SWC Con 2001 in Chicago - Page 5

Susan Hayes
Copyright 2001

This Chicago convention was my second SWC convention and I really felt right at home with the gang. It was as if i was with family and all. I understood them and they understood me. We all had the same thing in common and that's our hearing, There was no one there to say, "Repeat that again," or, "What did you say?" or anything like that. I also used some of my signing I had learned back at home and that was neat too. I saw most of my friends i made last year and I didn't feel out of place at all. The good thing about the SWC conventions is that we all can have a family reunion every year. Bob and Ling and you all have been the best in my life and I hope and pray I can make next year's convention and all the ones we have after that, too.

I've really learned a lot from the SWC and the friends on there and I think I'd be lost without you. I feel the swc is my home. You all are my family and I'm happy to be a part of it

Debbie Foreman
Copyright 2001

In my opinion, the Con was a huge success...not because of (or in spite of) me, Mary, Bob or any of the committee members....although we worked long and HARD getting everything together, BUT the CON was a success because of the attendees. If it hadn't been for EVERYONE working as a team, I doubt there would've even BEEN a Chicago Con.

Stefanie Graves
Copyright 2001

Found: Parts of personalities: fun-loving natures, daring can-do spirits, accommodating, accepting. If you feel like you left a part of yourself behind at the con, I think I found it. To re-claim, e-mail me here on World or at Effnus@aol.com. I think I left something behind, too.

Wow! Wasn't it great seeing & meeting everybody? I have to admit, I was a little nervous about meeting you all. But when I found Martha at the breakfast table on Thursday morning with a whole bunch of people, and she said, "This is Stefanie!" Bob ran around the table and gave me a hug, and everyone was so excited. I felt right at home. And it just went on from there.

Sorry for all of you that missed it. You gotta go next year, especially if you haven't met anyone on the list. It's just really confirming to finally meet people and get to know their personalities.

Martha Mattox-Baker
Copyright 2001

I want to take time here to thank all of my committee that helped with the hospitality. Without them, it would not have been possible for all the success that the con was.

to Melissa --- she kept both the Silent Auction stuff and also all the things for the registration committee were sent to her. She saved them at her work then had to bring them to the hotel. She also planned with Stefanie the museum trip. Melissa was also having to work so she was running around a lot and also helping with the Silent Auction! Thanks, Melissa!!

Claudia who was my Co Chair was so much help and support! She got together the Blue Men Group trip and I thank her for all the work she did to help me there! She also went to the Cheesecake Factory and checked that out for us for Bob's party, only to find out it would not work. But appreciate your time you spent on that. Also working with the bus company for the trip to Mary's.

Stefanie, who like Claudia, I became good friends with, while working on the convention. She was the one that got all the brochures you found in your bags. And she was the one who got all the cookies. She was a good person for support along with the rest of the "Chicago Crew" (as I called them) :-)

Mary made calls and was also a big help as I was not familiar with Chicago at all so I appreciate all the help from her.

Also opening her home to all of us for the Wine and Pizza party.

Linnie- what can I say? The boat/dinner cruise was more than a success. I could not imagine anything better. And she was just out of the hospital. The boat company had pads of paper and pen on each table. They had balloons on every seat so we could feel the music. And to top it off we had a waiter that knew ASL! It was great and I think almost everyone was out on the dance floor at one time - even the shy ones! We had a great time! Thanks to Linnie for making this a success! Also for Linnie having her place of work help getting the bags and alsothe notepads. They were so wonderful!

Also thanks for Sandi and Barbara R for helping with the tote bags. Claudia and I worked beforehand to get them set up so thanks to Claudia again for helping me et things set up ahead of time; it helped things go more organized! Barbara also got the plastic bags and the book marks you had in your tote bags.

Due to health reasons Robin was not able to help much but her support with the group and what went on was needed.

Also would like to thank two people that were not in our group but made a vital contribution. One person being Cathy for setting up the cake for Bob's party. And I want to thank ALL of you that helped make Bob's party a success! He loved his scrapbook.

Also would like to thank a special person... Debbie Foreman! She trusted me in leading the group. I thank you for giving me a chance, Debbie and trusting me! Also for putting up with me as a roomie too :-)

There were many people involved in helping the success in having a good time! Of course it would not have been a success without each one of you participating.

Thanks Committee for all your hard work!

Peggy Stewart
Copyright 2001

The Worst Trip Home

Once I arrived at the airport I found that my flight had been moved up to 4:00 pm. I thought that this was a really good thing, I would get home with more sunlight for the 2 hour drive home from Sacramento.

I checked in. Then went to get something in my stomach. Good thing too in hindsight. I was where they told me to be at 3:30, and was pre-boarded at that time. The rest of the boarding of the plane went on. As the last of the passengers came on and the door was closed I did notice that there were a few rain drops dotting the wing, this didn't cause me any alarm at all.

We were rolled away from the gate slowly and I noticed it was raining. By the time we were rolling on our own towards the taxi way it was really coming down hard. The plane at this point was waiting in line for take off, I then saw in the reflection of the wing something like flashing lights. At that point I still didn't know what was going on outside. The next thing I saw was a ground strike of lightening. There were many of them in the next couple of minutes. The pilot was giving a message which I didn't understand totally. It was that the airport was now closed and he had turned off the engines to conserve fuel.

Being from California I didn't know that it could rain that hard. I even got to hear some of the thunder. Something I had not heard in over twenty years. I have watched it roll down the plate glass window a few times, but to actually hear it was a treat for me. I must have become bored at some point because I fell fast asleep. My seatmates wondered about me, they checked me out to make sure I was still breathing. I guess that no one else was sleeping. I understand it was really a bad storm.

I woke up and found that the rain was only a sprinkle and the plane was moving. We were airborne in about 5 minutes. I took a peek at the watch of the man sitting next to me and it said 4:30 I thought to myself good; short storm; I will still make it to Sacramento by 8:45 PM.

We all got a free drink with our dinners. After dinner I set back and read. I noticed that it seemed a bit darker than it should be so I asked the guy next to me what time it was. He told me that it was 8 in Phoenix. I had already missed my connecting flight to Sacramento. I was starting to get upset.

We landed and I was given a ticket to get on a plane for Sacramento. It didn't leave till nearly 11 PM. I was really tired so when I landed in Sacramento I decided that I would get a room and try to sleep. By the time I got into my room it was after 1 am. I slept for 3 to 4 hours.

I woke at about 6 am I tried to go back to sleep, I couldn't so I thought best to get on the road and get home. The first hour of the 2 hour drive went smooth as silk, it was the second hour that was the worst hour in my life. I had to turn off the freeway to a 2 lane road that I can usually drive at freeway speeds. Not today....I got caught in a road construction zone and had to stop. I must have sat there for about 40 minutes just baking in the sun. I was behind a semi-truck. When they opened the road for us to go I don't think he ever got it much beyond 15 mph so it was a very long drive to get past it all. Before I got to the passing lane I hit another section that was being worked on. Sat there for about 15 to 20 minutes. I did get around that and resumed my freeway speeds until I came to the curves. It had taken me over 3 hours to get here and I thought I be home in about 30 minutes.

As I turned on to the highway that leads home I hit another section that was being worked on; the wait here was about 5 minutes. I hit one more construction zone with really no wait at all. I was about 10 to 15 minutes from home. I drove that stretch as usual. I got to the road that goes into the town I live in, and I was 4 minutes from my house. I could smell the cool sheets on my bed; I was visualizing my refrigerator.

Bam! The road is closed! I begged and pleaded. They told me I could go home only if it was less than 100 yards down the road. They had a hazardous materials spill right in front of the church. I turned the car around and decided to go the other way. I drove the 25 miles around the mountain to come out below the spill. When I reached that intersection I was about 1 mile from the house. I was really motivated to get home.

Bam! That road was closed too. I told the kid that I was only going home. He said that I couldn't go that way. I begged, and cried, banged on the airbag. I yelled that I was not going to be anywhere near the spill. He once again told me I couldn't go that way. I was hysterical at this point, He thought that he'd take a more authoritative manner with me. He said that I couldn't go home. As I read those words on his lips, a bomb went off in my head I looked at him and said You wanna' bet. He had his hands on the window of my car I put it in first and bumped the clutch. His mama had raised a smart boy he removed his hands as I popped the clutch and went around him, headed for home. In a mere 90 seconds I was sliding into the drive way and running to the house. I put a note on the door telling everyone that the resident was HOH and sleeping. "Go away, try again later." I locked the door for the first time in 15 years. I was expecting the cops to show up any time.

The post script to this was my developmentally delayed son had gone to school and I got a call about 2 in the afternoon that they couldn't get him home would I come down and get him. I said no. I told them to turn him over to the CHP which is policy. The head of the CHP called me and gave me his assurance that we could get back home. I didn't buy what he told me, I did drive down(in a different car) stopped 100 yards back and called to Daniel to come to me. He came over The lady cop that was manning the road block turned and gave me a dirty look. I turned to her and gave it back in spades, daring her to say anything to me as I knew I would go up in flames if she breathed funny. My husband was denied entry after work. He is much better at smoozing than I and they let him pass.

The road remained closed at that point for another 24 hours. They did finally move it up the road to a point where 99% of the residents could access their homes

The spill was an algaecide used in the lake to control growth in the late summer months. The hauler had driven to the church parking thinking that we all could get to our homes and that the road closure would be small. He had no idea that the powers to be would close off the whole town. Not even letting the merchants walk the 100 yards above the road block.


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