Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Packer Country!

I had an unexpected trip come up—to Green Bay, Wisconsin to attend a Leadership Conference. Bob had planned to go to Moorhead for his conference (and I was going to visit chapters in the area while we were there) when I got asked if I could change my plans. I could, but Bob couldn’t. So I went alone—sigh, I don’t like that too much. It’s so much nicer traveling together.

I was suppose to leave at noon on Thursday, but there was a severe thunderstorm going through the Mpls area, so the plane came in the Int’l Falls, but was cancelled going out—my flight. I was rebooked on the 4 pm flight. I thought it would work to go to the cities, have a nice supper with Ross and Richard and get to Green Bay Friday morning.

So I went to Hardees, ate a hamburger and then worked on some things I had to do. I got back to the airport around 2:30; we went through security and waited… and waited…….and waited. Pretty soon the agent came out and said “There has been another delay, we won’t go until 5:15 pm”…then it was 6 pm….7:30 pm. Finally about 8:15 pm the agent came running out looking for the pilot—we had a 15 minute window to take off—get everyone through security right away!

The pilot was really nice, he ordered pizza for the entire group, although by this time, a lot of people had rebooked for the next day, or driven to the cities—so there was only 8-10 of us left. I got to the cities around 10:30 pm—generally when we’re passing through any time after 9:30 pm—it’s pretty quiet. The airport was packed, with lots of planes coming in and taking off yet. Ross and Richard picked me up, so we had a short time to visit and then ate breakfast together and Ross dropped me back off at the airport around 8:30 am.

I made it to my hotel and met Linda, the regional coordinator, so I ended up riding with her all the time. I hardly drove my car at all. I had just enough time to move into my room and change clothes and we headed over to the college. The college is really nice—they have a little coffee shop that has Kindles that they ‘loan’ out to the students, so they can use them while in the shop.

This was the first ever Leadership Conference in Wisconsin, so it was pretty exciting. There were quite a few chapters who attended that have never come to any other meetings. We had a fabulous Italian Table dinner and then had a tour through Lambeau Field (where the Packers play). It was really wonderful to see the place and hear about the history behind it. And the field is huge with seating for 71,000—and they don’t have tiers, so there is a pretty good view from every seat. The grass was interesting—they wove one strand of nylon grass in about every inch of the sod. This makes the roots of the sod grow around the nylon strand and makes it much stronger so it never has to be resodded during the season.
A few years ago they did a $500 million renovation—added an extra 20,000 seats and more suites, an atrium, convention center (where they hold a lot of weddings), pro shop, restaurant and bar. Those places are used year around, but the huge stadium is only used 10 days per year. That fact really stimulated a lot of discussion around the Paradox of Affluence.

The convention ended on Saturday afternoon, and I didn’t leave until Sunday morning, so I just hung out and relaxed since I would get to Int’l Falls at 4 pm and leave for Boston at 7 pm the next morning from Hibbing. I did some quick unpacking, repacking, and hurrying to Hibbing so I could have some fun time with Naomi and her parents.

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