All over but the cryin’

The booth is in a pile awaiting packing, My room is in order for the final stowage and I’m about falling into bed for the last sleep before I can go home. It’s funny how every year I look forward to this week, and it stays elusive and unreal until it falls on me, then before it’s over I can’t wait to get back. It’s worse now that I have a family than before, but even then the whole conference thing wears a little by Thursday morning.
My dad worked for a company that contracted in the aerospace industry and spent a lot of time at conferences. We were always excited to see what he’d bring back for us from his trips, and a lot of my memories from my youth involve the excitement of going to the airport Friday nights to pick him up after he was gone all week. I used to imagine going off on trips like he did and flying all over the world to some conference, but I never believed it was anything more than a dream. I can’t really imagine doing more than the one a year, but I make up for it by bringing home more schwag.
Tuesday I was walking back around town and I saw a star on the sidewalk with a name that somehow rang a Patsy Cline-ish bell in my head. Paying it little heed, I eased on down the road. I ran across another star that said Sandra Day O’connor. I mused on this somewhat more as I walked towards another star. Mean Joe Green was printed on this one and it stopped me in my tracks. My head nearly burst trying to make some sort of order of the three before I hit the pressure release valve by deciding it must just have to do with Texans. It was almost as surprising to see how many different recognizable names there were on these markers, as it was to see the back-street way in which they are presented. Arguably having them around the convention center gives them exposed to the tourist traffic that would give them more notice, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more gum-spotted and pigeon-flecked nondescript thoroughfare in my limited travels.
I suppose there is more to tell, but I’m still mulling over the events I’ve not quite sorted through yet, and it’s midnight, so I suppose I ought to sleep some. I wouldn’t want to doze off on my flight.