Watching History at Age 19
By Jose Antonio Vargas
LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- What a "crazy," "unexpected," "exhilarating" time the past three weeks have been, Tobin Von Ostern says.
Over a quick late lunch at TJ's Cafe, half a mile from the apple farm that serves as Sen. Barack Obama's volunteer headquarters here, Van Ostern gives a summary of his winter break. Classes at George Washington University, where he's a sophomore, ended on Dec. 19th. Using his savings -- he works part time as a computer lab technician at school -- he flew the following day to Des Moines, where he spent the holidays and slept on a sofa bed of a house full of Obama staffers and volunteers. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing," he told his parents. Then three days after the Iowa caucuses, he flew to Boston, near where his girlfriend Emily lives. At 6:30 this morning, both drove up to New Hampshire. They've been knocking on doors since.
Three weeks. From Washington, D.C., to Des Moines to Londonderry. All for Obama.
"I know it might seem a little weird for some people, spending my whole winter break working for a candidate," says the 19-year-old, in the middle of taking a bite from his club sandwich. "But this is a movement, and it feels incredible."
He laughs, takes another bite, then goes on: "It's like watching history happen before your eyes."
And for now it's time to go knock on more doors. He's knocked on about 70 already.
Read Vargas's earlier dispatch on Tobin here.
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