North Central News

Sharing a story of ‘big knockers’

Recent participants in the Creative Aging: Storytellers workshop included, from left: North Central resident Ken Love, Barbara Mark-Dreyfuss, Bonnie Kabin, Beverly Rubenstein, Suzy Somers and Jeanine Korer (submitted photo).

Jewish Family & Children’s Service offers 8-week sessions of its popular Creative Aging classes in the spring and fall. The program just wrapped up its spring sessions, and as part of its Storytellers workshop, class participants were asked to present their stories at a showcase event, held April 9 at the class site at Temple Solel, 6805 E. McDonald Drive in Scottsdale.

Among the presenters, all of whom were in their seventies or eighties, was Ken Love of North Central Phoenix, who wrote about “Big Knockers”—his experience with going door-to-door to canvas for the last election.

His story is included below. The class will return in the fall and is facilitated by master teacher, playwright, and author Kim Porter.

‘Big Knockers,” By Ken Love

I’m a fan of big knockers.

Before labeling me a misogynist—I’m the guy that you‘ve seen, from August until November, trudging up and down your street, lugging four-color brochures and a clipboard, with my nose planted in a cellphone. Yes, I admit it: I’m a political canvasser.

My aim is to visit your house to convince you to support the candidate or slate of candidates to which I’ve committed my car, my feet, and gallons of my sunscreen. Preparation is key, and I thought I’d lose weight trudging from door-to-door until I learned that before setting us loose on the voting public, the paid campaign staff plies us with chocolate chip cookies, donuts, candy bars and caffeinated beverages.

By the time we hit the streets, my fellow canvassers and me have literally “drunk the Kool-Aid” and know that our candidates qualifications are no longer in doubt. Sadam Hussein? Sure, he’s a winner if I’ve ever seen one. Charlie Manson? Great guy!!

As a former trial attorney, I can assure you that there are lots of times that you have to drink the Kool Aid and adopt a position that you know is just believable enough to prevent you from being disbarred. On the campaign trail, I not only drink the Kool Aid, but manage so much enthusiasm that the Kool Aid spills out of my mouth and over my chin onto whatever campaign shirt I happen to be wearing.

Any canvasser worth his or her salt enthusiastically dives into the extra-large cardboard boxes to grab a shirt or two. After an election is over, you’re left with the realization that there’s really little occasion to wear an “Aaron Lieberman for LD 28” t-shirt. Someday I’ll give my cache of Lieberman t-shirts to the Mexican woman who helps clean our house, and Aaron’s shirts will make their way to Rocky Point. I wish him well in his election campaign in Hermosillo.

During a three-hour canvassing period, maybe five out of 30 residents open their doors to hear me remind them to vote, to see if anyone else in the house would care to register to vote, to offer my services in getting the voter registered for permanent mail balloting, to cook dinner or to adopt any unruly children or pets. I do all that before handing the voter a four-color brochure, mumbling wwwwww.com about the candidate’s website, and thanking the voters for their time. After the door closes, I step away, look at my phone, punch in my guess of whether the voter will support our candidate and record the fact that the voter won’t join me some day to sweat off a few pounds or develop leathery facial wrinkles and age spots walking the streets of Maricopa County with me and my fellow canvassers.

I have mixed emotions about video-activated doorbells. When it’s 105 degrees and perspiration is dripping from me like a kitchen faucet needing a new washer, approaching a door with a Ring video-activated chime is a sure loser. Face facts: people buy video doorbells to avoid people like me. But when ringing a Ring door leads to silence (except for barking dogs and the patter of feet moving toward the rear of the house) I perform a hasty campaign song-and-dance in front of the camera in the hopes that the Ring family will be curious who rang their bell at 6:37 p.m.

I’m not well-versed in physics, particularly that chapter surrounding electric current. But I have figured that doorbells with two wires cut in them aren’t going to summon anyone to the door either. They are probably great for evading process servers and the likes, so I resort to loud door knocking at those places– and seldom prevail.

All of which brings me back to knockers—door knockers, that is. My mood brightens when I spot a door knocker ahead of me. A door knocker has the same mesmerizing effect on me as seeing the giant gong on stage at the symphony. The gong is a very simple instrument. And the guy who plays it in the orchestra has the knowledge and experience to know that when he strikes it, even a few times, symphony green- horns like me sit up and take notice.

People with metal or wood door knockers seem to harbor specific desires to welcome visitors—known and unknown. They are tickled by the sounds their knockers make and are even drawn to answer their doors from back patios or pools provided their knocker is big and loud enough. If no one answers a door with a knocker, I almost expect the owner to have left a note that he’s left iced tea and cookies in the carport and that he’s sorry he didn’t know whether I liked Splenda, the pink stuff, or real sugar with my tea.

For those of us drawn into the vortex of politics, 2020 is just around the corner. Knowing what the future brings, I’m proposing that Arizona pass a new law that encourages residents, legal and undocumented, to install knockers. We could give every property owner with a door knocker a modest tax break or credit for the aid and comfort they give to canvassers like me. After all, my fellow canvassers and I represent the ground floor of the democratic process.

Forget political slogans like “a chicken in every pot,” “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too,” and “Make America Great Again.” I say, for the preservation of the nation, “the Bigger the Knocker the Better.”

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Like what you see? Share it!

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Our Advertisers