Posted by: justnaturallyme | September 4, 2008

TMS Moves Onward

Wednesday, this is the first full day of Travel Media Showcase. We started off with breakfast at 8 in the convention hall at the Hyatt. It was really good, or else I was really hungry. Both I think. At 9 the convention began.  My first meeting was with Huntsville in booth 201, 13 fast minutes where Charles, the Huntsville rep, both discussed what I would like to see in Huntsville and why I should visit.

Before we got nearly through, the bell rang, two minute warning to head for the next appointment. That was with Charleston in booth 211 but she had not made it here because of the hurricane. 15 minutes to run check my email at the computer station set up right there in the hall for just that reason.

Next meeting was with an email friend, Annabel from McAllen, Texas. I had been there, done that working on one of my previous books, Hosts With Ghosts. Enjoyed meeting her in person and we discussed what is new in McAllen.

And so on some of the reps are old friends from places I have gone. Some new friends from places I want to go.

We take a 15 minute break at 10:30 then back to the routine until noon when we break for lunch. Lunch was sponsored by Kansas Department of Tourism. It is set in one of the hotel ballrooms and looks really good. When it gets served it tastes good too. Entertainment begins with a duo singing Western music. Then while we eat, a photographer, Jim, speaks about the beauty of Kansas. He shows a lot of his slides. Great photography! He takes simple subjects like a thistle and makes it look like an oil by an old master. Well, he is an old master, of the camera that is.


After lunch, we head out for different tours of KC. I picked the “I Know That Name” tour. First stop is Hallmark which has its headquarters in KC. The visitor center is closed in preparation for its centennial celebration but they open specially for us. We get to see some of the original art and learn how Hallmark began. Joyce C. Hall began the company with just a couple of shoe boxes of post cards almost a century ago. Today, it is still a family owned company.

Next stop is Independence. The confluence of the trails the pioneers took out west so many years ago and the home of Harry Truman. His library and museum is a really study in American history.  Considering he was president during some of the most  dramatic years in modern history it is very moving.

The replica of the Oval Office in Truman's Musuem

The replica of the Oval Office in Truman

Next stop is a dual one, two museums at 18th and Vine: The Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The Jazz Museum is dedicated to the great musicians who flocked to KC during prohibition to prefect their art. The saying here is “Jazz was born in New Orleans but grew up in Kansas City.”

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is interesting as a sports museum but it has a deep underlying theme, the racial inequality that caused a “Negro League” to exist in the first place in this land where all of us are free and equal.

By 6Pm we were back to the hotel with instructions to meet in the lobby at 6:45 to board out respective buses for dinner. I had time to post yesterday’s blog and check my email. Then a fast change of clothes and down to the bus.

I choose barbeque because to me that represents KC. Several of my old friend and some new ones also opted for the barbeque. We are driven to Arthur Bryant, a local institute, and enjoy some real home style ribs, chicken, beef, coleslaw, baked beans and French fries. It is plain and simple but delicious. They did let me back in the kitchen to take a few pictures for an article in American Roads. Larry, the cook, showed me the pit where the meat is slow cooked.

Then we are driven back here to get ready for a good night’s sleep and a hectic day tomorrow. Already many of us are speculating about who will host next year’s event. My bet is Fort Myers but who knows. We will all find out tomorrow night at the closing dinner.



  1. This is a nice blog. I like the pictures to go along with your chatty informal style of telling your readers what’s going on in your life. Have fun at the convention – keep the pics coming!

    Marvin D Wilson
    blogs at:
    eye twitter 2 –

  2. Thanks, very interesting.

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