I was able to squeeze in an additional opportunity to promote peace this weekend, thanks to the World Champion Houston Astros being in town to play the Indians in a three-game series that began Friday evening. My venue was the intersection of East Ninth Street and Carnegie Avenue, by Progressive Field, my typical hangout when greeting baseball fans “from both sides of the aisle.” The location is perfect for conveying the peace message to considerable vehicle traffic as well as pedestrian traffic. It was an especially-busy high-traffic evening because the Celtics were in town to play the Cavaliers in their sixth game of the Eastern Conference Finals at the neighboring Quicken Loans Arena.
Today I decided to promote peace in my 50-year-old U.S. Army dress uniform complemented by my peace flag to people going to the annual VegFest presented by the Cleveland Vegan Society and held at the Huntington Convention Center on Lakeside Avenue in downtown Cleveland. I wanted to reach a new audience rather than stand behind the West Side Market, my usual venue for promoting peace on Saturday mornings.
I found out the day before the VegFest that President Donald Trump would be at the neighboring Cleveland Public Auditorium (aka Public Hall) so I planned to eventually make an appearance outside the hall. After standing in front of the convention center for about 10 minutes, a woman walked toward me holding a white cane with its tip scraping the sidewalk. The vision-impaired woman, Sue, walked up to my flag but couldn’t make out the design, although she could discern it was sans stars. She asked about it and I said it was a peace flag. She was happy to hear that and she could see I was in a military uniform.
Sue encouraged me to abandon the convention center, saying I would be “preaching to the choir,” surmising vegans are strongly pro-peace already.
“I know where the Trump supporters are,” she said, referring to people waiting to get into Public Hall to see the president. “Let’s go find them.”