October 9, 2008 12:21 PM
Our Wasilla correspondent on the aftermath of Hurricane Sarah
I followed up the poem by Tracey Porreca from Wasilla - A Friend Like Me - with a request for her to share some of what it's like to live in Wasilla these days. Here's what she wrote:
Dear Barbara - Thanks so much for your kind words and reply. Yes, things are quite interesting here in Wasilla. In the beginning after she was first nominated, I think we were all shocked - not because we did not believe in our hometown girl, but because Alaska in general seems to be overlooked in everything from media coverage to weather reports. It was quite amusing to see all the press descend on our little town.
I do not know Sarah personally, but have several friends who do. I have always wanted to approach her as I have seen her quite often (mostly at Wal-Mart where my special needs adult son works), but always was hesitant. I remember right after she announced her pregnancy, I saw her at Wal-Mart shopping with one of her older daughters and Piper. I wanted to say hi, but I saw so many people come up to her to congratulate her, I just thought it best to leave her alone and let her shop! She is always so gracious. She smiled, posed for photos, etc.
My husband and I like to go to a popular restaurant here. You can always tell who is from "outside" as we call people from other places, and the waitresses said they were there on a daily basis. You could drive down the road and see news crews on the side of the road as well. As time has worn on, much of the press is gone but some are still here.
Those in Wasilla have always been behind her. Of course she has her detractors, and I personally get very offended at some of the things that have been said in the press. I find it offensive that they would say that about anyone, much less someone running for such an important position.
Unfortunately, the Anchorage newspaper is one of the most liberal papers I have read and they have been, I feel, assaulting her daily in print. The local press assaults are sometimes the hardest to swallow. Everyone here just shakes their heads. Wasilla is pretty conservative. The valley where we live (the Matanuska-Susitna Valley) was actually settled by "palmers" or "pilgrims." It was a project set up after the great depression where families were given plots of land and sent up here to farm them and see what they could make of it. Most were conservative Christians and the area continues to be conservative to this day.
Most in Wasilla who know Sarah know who she is and what she stands for. One of my dearest friends attends church with the family. Her church is supportive as well as her friends, and they continue to pray that the family will be strong and the truth will be known. This is a good family and we are behind her. I pray for their continued strength. As Christians we don't always have it easy. What a wonderful way to show grace in such a trying time? I do hope that the world will have the opportunity to see more of Sarah in office as the VP. Thanks so much again for your vigilance in looking for and posting things about Sarah and world events. I think its important to know what is being said, even if it is false or unkind.
I sent you a friend request to my "Team Sarah" page. If you like, you can just look at my page there [Military Men (and Women] for Sarah] I have posted some photos of my family and the area where we live. I will be posting more soon.
With love, Tracey Porreca
Here's a picture from Tracey's Team Sarah page: