Winding down

By Darla Slipke

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CHARLOTTE – The night ended with confetti and cheers as President Barack Obama made his acceptance speech here in Charlotte.

The atmosphere inside the Time Warner Cable Arena tonight was electrifying. When the president took the stage, concession stand workers and other staff stopped what they were doing and watched on televisions throughout the convention center. Many people who couldn’t find seats inside the arena also watched from the TVs. Inside the arena, people waved American flags and signs that said “Forward,” “Fired Up,” “Thank You,” and “Ready for Joe.”

Afterward, guests collected them as souvenirs. Things are winding down now inside the arena. Most of the delegates and guests have gone back to their hotels to crash or on to after parties to continue the celebration.

Most of the reporters have left, too. A few still are here typing furiously.

Clean-up crews have their work cut out for them. The inside of the arena was littered with confetti and wrappers from hot dogs, French fries, nachos and other fast food guests bought from the concession stands. One complaint I heard this week was about a lack of choice in foods.

I just returned to the media center from an expedition to find my cell phone, which I lost at some point tonight. Fortunately, it turned up in the lost and found. The women working at guest services where I retrieved the phone told me they’ve had “lots” of lost phones this week – too many to count.

I was pleasantly surprised mine turned up so quickly.

Now it’s time to make the walk back to my car and the drive back to Gastonia for some sleep. It’s hard to believe the convention is finished. The past few days have been exhausting and exhilarating. I’m sure I’ll have more reflections to share tomorrow. For now, good night from Charlotte.

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