Convening in Jacksonville

1007092214EricinAtlanta

Having waited for almost two hours in Atlanta’s airport for my connection to Jacksonville, I had just nodded off  when some guy plopped down behind me.  Blocking my bleary CNN-seared eyeballs, when he turned he kinda looked like our national union president from Manhattan.  But what would he be doing on an Atlanta connection?  One more flash of his profile and it’s confirmed.  Completely oblivious to the Minnesota butt in the seat directly adjacent from him, I give him a few minutes to figure it out.  But being Eric, he proceeds to immerse himself in some union biz.  And being me, I’m afeared of interrupting his engrossed state of reading, so I (a) furtively document his presence with a cell phone shot, and then (b) slide off the seats smoothly while taking a last slink over to the ladies room.  When I return, our president has boarded and when I pass him on the plane I  whack him over his head with a USA Today to get his attention cause he’s still engrossed in reading and with headphones to boot.  Midnight is looming and we’ll be in Jacksonville by 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time.  An abbreviated time for snoozing before that all-fired-up pre-convention Breakfast meeting. . .

I find out our leader gave up his original flight to Jacksonville when the [overbooked] airline offered passengers a free future flight if anyone gave up their seat for this fun Atlanta layover — smart, eh? He’s not our national president for nothin’, hey.  And apparently he never sleeps, so Carpe Diem Mr. Brooks, or in your case, Carpe the free perk. . .

NLRBUBreakfast

As one of the co-chairs of the Union’s Training Committee I’m expected to chair our convention committee with my co-chair, Ms. M.  I know – that’s a lot of chairs.   This year our illustrious leaders chose Jacksonville, Florida to host our delicate delegates.  Turns out it wasn’t the most hopping area, however, that fact did help members to focus on the actual reason for being there. . .

StudyingResolutions

Mara, Eric, Jerry, Steve and Nathan. . .
Pictoral evidence that actual work is done at NLRBU Conventions. . .

Dave&Morris

Dave confers with his former Health & Safety colleague
over Jacksonville’s culinary choices
JerryDaveNathan

Jerry and Nathan tagteam Dave

BeamingBurt

Manhattan’s laser-sharp quirkily adorable Burt

EricMorris


Eagle-eyed Eric spotting something amiss?









After a long day, Margit and I jump across the street,
okay, we followed a long winding hot trail,
to the Science & History Museum,
where we met this biggish friendly blue fella. . .

CIMG1311FriendlyFishEM

Those weren’t teeth, but floppy fin-like structures !

1008091529FishyFishEM

This guy had a little bit of “Alien” in his approach

CIMG1287ArapahoBuckskinDressEM

An Arapaho Buckskin Dress on display

CIMG1289EM

The “False Face” Mask used in Arapaho ceremonies…
and possibly NLRBU Plenary debates

CIMG1296PotteryManEM

Curious pottery sculpture from Mayan, Aztec or Incan origin
Ancient Native cultures flourished here !
Things seem much less interesting in today’s Jacksonville.
Although we were plunked in a somewhat depressed area. . .

CIMG1317EM
Thursday night’s meet-and-greet at the hotel’s steamy pool-side.
Deb has Roger and Doren eating out of the palm of her hand. . .
Well, one of ’em anyway

LeaveIssues2

Friday’s Leave training class – everyone’s interested in leave. . .

CIMG1340EM

Crossing the St. Johns River to Jacksonville Landing

CIMG1351EM


CIMG1350UnderBridgeEM

We are told Jacksonville Landing is the hub of nightlife and music
and restaurants, one of which is the esteemed eatery, “Hooters.”

CIMG1354PalmBridgeEM

Margit warned me about Jacksonville Landing but,
much like Columbus,  I had to navigate it out for myself.

CIMG1357SanMarcoResidenceEM

Having confirmed Margit’s initial impressions,
we decided to follow the curious horseshoe path
to find the elusive San Marco neighborhood.

CIMG1365BistroAixEM

At Bistro Aix we stopped before we dropped from dehydration.
That’s where the talented mimic Nathan stumbled upon our group,
and proceeded to entertain with memorable comedic productions
while passionately describing the beleaguered DC folks he now represents
Sigh.  I wish I had a video of that night.


DISTRICT MEETINGS

AdrianaMatt

The poised Adriana and Matt “Sonny Corleone” – visiting from Chicago

DaveMike

Dark topics arose at the district meeting

DistrictMtg3

The stories get hairier. . .


COMMITTEES FINALLY CONVENE

Margit

Trusty Margit has a eureka resolution moment

CommitteeMtg

Some of our delegates doing the stuff delegates do

ConventionCommittee

Tirina and Pat exuding some serious ‘tude

O&M

I love my co-chair even though she is a fascist grammar queen

M&O


Teacher

The newbies are thinking, “What have we gotten ourselves into??”

GirlsInDeepThought

The hard-working gals brainstorm for that perfect verbiage. . .

Girls2

Notice who all is not in there. . .

AnnetteinAction

The hard-charging, engagingly-blunt Annette from St. Louis.
Both Margit and I conspired to adopt and/or kidnap her for our locals. . .

NathanJason

At our working lunch, Nathan is suddenly shy
while Jason ceremoniously sets up his fare
before tackling the resolutions. . .

NewYorkers

If it looks like Margit wants to kick my ass,
believe me that’s cause she does. . .

LunchMeeting

While Nathan, Jason and Mara study the resolutions,
in the foreground Dallas multi-tasks with his sandwich

DebDorenJeffEthan

Deb, Doren, Jeff and Ethan in a silent tableau.
Though Jeff always looks like he’s up to something. . .

LunchMtg2

No one minds when Red Riding Hood stops by for a bite. . .

JeffEthanSteve

I get a nice side shot of the gruff but sweet Steve,
the NLRBU’s official photographer,
who encourages me to take some snaps
with his Pentax and gi-normous zoom lens. . .

EricMargit

Eric is saying, “Postage stamps?  Really?”
He can’t believe one of the resolutions
asks for reimbursement of certain
postage stamp expenses.

Margit looks unbothered.
“We just field ’em and pass ’em on,” she’s thinking.
Or, “when can I slip that Xanax in his coke?”



LunchMeeting

The sly and unctuous Doren catches on to the stealth photographer,
while Mara visits the effervescence that is Jeff. . .


JerryMorris

Jerry tilts back for
his best Deadwood staredown,
while Morris ignores the lens


LunchMeetingGlances

You know something is fishy when even Red Riding Hood looks skeptical

JeffEthan

Jeff ratchets up his charm and persuasion,
while Ethan quietly restrains his attraction. . .


DallasPamJason

Dallas and Pam may be plotting, but Jason looks downright mutinous.

CIMG1451BurtMargaritaEM

I’ll tell you a secret, Margarita, aka Red Ridin’ Hood,
swears like a peg-legged sailor

CIMG1331WaterWayEM

Late afternoon overlooking St. Johns

CIMG1411EMThat night, accessible through the hotel’s poolside, we stroll the Riverwalk –
it’s pore-openingly hot, especially for people from Northern climes. . .

JasonJamal

Jason and Jamal debate starting a boy band.

Matt

Dee was positively transfixed by this shot and couldn’t stop asking me,
was this the guy you tried to stop from falling
and accidentally touched in the no-feeling-up zone?
[No, I have to keep patiently explaining, that is not the guy. . .]

DaveMatt

Matt confessing to Dave,
before crushingly discovering
DVPs do not moonlight as spiritual advisers

LindaRoger

Linda, first-time convention delegate and stellar star from Des Moines
who always “has our back,” and the
look-at-how-well-behaved-I-am-for-the-moment, Roger,
our sports-fanatic second delegate.


Jeff&Lindsey

Jeff engages Lindsey, poor Lindsey,
whom we dragged around
one hot muggy night looking for San Marco . . .




Steve

Liz and Steve hold up the back wall, but more importantly,
guard the door from possibly fleeing delegates. . .

Plenary

A back shot of the curiously intimate room of some 100 peoples.



PlenaryVotes

Action vote shot – yes, it appears the entire back row has gone AWOL







PlenaryVotes2

Jamal goes rogue on a few votes. . .

Nathan

Jamal

Nathan stops by with his pizza and coke while an argyled-Jamal studies a soon-to-go-down-in-flames resolution. . .

Patricia

Ms. Patricia finds time to electronically sneak in a text. . .

SuziOlgaMargitNydia


Re-convening at the bar
with Suzi, Margit and Nydia




Dave&Roger

Utilizing a “Jimi-Hendrix” camera shot over the back of my seat,
I capture a smiling duo happily riding to Jacksonville’s airport.

JasoninCab

The same firing-backwards-blind-shot flummoxes Jason just a tad. . .
but his pretty blue eyes do not suffer

Jason&Dave


Jason and Dave trade war stories in the shuttle


Cabbie






Our cabbie takes us for a spin to the airport, describing the ocean-dwelling manatees and dolphins who visit St. Johns River around lunchtime, and the random alligators who visit neighbors’ driveways. . .

Meanwhile, back in Minneapolis, slushy snowfalls and temps in their twenties sinisterly await…   No manatees, dolphins or alligators in sight. . .

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