Beads of sweat threatened to plaster my cotton undershirt to my back. A brisk gust of wind tousled my hair and helped carry some of the moisture out of my shirt and off my skin. A group of other students and I had just carried about a ton of transportable metal fence to the grassy portion of campus where we would set up our display.
Above, dark clouds from the night before refused to dissipate as the clock tower chimed seven o’clock in the morning. The wind continued to rip through our windbreakers and sweaters. We stared at the gray mass filling the atmosphere.
“What do you think, Dave?” One of the older men on staff with the mobile display approached his colleague and tapped his arm with a leather-gloved hand. “The wind’s pretty rough – probably about thirty miles per hour. Do you think the display will stay up?”
“We don’t want to waste this opportunity.” He grimaced at the weather. “But I don’t think we can put up the thirty-footer. We can do eighteen if we tie it down.”
We prayed that the storm would roll over. A few cold drops of water had accumulated on my glasses, so I wiped the lenses on my shirt. Three of my friends approached me from the direction of the library with cups of coffee, a newspaper, and joyful expressions.
“What’s up?” I took the newspaper that my friend gave me in response to my query. He gave me a brief overview while I turned to the page he pointed me to.
“Check it out. We’ve got positive coverage in a liberal newspaper.”
I was thankful he gave me the newspaper because our whole group began to crowd around, and I wanted to know what was being said. I found the article and folded the newspaper over itself to keep its pages from blowing away.
“I’ll read it out loud.” In bold letters the title read, OUR VIEW: Photos Good for Debate Despite Discomfort. I cleared my throat against the cold and started. “Whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, it’s impossible to walk down the sidewalk and not cringe at the giant pictures of mutilated fetuses on display…” I cocked an eyebrow at Brian. “Positive coverage?”
“…But the presentation by the Justice for All is constructive, if cringe-inducing…”
The article went on to summarize that the board of newspaper editors felt that the pro-life display we brought to campus was unlike others that had come before. It labeled us as being open-minded and reasonable and commended us on avoiding shouting matches with sign-brandishing protesters.