Hope and New Life

Dawn. We begin our trek to merge ourselves with the thousands of other cars converging on the tunnels and bridges that lead into New York. It is the eve of the big march, but already a week before peace pilgrims from all over the country began pouring into the core of the Big Apple to reserve front-row seats for the largest political demonstration in U.S. history.

8 a.m. On the road two hours, we stop at a phone booth along 1-95 so that I can call home to the community. I'm told that "labor is definitely starting."

"What?" I'm trying to hear over the roar of the interstate's parade of 18-wheelers. I tell everyone in the car that labor is definitely starting, and we're on the road again.

12 noon. St. John the Divine Cathedral is packed, and the only seat for us is a marble ledge in a niche practically out the back door of the church. As the religious convocation begins, I run out on to the street after a phone booth. With a desperation that perhaps only Superman can appreciate, I finally spot one three blocks away.

"The contractions are coming more regularly."

"What?" I'm trying to hear over the roar of the crowds and the taxicabs on 109th Street. A reporter steps behind me, glances at his watch, and asks impatiently, "Are you going to be long? I have a story to call in with a deadline to meet."

Soon another man joins what could now be called a line waiting for the phone. He glances at his watch, and asks the man in front of him, "Is she going to be long?"

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