Di Michelson's Report
From: email@example.com (Di Michelson)
Subject: Di's IMQ trip report (LONG) REPOST
Date: 25 Sep 1995 11:35:02 GMT
Organization: Dept. of Statistics, Texas A&M University (KNOT!)
My apologies for the repost, but last night I realized I forgot to
crosspost to r.c.t.q. I've developed my pictures and they came out
great! Anyone want a set to scan in and put on the web? Email me
privately about this.
Well. Here I am, back home. Actually I'm at work, but you get the
idea. Lots of great memories. The following is a long and possibly
boring description of the trip from Findlay, Ohio to OKC and back.
I teach at a local college Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm. So Richard
was supposed to pick me up at 1 after loading with truck (NOT forgetting
the quilt--I pummelled him well with pillows to make sure) and we'd
be off to OKC. About 10:30 the power went out, and it was out for a
long time. Luckily, even though the campus phones weren't working, the
pay phone was, and Richard was home, so we left a couple of hours early.
My students didn't mind.
The trip was mainly uneventful but for a tanker wreck on I-40 between
Nashville and Memphis. We were stopped 5 miles behind it. Traffic
was backed up another 2 (truckies with CB's are great in these situations)
behind us when we decided to bail. Luckily, we weren't too far into
where the trees were all over the median, so we could turn around and
cross the median a ways down the road. Laura, you didn't get stopped
by this wreck, did you? I can't remember now when you left, but seems
like it was Saturday. This was about 6 pm CDT.
Once we got through that, we kept discussing if we should stop for the
night in Memphis or just keep going. But idiots that we are, we drove
through to De Kalb, TX, about 40 miles west of Texarkana, to my parents
house. We got there about 3:15 am.
Aside: if you ever travel by car, books on tape are fantastic. During
this trip and the one to West Virginia to pick it up, we finished
Asimov's Foundation series, as well as about a dozen other books. The
miles just fly by. And they're free at libraries. Aren't libraries
Woke up early Sunday to rain and clouds and yucky weather. They've had
a drought for quite a long time, then the day I get there it rains.
Typical. It was nasty weather the whole way down, too. But the sun
did come out and I did get in the pool and we pitched some horseshoes,
so the trip had some relaxing qualities.
Monday we (Richard, my parents, and I) drove to OKC. They've got nice
roads there, but the tolls add up. I saw a Blue Bell ice cream truck
and got pangs of homesickness. (still looking for that pattern, Terri!)
Monday evening the real fun began when my mom, Richard, and I went to
the EGA meeting. Thanks for the directions, whoever it was that posted
them. They were perfect. So nice to meet those who were there! Liz,
I realize who you remind me of--another girl named Liz who I went to
high school with and met up with again in college--was your dad ever
defensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers? We set up lots of tables
and unfolded the quilt. It's holding up amazingly well. I really
enjoyed the meeting, especially Thread Connection's presentation. I
wish I'd been able to go Tuesday after the presentation, but time was
Back to the quilt...one lady told me (and Richard, and my mom) how much
they appreciated us (netters) bringing it to their meeting and to tell
you all that OKC appreciates all our love and thoughts and prayers.
We all answered many questions. There are 208 small blocks and 32 large
blocks around the outside. We tried to figure out how many people worked
on the quilt either directly or indirectly. That figure got to more than
500 quickly, and the more I think of it, the higher it goes. The
descriptions were incredible. I wish I had had hours to sit in front
of the quilt and go through them.
Then it was time to go, and once again the quilt was folded and put in
its bag. Thanks for the bag (Sharon?). The quilt is much much better
Tuesday morning we all met outside of city hall. Kathy Marie is from
Madison, Wisconsin. More pictures and chatting. Upstairs for the
presentation, we found out the mayor was recovering from surgery.
The vice mayor is a very nice lady who looks like she belongs there.
She was very appreciative, as was the entire council. The vice mayor
was in her office when the bomb went off and said that everyone was
wondering what happened. One window busted in their building, and
they are about 4 blocks by 2 blocks (very rough estimate) from the
Others have told you about the actual presentation. Let me just say
that I was touched by the thank yous from the council. And when we
got outside of the chambers, Elaine was indeed converged upon. The
cameras were barely 6 inches from her face...just like on TV! And
Elaine was perfect for the job. She's very articulate and gave a
spectacular speech. Elaine, my mom commented Monday evening that you
should speak Tuesday; she was glad to find out that you were!
After the presentation, we stole the quilt back to give to Liz to keep
til the state fair is over (another thing I wish I'd been able to do
before I left). Then we trooped over to a coffee shop to have delicious
pastries and other breakfast things. For you coffee addicts, I picked
this up somewhere, I'm thinking of stitching it onto a coffee mug for
Richard: I love you coffee, you make me glow; You make me smile, I
love you so; My nerves don't like you, but what do they know? Pop quiz:
can you name the author? Answer at the end of this diatribe.
We then broke up. Kathy Marie (she spun Cutie Pie's wool into the yarn
used to tie the quilt) was headed in the same direction as Richard and
I, so we walked to the bomb site. Oh my goodness, how tragic it looks.
There's chain link fence all around, and people from all over have put
flowers and other mementos in the fence. We met a woman who lived in
the apartment building next door. She gets to move back in in a couple
of weeks--she's been in a motel since then. She lost 15 friends in the
blast. I don't mean to depress you all, but this is my report, and
meeting her was a significant portion of my trip. The impact of the
tragedy and our part in healing didn't really hit me til then. We left
a bit of wool from the quilt on the fence (Patty, Cindy, Kathy D., did you
see it when you went by?).
So then it was time to leave, but this story isn't over. Kathy Marie was
taking the same road as we were until St. Louis, so we drove together
and stopped together and ended up in a hotel east of St. Louis together.
Turned out real nice, they had a king size bed plus a sofa sleeper. I'd
had enough of little double beds by that time, so it was a nice surprise.
Richard was a brick, driving the whole day Tuesday. But he gets into
a driving mode and doesn't need to quit. What a guy. Gotta love him.
It was great to get home. Better to realize that we made a difference,
all of us. Through the squabbling and the political differences and
the problems of getting this thing organized, we done good!!
Elaine, can you post your speech here? I think many of us would like
a hard copy.
The quote is attributed to Garfield, Oct. 1, 1982.