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Where we're from and where we're going

By Bill Meyer

Biloxi was great but San Antonio will be better. Your OE has had experience selecting sites for annual conventions for many years. During that time you get a knack at how they'll succeed.

Casinos aren't the best locations. The staff is more interested in the casino than the hotel. In spite of that, and the huge walking distances, Donna did a great job of providing a good event. Most folks who attended were not aware of the lack of cooperation she faced at Biloxi.

San Antonio promises to be better. That old saying, "Location, location, location" applies. The hotel is a top-rated Hyatt. The front door view is of the Alamo and the back door opens onto the River Walk. It's the prime location in San Antonio, which is one of the favorite convention spots in the nation.

Room prices will be a bit higher, but only a fraction of the "regular" rate. There are many cafes and places of interest nearby and cheap transportation via trolley or river taxi.

Those who think we've gone "west" or "south" too often should look at the map in this issue. Donna made the map after careful study of the registration list.

Years ago Pennsylvania and Ohio were the top states. Now we find Texas is first, followed by Illinois. Ohio, Florida, and a fifth-place tie between California and Pennsylvania.

The location will be Little Rock in 2006. It has many attractions and offers great prices. I've scouted it out and found it, like San Antonio, to be outstanding.

There are only a few annual conventions left on our agenda. Soon they'll be gone. If you're able, you should treat yourself by attending as many of the final ones as your health and checkbook will allow. Remember, "you'll spend less than they will for your funeral."

Those who complain that we should go back east or up north should get their suggestions in early. Write to me, your site selection committee chairman. I'll work with Joe Johnson and J.R. McIlroy to come up with a location you desire.

Remember, there are several states with no 99th veteran members attending this past year: Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Also, keep in mind the level of airline service available.

When they uncork that bottle of cognac, I hope to be present to make a toast.

Attention Indiana members

Mark Doud is interested in contacting 99th members from the state of Indiana. His e-mail address is mark_doud@lugar.senate.gov; phone 317-226-5555; or by mail: 1180 Market Tower, 10 W. Market, Indianapolis IN 46204.

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