At noon yesterday, Marion Barry's co-campaign manager leisurely downed a plate of roast beef and mashed potatoes. Then, while working at her salad, it dawned on her.
"You know, this is the first election day that I've been able to eat," said Lillian Sedgewick, a veteran of several District of Columbia political campaigns. "This is not to say that I shouldn't be nervous, you know, but I can swallow."
Driving around town a short time later, to make spot checks at city precincts, Sedgewick began breathing easier.
"Is this the Marion Barry election?" one resident asked before going in to vote at Trusedell Elementary School, Eighth and Ingraham streets NW.
"You've come to the right place," said Myrtle Wilks, a Barry poll worker.
Waving sample ballots favoring Barry and other Democratic candidates, Wilks reported to Sedgewick, "I'm everybody's people. No Fletcher people in sight." By noon, more than 400 people had voted, Wilks said. "It's not like the primary, but it's looking good," she said.
At other polling places throughout northwest Washington the reports were just as good.
"I'll go prepare the inaugural speech," Sedgewick told campaign worker Joseph Street.
"Well I'm gonna waltz with you, baby, like you never been waltzed before," Street told Sedgewick.
Driving along 12th Street NW, Sedgewick spotted a District policeman wrestling a teen-age youth to the ground near the edge of the Cardozo High School campus. Another youth was also restrained by two other officers.
"I hate I had to see that," Sedgewick said. "You know, it's helping youths liek that that Marion was eventually condemned for."
That was the most exciting scene for Sedgewick this election day. As Ed Sussman, one of Barry's legal counsel's commented while manning an easygoing upstairs office at Barry headquarters at 12th and G streets NW., "There's just not the same intensity [as in the primary]. People are obviously not out fighting for the votes."
Throughout the day, William Wright, president of the District's Taxi Drivers Industry Group which endorsed Barry, dispatched cabs to senior citizens in need of transportation. "We got a lot of requests. They seem to be turning out nicely," he said.
"It's been a 35-week campaign," said Ann Kinney, another campaign worker, to Sussman. (KEY OFF)(KEYWORD)T"You had a vacation?" he asked.
"No. This thing has been so fluid, run so smooth you never got a chance to take off. There was always something to do."
After checking the voter turnout at several more precincts, Sedgewick felt good enough to begin wondering what kind of dress she might wear to the inaugural ball.
Heading along New Hampshire, she nearly ran a red light. "Oh my mind," she said nervously. "I'm just drifting away."
Throughout the morning her face was aglow as she recalled the many weeks on the campaign trail, the coffees and wine-and-cheese parties she had helped sponsor in Barry's behalf.
"I'm trying to be nervous," said the typically hyperactive Sedgewick.
"You know, I'm really not."
And at 2 p.m. on election day the co-campaign manager for Marion Barry headed for home.