RNC 2016: Grandmother, 79, observes all things convention

Everyone knew downtown Cleveland was going to be circus during the Republican National Convention.

There would be protests. There would be counter protests.

There would be large crowds and tight security.

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Many people who live in the Greater Cleveland area decided long ago they would stay home this week and avoid the chaos.

But Nora Kancelbaum was not going to miss what she says is a once-in-a-lifetime event and spectacle, even though none of her friends would agree to come along and join her.

The 79-year-old grandmother from Shaker Heights said the activities she witnessed downtown were a great exercise of First Amendment rights.

“I like the idea of soap boxes, people saying what they think,” she told News Center 7’s James Brown.

Kancelbaum belongs to a local peace activist organization and was pleased to hear people talking about issues such as fracking and climate change.

Kancelbaum’s loved ones tried to persuade her to steer clear of Cleveland this week. They thought she was crazy to attend.

But Kancelbaum said the demonstrations are not going to get out of control and people are not really in danger because of a strong police presence.

“I have a brother in California who said don’t go downtown this week,” she said. “Ha, ha, but he doesn’t understand.”

Kancelbaum wanted to witness history. And her friends and relatives will just have to hear about it from her second-hand.