Technology and Coffee Connect People

by Heather Kallevig

I was a teacher for the Anchorage School District for Five years. This job often required early Saturday mornings working at various enrichment activities. I would often stop at my corner Holiday convenience store for a quick cup of coffee with a week’s worth of sugar to make it through the morning. On one of these particular Saturday’s I had a memorable experience. Nothing earth shaking, but a quiet, observational moment that resonates still today.

While I was debating French Vanilla and Amaretto, I noticed a gentleman to my right grabbing a glazed twist donut and waiting to fill his own cheap cup of coffee. He wore a sponsored coat (the kind you’re given by KTUU or some other entity for being a part of an event or conference) and what looked like a suit underneath. After noticing this man, I made a double take. He bore a striking resemblance to my U.S. Senator, Mark Begich. This second look afforded me a confirmation that our national Congress member was indeed buying a $.49 donut and $.99 cup of coffee. I was surprised. I figured he would at least go for the expensive cup at the stand outside and be wearing a fancy, Washington D.C. grade wool coat. He was ahead of me in line and gave me the opportunity to quietly observe the polite, patient way he regarded the attendant and as he walked out, I saw he was stepping into, not a black sports car or expensive Sedan, but a circa ‘90s red rodeo. Like they say, you can tell a lot about a man by his car. What this told me was he was not a senator who made pretensions in dress, wheels, or food. He was unassuming as he waited in line for his quick breakfast – just as we all did on our rush to whatever early Saturday morning activity we had in store. The point of this story is this: he is not only our representative; he is one of us, an Alaskan with an addiction to caffeine, cheap or not, and a car that can withstand inclement weather.

Today, Senator Mark Begich is in the midst of an election where he stands against Dan Sullivan, a non-Alaskan supported by those who do not have our best interests at our hearts and excess money in their pockets. From what I have read, I ascertain he is not the type of man who would drive an old red jeep or buy a cheap cup of Joe, let alone wait patiently in line for it.

With the new age of social media I have had the opportunity to share my old story about Mark Begich. Not only that, Twitter has given me the opportunity to follow this man of the people and have the pleasure of having my own tweets retweeted by someone I respect, “follow”, and support – online and offline. It has also led me to new individuals and groups to follow. So – for a final political tagline for my Alaskan friends – If you want someone who will support our interests, and protect our land – vote for one of us – Mark Begich.

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