This is the second attempt at a blog about my week in Boston. I won’t tell you what happened there because you already know. Here are my details. I had planned to visit my colleagues in Littleton from Sunday to Tuesday, then speak at the ViewAdmin 2013 in Cambridge from Wednesday until Friday. That happened. I was in the lockdown area near the police shootout with the bad guys. I got home on Friday night after the roughest, most turbulent flight I’ve ever been on – and I’ve been on hundreds of them. In every way, it was the perfect end to a surreal week, one that will be remembered by everyone directly and indirectly impacted.
Nothing horrible happened TO me. Things happened around me. There was no escaping the emotions and the energy of the people around me. What I’d like to do is simply to thank some people.
Firstly, thank you to WIS (Wellesley Information Services), the organizers of the always incredible ViewAdmin conferences. You let me speak for you, you kept this conference together, running on time, kept us informed and made us feel safe. So to Celia, Susie, Mike, Scott, and the rest of the crew – thank you. And Bennie, thank you for subjecting yourself to whatever body search they put you through to get over to us through the lockdown on Friday just for hugs and a checkin.
Thanks to the incredible Hotel Marlowe. You have a classy, quirky, almost kinky hotel and it rocks. You hosted the conference, fed us, you had leopard spot and tiger stripe bathrobes in the room and then you locked the doors and wouldn’t let us leave. And sent guards to keep any bad guys out. We never felt afraid even a little bit. I will come back and will encourage other people I know to come back. You run a nice (and dog friendly) place. A few blocks from the early morning shootout. But I digress.
Thank you to a group of people who have become very close friends over the years. We’ve had adventures traveling the US and Europe for these conferences and others, and I would have felt far less safe if not for the presence of these very cherished friends: Gabriella and Tim Davis, Andy Pedisich, Rob Axelrod, Mary Beth Raven, Kathy Brown, Francie Tanner, and Chris Miller. I couldn’t have chosen a better bunch of people to be locked into a hotel with. I love you all.
Thank you to the conference attendees. You paid to see a show and we felt obligated to put on a terrific one, especially since your families back home were probably going as crazy as everybody else’s. We felt like friends talking to friends by Friday. Come back. I hope you got your money’s worth in education. You certainly got your money’s worth in adventure.
Thank you Facebook. As much as I love to hate you, you let me keep Nina, Mom and Dad, my siblings, nieces, nephews, friends around the world, and acquaintances updated easily without dozens of calls on a cell system that was swamped anyway. And you let me know they were checking up on me. It felt good. Most days I don’t like the controversies that show up on Facebook, but as a communications tool for non geeks, it rocks.
And a tip if you’re ever IN something like this: Turn off the 24 hour TV. It only makes you jumpy. We didn’t watch it. We got our news from the hotel staff, the LOCAL news channels, the security guards, the very loud emergency management alerts from the cell phone carriers (I was sitting in a room when 4 of ours went off at the same time. We jumped. High.) And we looked out the windows. What we didn’t get was wrong news.
Thank you Boston – and Cambridge. For being normal in the face of horror, for carrying on, for stopping when asked and for getting involved to help catch the bad guys. You never flinched, you ran toward hurt people and your police force kicks serious butt. I feel almost privileged to have been there this week. I surely will never forget it.
My heart goes out to the people who WERE affected. The injured, the families of the dead, the police and the proud people of Boston. I wish none of this happened, but am glad I got to experience how you reacted. You are amazing.
Home never felt so good, though.