear what some of these people are up to. Yes, dammit, Howard Dean didn’t get the nomination. And Commander Bunnypants is still in the White House (note to self for later: Google bomb). But I know that many of us who were inspired by Howard Dean’s presidential campaign are still working to make a difference. What’s your story? Please e-mail it to howardempowered at so that we can include it in a “Where are they now?” series this coming week.

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