Posted by: justnaturallyme | September 5, 2008

And Now The Finale

TMS goes barreling on. Meeting all morning beginning right after the 8 am breakfast with one morning break and then lunch.

John Percy from Niagara, NY Travel Board spoke  there and enjoyed it immensely. Wrote a piece partially based on my visit to Elmira, NY on the post trip and previous visits to Andersonville, GA. Elmira was the worst of the Confe3derate prison camps and Andersonville was the worst Union prison during the Civil War. Also wrote a piece about the night life in Niagara.

Joanne Vero, who is the founder and driving force behind TMS, awarded pins to those exhibitors who have been at 5 events. She spoke about how special next year will be. The 10th TMS promises to be a treat for both exhibitors and journalists. Now the guesses are piling up as to where the event will be held. This is a tightly guarded secret that will be revealed at tonight’s closing dinner. I’ll end with that piece of news when it is announced tonight. But for now, I have to get back and finish up my appointments in a few minutes. I just have two more but have two blank spots in-between. Then up to the room to clean up and change for tonight’s big event.

I’m back down in the hall in front of the Chicago section of the Regency Ballroom by 7pm. TMS has provided us with a nice array of fresh veggies and dip. There is a cash bar for those who want drinks. I chat with different friends, and we all speculate about who will host the big 10 TMS.

Then at 7:30, Joanne and John Percy throw open the ballroom doors. We all rush in like a herd of lemmings headed for a cliff. The band on the podium to our left is playing “Sweet Home Alabama,” to the right, a large screen flashes scenes I am trying to recognize as belonging to one city. But which Alabama city is it? Joanne and all of the TMS staff are dancing with lots of energy. Joanne always has lots of energy. I have never seen the woman when she wasn’t in great spirits and bouncy. She is as bouncy as I have ever seen tonight.  Then as I come closer to the front, I see the placard in the middle next to the podium. It proclaims “TMS 2009 hosted by Montgomery, Alabama!”

That’s great! A surprise because they have already hosted one TMS.  I recall the last one hosted by Montgomery. It was in 2002. I enjoyed the ambiance of the city and got my first international article there. It was on a tour of the Hank Williams Museum where I met one of the original Drifting Cowboys, Lum York. I did an interview with him and sold it to London’s “Country Music People.”

The closing dinner

The closing dinner

After the dinner of steak, shrimp, a really unique grits and Gouda cheese with all the trimmings, a few of us take a cab to the Jazz Museum. The curator had told us that on Thursday nights, the Blue Room, a KC shrine to jazz and a part of the museum, opens at night with different jazz bands. The band is good but we were hoping the curator, Louis, would be there playing his sax.

By 10:00, we are all pooped and ready to head for the hotel and pack and prepare for tomorrow’s post trips.

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