The two races in Georgia will decide whether the Senate is controlled by Republicans or Democrats for the next two years.
Volunteers for the Spokane County Democratic Party had worked for hours that week writing out and addressing the postcards urging people all over Georgia to vote for Democrats, Grossman said: “They were stamped and ready to go. I hadn’t had a chance to mail them yet.”
Outside, Grossman and others watched, expecting a bomb to go off. Instead, smoke and flames started showing as Yeager allegedly had gasoline, not a bomb, in his backpack. The fire was put out, and Yeager was taken into custody, but volunteers weren’t allowed back into the heavily damaged building.
Police later reported Yeager said he chose Democrats because he was going after “elites” in an apolitical manner. He thought they were closer because he assumed the closest GOP office was in North Idaho.
Grossman figured the postcards probably didn’t survive, an assumption initially bolstered when she saw a photo of her desk on the internet a few days later. She could see her phone was melted. Her coat was fried. Her iPad looked unscathed. Where the stack of postcards had sat seemed to be a charred black box.
She jumped in her car, drove to the office, ran through the door and into the torched headquarters. She reached for the charred stack.
Only the top postcard was burned. The 99 underneath were singed around the edge, but were otherwise fine. Well, except for a slightly smoky smell, she said.
It was about 3 p.m. Saturday, the third day of Hanukkah and the last day to mail the postcards and get them delivered on time. She grabbed the postcards, rushed to the post office and put them through the mail slot in time for a pickup.
It felt like a miracle, she said.
Grossman, who ran Shirley Grossman’s Music School until she retired from teaching “thousands of sweet adorable children,” has been volunteering for the local party since 2016. Her service coincides with the candidacy of Donald Trump, although we’ll leave out her comments about the president as this is a holiday story.
Grossman replaced her cellphone. Her good coat, which she described as “nothing but ashes,” hasn’t been replaced yet, but she’s wearing one of her husband’s. She’ll go back to volunteering as soon as the Democrats have a place from which to do it.
In the meantime, 99 voters in homes around Georgia have or will soon receive postcards urging them to vote. They might notice the blackened edges, and maybe a little charred smell, but they won’t know they’re on the receiving end of a Hanukkah miracle from Spokane.