[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/05/art.obama.peach.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama looks at peaches with Judy Packer during a stop at Stahl's Farm Market in Ravenna, Ohio, Tuesday.]
Editor's Note: This pool report was filed by Larry Rohter of the New York Times, while on the campaign trail in Ohio.
Sen. Barack Obama, with Sen. Sherrod Brown and Gov. Ted Strickland in tow, stopped briefly at Stahl’s Farm Market in Edinburg, Ohio. The first thing that drew Sen. Obama’s attention when he came in the door were apple fritters on the counter. “I think this is the ticket, right here. I might have to get a bag of these.”
The market specializes in fresh fruits and vegetables, however, and so something else quickly caught Sen. Obama’s eye. “Let’s go look at the peaches,” he said. There were also melons, lettuce, carrots, eggplants, blueberries, etc. on counters and in baskets, much of them labeled as “grown in Ohio” or Michigan , suggesting that Stahl’s makes an effort to adhere to the “local food” movement.
The first customers to talk to Sen. Obama were the Jolivette family: Greg, Mary Pat and their three young children, Georgie, 6, Tony, 2, and Charlie, three weeks old. Sen. Obama tried to chat with the children, but while George seemed loquacious enough, Tony was a little shy. Mr. Jolivette, a lawyer, asked Sen. Obama about playing basketball while on the campaign trail, and Sen. Obama admitted it was hard to keep up. “You gotta game?” he asked Mr. Jolivette, interested. “What do you do?”
Sen. Obama also talked with Patty Eskridge and her friend Carol Shoop. Both are teachers, on vacation. They were returning from horseback riding and decided to stop to buy some fruit on their way home. Eskridge urged Sen. Obama to make sure to buy some peaches, since they are in season. “What a sweet man,” she said afterwards.
At the check-out counter, there was a friendly debate over who would pay. Both Sen. Brown and Gov. Strickland wanted to pay the bill, but Sen. Obama insisted: “This is all on me.” He joked that he ought to buy some of the apple fritters because Robert Gibbs, a senior strategist, doesn’t like fruit. “I’ll eat a peach if you’ll buy them,” Gibbs retorted.
All told Sen. Obama bought three bags of peaches, one of which he gave to a local TV reporter to distribute to local media. He also bought a bag of apple fritters. The Jolivette family was still around, and had their pictures taken with Sen. Obama. Mary Pat Jolivette wished Sen. Obama a happy birthday, and he jokingly lamented turning 47.
Outside the front door, on his way back to the bus, Sen. Obama again encountered Patty Eskridge. She and Carol Shoop had called another friend and fellow teacher, Carol Weigand, on a cell phone, and Weigand had hurried over, wearing an Obama pin on the lapel of her blouse.
Sen. Obama talked for a couple of minutes with all three of the women. The bulk of their conversation focused, as might be expected, on education issues and policy, No Child Left Behind in particular. But before the conversation turned serious, there was an amusing exchange. On learning that all three teachers teach at the middle school level, Sen. Obama confessed: “I was just terrible in middle school.” The women laughed, and one of them said “we all are.”
The brief conversation about NCLB ended with Sen. Obama promising “that is all going to change. Of course, I’ve got to get elected.” He then turned to leave, and one of the women responded: “Go get ’em.”
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with