JulieFest-Washington, DC
Trip Report

It's me -- BartCook!

Many people have already covered the speeches, the mood, the joy of the evening, far better than I, so for my main impressions of the festivities themselves, I will quote my new friend Pete Hisey.

"This woman TAKES OVER A ROOM LIKE JAMES BAKER TAKES OVER AN ELECTION!" Pete Hisey on Julie Hiatt Steele. ha ha -- This is the BEST! Pete, and you are so right!

"Bart should never worry about having his picture taken. He fades into the background better than anyone I ever met. It's deliberate, I'm sure, but he's sort of like the Cheshire Cat. You remember the face, sort of, but mainly the memory is of a mouth talking to you, sipping Chinaco." Pete Hisey on BartCop. This is so true...

I don't think Bart had any clue how big this 'silly little idea' was going to turn out to be. I think we surprised him and maybe even ourselves too. I sincerely hope we BartCoppers can join together and continue to surprise and impress ourselves and (on) the Establishment. We need to.

It was wonderful to meet so many people who agree with me on so many important subjects. It was also wonderful to finally put faces with screen names! Everyone I met was so cool, and never in my life have I had such an easy time making conversation at a party -- we Bartcoppers are an outgoing bunch!

Highlights for me:

Coming out to this event, my one hope was that I would have a chance to buy Julie Hiatt Steele a drink and toast her integrity and her bravery. I got that chance first at the luncheon, and then thanks to a Hospitality Sub$idy from Marc Perkel (Executive Producer of, I was able to buy her a couple more at the party -- thanks Marc! And Thank You Julie for being so nice and so gracious and just for being who you are. Cheers again to you!

Marc Perkel is one of my oldest friends, and a very generous and cool guy. Thanks for everything, Marc! This is us at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

So it's the beginning of the cocktail hour that broke out before the event, and I have the singular honor to be sitting with Julie Hiatt Steele at the corner of the bar at West24, drinking Seriously top shelf liquor. Maker's Mark Up for me, and Grey Goose and Tonic for Julie. Julie has me totally enthralled (no big surprise there, since she's utterly fascinating), telling me about the movers stealing, losing and generally thrashing her stuff. What a raw deal that was.

[ Sidebar: Julie promised me more recipes for BartCook now that she has found more of her cookbooks -- if you are reading this Julie, no rush, but we are looking forward to them! ]

Anyway, we're sitting there, Julie's sort of holding court at the corner of the bar. She's talking a mile a minute, both to people as they pass by her seat, and to me in between. She's just generally being Incredible. Mind you, I have the seat at the corner of the bar, closest seat to the door, but my back is to the door, as I'm facing Julie to my right. Suddenly there is a palpable crackle in the room, I see the bartender Dive, I watch his arm as it whips the Maker's Mark off the shelf, and that's about the time I hear someone say "Carville. It's Carville. He's here!" I got happy chills, I tell you! (Carville and I both drink Maker's!!) Julie jumped up to talk to Carville and left her drink behind with me.

Having bought Julie that drink, I felt it my 'duty' to return it to her; whoa -- my chance to shake Carville's hand! I waited until they'd had a few minutes to talk, and then I exercised my 'duty' (ha ha). I was brief so as to not monopolize anyone Important, so I said my Thanks and clinked glasses with him, noting his great taste in Bourbon. I was about to scamper off unobtrusively, but he held on to my hand for another second, thanked me for attending the event, and then I scampered off.

Carville meets Zomar... I just happened to see the moment that Carville first laid eyes on his 'stunt double' Zomar. Carville's eyes goggled and then he threw back his head and laughed loudly. It was an awesome, funny moment. I think Zomar got his picture taken with Carville then -- that is one picture I want to see for sure!

Finally: a barely-made flight home for BartCook, Perkel got left behind in Atlanta, sadly. He made it back to SF early Thursday morning, though, so it was all good. Perkel's not too happy with Delta Airlines, though, so brace for a rant... ;)

Like the rest of you, I have no pictures of the event yet, so here are a couple from the days after that Perkel and I stayed in DC. I welcome your comments, and if we talked at the party, please email me so I will remember. ;)

We got into an open Committee Meeting Room during lunch one day, in one of the House Office Buildings. This is what Delta Airlines has to look forward to!