Entry begun at Marriott Hotel, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sunday, May 2, 5 am
We had some logistical concerns on Friday, April 24, the day of our evening symposium at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Sam Otter and his wife Caverlee had to get up at 3:30 in the morning near Berkeley, California, to make the 6:30 flight from the San Francisco airport to Minneapolis, where a connecting flight was scheduled to land in Cincinnati at 3:54 in the afternoon, two and a half hours before the start of our event.
I felt badly for Sam and Caverlee for having to get up so early in the Bay Area on the day he would be speaking in Cincinnati, but I felt even worse for Beth Schultz traveling from her home in Lawrence, Kansas, to Kansas City, Missouri, for a 9:30 am flight to Chicago whose connecting flight was scheduled to land in Cincinnati at 4:20 pm. The challenge Beth faced was that major thunderstorms and possible tornadoes were predicted in the Kansas City area at the time her plane was scheduled to take off. If her flight from Kansas City to Chicago were cancelled or seriously delayed, it would be extremely difficult for her to reach the Cincinnati airport in time to arrive at the Cincinnati Art Museum in time to be the opening speaker at our Symposium scheduled for 6:30.
Beth’s 4:20 arrival time was only half an hour after Sam’s, so I had borrowed my wife Joan’s Equinox in hopes of meeting them both soon after Beth’s flight had landed. I would then drive them both to Comfort Suites in Newport with just enough time to check in, get oriented, and head over to the museum for the 6 pm target that that Shannon Karol had set for the arrival of all speakers.
The logistical key to the whole day was Beth’s flight out of the thunderstorms in Kansas City. When I saw online that her plane had taken off for Chicago, about an hour after Sam’s plane from San Francisco had left for Minneapolis, I felt sure our evening event would go well.
After Emma Rose and I and her parents had enjoyed some relaxed time with Don Dingledine after the Honors Capstone luncheon, I had walked over to the English department to get the two boxes of inscribed Moby-Dick catalogs that Ann Harding had been distributing to student artists who had come to pick them up there. Before driving out to the airport , I took the catalogs to the Covington Public Library so they would be available over the weekend to student artists who came to read in the Marathon or see the exhibition. After I attending to a few other details at the library, where Gary Pilkington had already arranged the Reading Room and reception area for the next morning, I drove out to the airport to wait for Sam’s and Beth’s planes to arrive.
Sam’s plane from Minneapolis was delayed by about 25 minutes, getting him to Cincinnati, and to the long escalator up to the Baggage Claim, about four minutes after Beth made her ascent. We now had just enough time to drive to Comfort Suites in Newport so Sam and Beth could check in and get refreshed before we took the Big Mac bridge over the river to the Art Museum. As Sam put it, he and Beth each had time for “a shower or a bite to eat.” He opted for the shower while Beth and I walked over Joe’s Crab Shack for a quick bowl of chowder before driving with Sam across the river.
Where in the above account is Sam’s wife Caverlee? She had intentionally gotten “bumped” from the Minneapolis to Cincinnati flight in return for quite a hefty voucher for to be used on a future flight. She was comfortably ensconced with a river view at Comfort Suites when Sam got back from the evening lecture. She had loved the view from her room of the Big Mac bridge in the evening light, and had attached the photo below to an email she sent while we speakers were still at the symposium.