Patty Andersen's Report
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Patty Andersen)
Subject: Trip Report #2
Date: 1 Oct 1995 19:57:37 GMT
Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Now for the Oklahoma Trip. If you got the earlier message you know that
Cindy and I went to the Des Moines Spirit of Cross Stitch show. What you
may not know is the timetable involved. We had four days between
returning from Spirit, and heading out to Oklahoma.
Saturday morning, we get up and prepare to fly to Oklahoma City. I'd
glanced at the tickets and told Cindy and her mother that we needed to be
at the airport by about 10:30 for an 11:00 flight. When Cindy's Mom,
Verdeen, showed up she took a copy of the schedule and noticed that it
was a 1:00 flight, not 11:00. Good thing I read it the wrong way, and it
wasn't an 11:00 that I thought was 1:00! Verdeen took us to the airport
Flying is always such fun out of Rapid City, puddle-jumpers are the term
used most for airplanes! Mica is getting to be a seasoned traveler and
she took it like a trouper, even being shoved under the seat in front of
Cindy doesn't rattle her anymore. The flight from Rapid to Denver was
uneventful, we landed with plenty of time to catch our connecting flight
to Oklahoma City. Everyone should get a chance to see Mica handle the
walking sidewalks in the new airport. After the first one she handles it
like a pro.
In order to get the cheaper air prices we had to leave on Saturday, but
the presentation wasn't until Tuesday, so when we arrived in Oklahoma I
rented a car. Made it easy to get around and boy we sure used it when we
while we were there! As Kathy has said, it was a racy red sporty looking
thing, and man, what a load of gadgets on the cockpit! It took me about
20 minutes to figure out the windshield wipers! Good thing I finally
did, it did rain more than once.
Anyway, arrived in OKC with no problems, rented the car and basically
drove straight to our motel. We were about 5 miles from downtown, and it
was a straight shot to the area, not complicated at all. OKC is easy to
get around and on the weekends it even quiet enough to "practice" where
you'll need to go during the week.
Saturday night we decided it would be easier to just eat in the motel's
restaurant and we were seated and waiting for our food when a phone call
came in for *me*! I'll bet the look on my face was priceless! When I
got on the phone it was Laura Griner! She was supposed to be sending me
the block descriptions so I could get them copied and then in the
notebook I had brought with me. She hadn't sent them yet, so she decided
to hand-deliver them instead! She planned on leaving Nashville the next
morning. I was amazed, but really looking forward to meeting her. We
finished dinner and marveled at Laura's plans. Talk about last minute!
Sunday we relaxed and took it easy, it had seemed like we had been on
fast forward forever. A leisurely breakfast, lots of football, and a day
to unwind were on the agenda. (Anyone else think that the Bronco's are
amazing when John Elway throws those last minute touchdowns (-: !)
Examining the phone book and a brochure in the motel revealed that there
was a German restaurant within driving distance. Cindy loves German
food, so we piled into the car a quick trip downtown to get our
bearings, (including a trip by the bomb site, very sad!), then off south of
town for an early dinner. While we were out, Laura arrived from Nashville.
She made her reservations at the same motel we were in, so we were
"neighbors"! She came over to the room and we talked for a while, but she
was very tired from her long drive and she soon headed off to bed.
Monday morning, Laura disappears. Seems she felt bad about not getting
the block descriptions to me in time for me to do the copying, so she
headed out to an Office Depot and did it for me. What a nice surprise!
When Laura came back we decided we needed to take her by the bomb site,
this time we stopped and took some pictures. Then we headed out to the
cross stitch store recommended by Elaine. Thread Connections is
everything that Elaine said, and more! I bought some nifty toys,
including a keyring with a pouch for your credit card. Just what I need,
an easy way to shop! The owner of the shop and his staff were slated to
be the program at the EGA meeting that night, but they were as excited as
we were to see the quilt, and didn't resent our intrusion into their
"time" at the meeting. Oh, Elaine, did we tell you that you forgot to
tell us about the *lake* in the middle of the road between us and Thread
Connections? We all had a good laugh about that. The people in the
store recommended a Macaroni spot for lunch, so that's where we ended up
for eating lunch. By this time it seemed like we had know Laura for
years and we talked and talked like long lost friends. What an amazing
That evening was the EGA meeting. What an experience. Laura, Cindy and
I (along with Mica of course) arrived fairly early. The directions from
Elaine were perfect and we drove right to the location. We were all
excited at the chance to see the quilt, and we paced and we waited and we
watched the door. Finally, three people came through the door, one of
whom (Richard) carried this bulky blue bag. The quilt was here! I
rushed up to introduce myself to Di, meet her and her husband Richard as
well as her charming mother. What a rush. The people at the EGA had
laid out eight 6ft tables for the quilt. After the tables were cleaned
up, we started unpacking the quilt. Oops, not enough tables, we needed
four more 6ft pieces to make it lay flat. WOW. Words don't describe the
feelings and emotions in the room. The EGA's normal meeting got underway,
an while they were handling business Cindy started taking pictures. She
tried to center her camera on each block. Man, did we go through film.
I took pictures too, but I spent more time taking pictures of groups of
squares, or people's reactions to the squares. Anyone who hasn't gone
and looked, Cindy is putting up groups of nine pictures on her homepage
and planning on changing them every week for a while.
http://rapidnet.com/~cldavies/okc#.html substitute 1-9 for the # sign and
you'll see what she is doing. Kathy has added this as a link to her
page, so you can go through there too.
After the Thread Connections presentation, the meeting broke and everyone
got a chance to come stand around the quilt. The look on people's faces
is heart-breaking, you could tell this meant a lot to them. This was when
I got a chance to meet and talk with Liz Herman, with Elaine Dowling,
with Di Michaelson. What a wonderful group of people. Elaine did this
marvelous presentation, explaining what the quilt was, why it was, how it
was. The group seemed very appreciative of her speech, but the proof was
in the watching. I have several pictures of people looking at the quilt,
and the look on the faces says it all. These pictures will eventually
show up on Cindy's homepage, so keep watching.
People stopped and read some of the block descriptions. Many people
wiped away tears. The block descriptions are very moving, and now the
originals accompany the quilt.
Finally it was time to pack the quilt back up, so it would be ready the
next morning. Laura, Cindy and I were impatiently waiting for Kathy Dyer
to get into town. We knew where she was staying since she had told
Cindy, but we didn't know when she would get there. After we picked up
some dinner 9fast food, too tired for anything fancy), we headed back to
Laura's room where we waited to see if Kathy was here yet. Finally, a
call from Kathy, she just got in, and was handed Laura's phone message.
Yes, she would love a ride tomorrow morning, a chance to meet us before
the presentation. Kathy had met Cindy and I before, her sister lives
here in Rapid City. Laura would be meeting her for the first time.
Meeting time, 7:15 or so. Time for bed, tomorrow is the big day.
You know, 5:00 a.m. wake-up calls are the pits! Even for something this
exciting, I hate getting up that early, but with two people sharing one
7:00 a.m., we go over to Laura's to start the caravan over to pick up
Kathy. Kathy decides to ride with Laura, avoiding having to share a
backseat with Mica. Wise decision, she was dressed in a classy dress and
didn't need a Schnauszer footprint in the middle of it.
I led the way over to City Hall, having scouted it out several times, I
drove right there. After finding a parking place, we adjourned to the
area by the fountain. Waiting. We were first, but we weren't alone
long. Elaine, then Liz, then Di and Richard (poor Richard, he spent all
of his time buried under a 25 pound blue bag), along with Di's parents.
Kathy (she of the Sweetie Pie wool) showed up. Introductions, greetings,
chatter as we nervously awaited time to go in and present the quilt.
Finally the move was made to go in. First to the Mayor's office. His
personal assistant was waiting. No, we won't be meeting the mayor, he is
recovering from surgery. Instead the Vice-Mayor will perform the
official ceremony. Slight confusion of who will be going into the
"inner sanctum", but we sorted it all out. Elaine, Liz, Di, Richard,
Kathy Dyer, me. Kathy of the wool (sorry, my mind just doesn't want to
cough up your last name!), and a few other inside taking pictures. The
Vice-Mayor was a gracious lady who understood we didn't want to open the
quilt in her office, but want to make sure we were going to open it for
the council. We promised we would. Enough pictures were taken that my
eyes saw green and glue, then handshakes all around and directions to the
City Council chambers, right down the hall.
Everyone trooped down and into the council area. The quilt was placed
carefully at the front of the room. Everyone settled down to await the
proceedings. The council filed into the room, with the Vice-Mayor in the
center of the half-circle. First came the presentation from the Pikes
Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They had a
beautiful 8x8 foot quilt with the names of all the victims on it. Bold
and bright colors dominated this wonderful quilt. There were tv camera's
everywhere! All three affiliates were represented, as well as the local
cable channel that covers all of the council meetings. Pike's Peak's
quilt was presented by a gentleman that gave a wonderful speech. Then,
it was Elaine's turn. The Vice-Mayor asked if she had someone to help
her hold up the quilt, and as if by magic all of us stood up, filed to
the front of the room, and started unwrapping the quilt. And unfolding
the quilt, and unfolding the quilt. 21 feet long, we struggled to get it
open enough for everyone to see. I'm still amazed we managed it, even
with the seven or so of us holding it, it's very heavy. Elaine gave her
speech, which I must admit I remember very little of, my focus was on not
dropping my portion of the precious quilt. Kathy reported very well on
the speech, and Elaine has promised to post it, so I'll refresh my memory
then. Two of the council members commented on knowing quilters, one had
a mother who quilted, another a grandmother, and both stated that their
quilters would be overwhelmed with the size and detail of our quilt.
Memories burned in my mind. The secretary for the council was at a table
beside me, she didn't get a chance to see the quilt because it was over
her head the entire time, I hope she gets a chance to at least see the
tapes of the presentation, it was amazing! The council didn't see the
quilt directly, we stood with our backs to them, but facing the
camera's. They saw the quilt on the monitors. We offered to turn, but
they seemed to think the logistics might be out undoing and declined.
After Elaine finished talking, we quietly folded the quilt while the
council responded to both gifts. Again, I remember little of it, I was
busy making sure we got the quilt safely folded back up.
We adjourned to the lobby, letting the council get back to the business
of running their city. Wow, we'd done it, OKC now had full possession of
our quilt. The reporters asked Elaine to wait, they wanted to talk to
her, but after they talked to the Pikes Peak group. I have a wonderful
image of tiny Elaine surrounded by those camera's, all the lights, and
she sounded so poised and sure of herself. I'm so glad she was our
speaker, she represented OKC and our group with dignity and grace.
Liz and Di went back into the council chambers to retrieve the quilt.
Several people hadn't seen it (Kathy and Kathy and a few others), so we
asked the mayor's receptionist if we could spread it out in the foyer of
the mayor's office. Sure, go ahead. If you could have seen the look on
her face when she realized that it was 21 feet long and 8 1/2 feet wide.
We dominated the entire foyer of the mayors office. More pictures.
Kathy and Kathy rushing to find certain pictures. Laura, having Di tell
her where a certain square was so she could get a picture for the
stitcher. Someone's Uncle, there to take pictures for his niece who
contributed a block but couldn't be there herself. We found that block
for him and he took the picture there in the mayor's foyer. Finally,
time to pack up the quilt for the day. Di and Richard handed it over to
Liz and her husband. Liz would be holding the quilt until the Art Museum
there in OKC could take it. Almost an end to the day.
Several of us adjourned to a coffee shop recommended by Elaine. We sat
around and chatted and talked, until it was time to leave. Elaine, I got
that parking ticket, but it was worth it. I enjoyed the time with
everyone too much to let a little thing like a parking ticket spoil the
day. Laura left from the coffee shop to start her long drive back to
Nashville. Kathy joined Cindy and I for the morning, we planned on
driving her to the airport. First we dropped her at her hotel so she
could finish packing and check out. Cindy and I headed back to our motel
where we did the same thing. Back downtown to pick up Kathy. Did she
want to go by the bomb site. Yes, of course. Our third trip there in
three days. Still feel the emotion of it all, the fence has to be seen
to be believed. Kathy, we have a picture of you, with a look on your
face that is the perfect example of how the whole experience affects
people. With your permission, Cindy will post it on her homepage
sometime. So much damage, it's hard to believe. Four blocks away, a
church is repairing windows. Further than that away, a building is being
torn down. Utter destruction closer to the actual site of the Murrah
Building. Finally we pack up and head toward the airport.
Kathy is heading to California, Cindy and I to Rapid City, but all go
through Denver. After I turned in the rental car, we find out that they
can get us on the earlier flight, we're leaving the same time as Kathy,
and will be able to talk some more. We'll also get to Rapid City several
hours earlier. Let down hasn't started yet, but the pace is starting to
catch up, it will be nice to be home for a while.
Denver, we say goodbye to Kathy, and head down to catch our puddle-jumper
back to Rapid. It was a long trip, but worth every minute. I feel like
I made some friends, met some people that are very important to me. I
don't know if I'll ever see some of them again, but I have the memories,
and I have the pictures, and they are all very precious.
Patty Andersen My opinions are my own
Head/Information Services why would the State of
Devereaux Library, SDSM&T South Dakota want them?