Douglas Republicans say Big Apple was delicious |

Douglas Republicans say Big Apple was delicious

by Kurt Hildebrand

Douglas County Republicans enjoyed New York hospitality at the Republican National Convention earlier this month.

Alpine View residents Harold and Bev Willard attended the convention as delegates.

“It was awesome,” Bev Willard said on Wednesday. “New York was the safest town in the country last week. Everyone from the hotel people to the restaurant people to the firefighters to the police officers were great. I never heard a complaint from any of the delegates about anything.”

Willard, who is a national committeewoman, left early for the convention to attend the summer meeting of the Republican National Committee, which ran through Sept. 2. Part of her duties were to pick up the credentials for the Nevada delegates along with Nevada Chairwoman Earlene Forsythe.

“We were literally responsible for them,” she said. “If we’d lost any part of them, that would have been very bad. We didn’t need them to fall into the wrong hands.”

Protesters were kept well away from Madison Square Garden and delegates’ hotels during the convention.

“Television covered the demonstrators,” she said. “But as far as what we saw as delegates, we really didn’t see the demonstrators. They really kept them away from the Garden and our hotels. Police did a fantastic job. Every one we passed, we would go down the line saying what an awesome job they did. I think they appreciated it.”

Willard said President Bush’s speech was a highlight of the convention.

“The President’s speech was right on target,” she said. “He gave the speech of this life.”

She said there is a tie for her second favorite moment.

“It was a real tossup between Zell Miller’s speech and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s,” she said. “Each one of them was right on. Mayor Giuliani gave a great feeling that brought us back to 9/11.”

Willard successfully nominated Douglas High School graduate Meredith Fischer to be a page at the convention. Fischer is the daughter of Gardnerville dentist Mike and wife Janet Fischer, who also came to the convention as Willard’s guests.

During the convention, the Willards visited the World Trade Center site. She described meeting with a firefighter who lost his son in the World Trade Center. The firefighter’s organization is developing a place near Ground Zero where families of firefighters can go and deal with their feelings of loss.

“After we left, we went across to St. Paul’s, where the firefighters and rescue workers went to have food and water,” she said. “The pews have markings on them where the firefighters laid down with their gear on. There are charcoal marks on all the pews. They’ve left them as a reminder.”

“What we have to do, what all the other delegates have to do cannot end with a newspaper article,” she said. “We need to bring back energy to the Republicans and independents in Nevada and get them energized to re-elect the President. We need to get every single person they know to register to vote.”