Sunday, December 04, 2005

December 2, 2005
My actual itinerary was awful close to yesterday’s prediction with a couple of surprising differences. I got on the road about 7:10 and took the back roads into the Beast, until I got down to Shea and cut over to catch the 51. Big mistake. I had been cruising until I got on the freeway which instantly became a parking lot and I crawled the three miles to the Glendale exit. Still got to the Biltmore by about 8:05, found the conference room I was speaking in and put mags at all the attorneys general’s name plates, which were laid out in a big square, emanating from the speaker’s podium. It looked like the U.N. with the guy’s name and what state he was from printed on rectangle folding cards. Gave everyone a Homos On the Range issue except the Texas Attorney General, who I gave a Jan.-Feb. "Texas Rangers vs. Mexican Insurgents" issue. I thought it would be a conversation piece to the people around him. "Hey, you got a different one than us. How come we got gay issues?" Or, something like that.

Arizona’s Attorney General Terry Goddard introduced me at 8:47 and I whipped into my first speech about lawlessness in the Old West. I wanted to touch on the fact that several of the most legendary fights suffered from too much law, but of course, forgot that juicy tidbit and rolled on oblivious. Sally Ripley, Terry’s assistant gave me the five minute warning hand signal and I wrapped it up, waved, bounded off the stage as Carole Glenn and I ran to her car. I checked my cell phone as she whipped out into traffic and onto Missouri and it was 9:17.

Got on the 51 at Campbell (below Camelback) and shot down past the 202 stack with relative ease and into Sky Harbor. Carole dropped me off at terminal four at 9:40 and I got through security by 9:49 (no butt crack wand checks thankyou very much). Made it to C-12 with time to spare. It was a full flight so the boarding ran late, and that was troublesome.

Got lucky in the airport because Winter Range honcho Dan Wohleen was flying standby on the same plane going to the same SASS conference as me, and his partner, Jon Engerbretson was driving over. I saved Dan a seat (I had an A boarding pass because Carole did that new deal where you print the boarding pass right off your computer and avoid any stops in the airport, sans gate). Got a seat about seven rows back and put my hat in the middle seat. No one challenged me, and Dan, being one of the last on the plane, joined me.

The pilot apologized for being late and said they’d try to make up for it in the air. He didn’t point out any Kingman landmarks, but I glanced out the window a couple of times and easily recognized Yucca, Golden Valley and Union Pass. We made good time but landed ten minutes behind schedule at 12:10 (my worst fear, see yesterday’s prediction).

We were also slowed by the shuttle mono-rail train which takes about five minutes to get to the main terminal. Fortunately for me Dan called Jon, who was outside the terminal waiting for us just as we landed. We hopped in his Trooper and I got door to door service right to the side door outside the Riviera Convention Center where George Laibe was waiting for me. It was about 12:40, (Whew!) and I knew my first speech was at one, so we just made it. I was pitted out, but ready for battle.

George smiled and said, “You gained an hour, it’s only 11:40 here. Let’s go to lunch.” (Prescient, no?) Over lunch in Kady’s, I found out I was giving two speeches, the first at one, the second at 3:30. Talked with Mark Boardman about topics and talking points and went back to the convention hall. Big room filled with trade show booths and a center stage with 120 chairs, divided into two rows directly in front. Bailed into both speeches, sold a whole bunch of books, and ended up at the Luxor, but that’s another story.

"It is possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure (especially if he lives in Arizona where they never adhere to daylight savings)."
—Lee Segall


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