Dec 03 2013

Conferring

Published by at 6:54 am under Work


The St Francis on Union Square

Yesterday I magically hailed a cab with Megan-like ease and headed to the grand St. Francis Hotel, the storied establishment which survived the ’06 quake and the Fatty Arbuckle scandal, and still has a gentleman on staff whose job is to wash the coins given out to guests, a tradition started back in the days when lunch, taxis, and tips could be bought with change and ladies did not want to soil their gloves.

For generations, people have met under the clock in the grand lobby:

The festive castle in the picture is made entirely of sugar!

I met my colleagues under the clock and we headed into the conference. Adrian was one of the speakers, and even though I have known him for twenty years, I don’t think I have ever seen him speak before:

He spoke about the bankruptcy in Detroit and what led to it. My favorite line was “While Stevie Wonder was singing ‘Everything is all right, up tight and out of sight’, things were unraveling in Motown.” The crowd loved it, and I was really proud of him.

I had lunch with my colleague Donald, who is a third generation Detroiter, and learned that his father was in the Chatham, Ontario Negro League team and pitched to Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson. They tried to convince him to join the team they were on, but he was unwilling to leave the freedom of Ontario for the segregation of the South. He would later become the first African American master electrician at Ford.

After a long day at the conference, I headed back to the motel, had some dinner, and pretty much called it a day. I was up at 5:30 this morning, and it’s time to get ready and get started on the day.

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Conferring”

  1. Guyon 03 Dec 2013 at 9:03 am

    Although we think we know someone they can come up and surprise us even after so many years, now you can appreciate another side of your colleague.

  2. Joyon 05 Dec 2013 at 5:46 am

    What interesting colleagues. And what a good idea that Donald opted for Ontario . That was good to hear.
    You certainly lead a very busy life. Take time to smell the roses, though, won’t you…

    jx

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