Back From Oklahoma

Actually I’ve been back since Sunday evening; I’ve been too busy to write until now.  This was the fourth LegalShield convention I have attended in Oklahoma City and the sixth convention I have gone to altogether.  They made more announcements of new products, tools and events than they did at any of the other conventions – I count 16 new items so far – so I will have to talk about them in another message.  For now I will just talk about two personal incidents that happened before the convention started, because it is getting late.

First of all, our group traveled in two vans.  The other van (not the one I rode in) came from West Virginia, met us in Lexington, and we went to Oklahoma the same way we did in 2010 & 2011, via Interstate 64 to St. Louis, and Interstate 44 to Oklahoma City.  But at Louisville we entered a thunderstorm, and right after entering Indiana, the other van was splashed by a passing vehicle, and its electrical system went haywire, with its dashboard lights and gauges going on and off.  Luckily the van was covered by its warranty, but the nearest town with a mechanic who could fix the problem was Jasper, thirteen miles from where we got off I-64.

We proceeded to Jasper at a crawl, tying up the traffic behind us, and losing two or three hours in the process.  In the end we had to leave the other van and its passengers behind, because the leaders of our group were expected to attended a special banquet.  We got to Oklahoma City just in time, with only a half hour to spare before the banquet started.  The good news is that the other van made it to Oklahoma some hours later.

I am telling all this because I had heard years ago about Jasper, IN being the city where Kimball pianos are made; yes, a distant relative of mine founded that company.  Sure enough, on the way back to the Interstate, we passed a sign marking the entrance to Kimball Industrial Park.  Apparently they got out of the piano business in the 1990s, but the company survived by switching to office furniture and electronics.  Still, it’s nice to find a place where my family name is common, besides Salt Lake City (I’ve never been to Salt Lake City anyway).

The other incident happened after we reached Oklahoma City.  It turned out the hotel we stayed in was across the street from a Chinese restaurant where Leive and I ate, during the 2010 convention.  Although Leive had stayed home this time, I thought it would be fun to have dinner in the same place again, so I headed over there once I had unpacked in my hotel room.  I opened the restaurant’s door, and found the place deserted, with its furnishings torn up.  Below is a picture to prove I was actually in there.  You’d think that when the place went out of business, the management would have at least locked the door!

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The other restaurants within easy reach of the hotel were a Denny’s and a McDonald’s.  Since I’m not a big fan of either, I kept walking.  Three blocks away and around the corner, I found an Italian place called Portofino’s, where the food and service were decent, and it wasn’t too crowded; that worked out well.  It turned out all the other customers in the establishment were convention goers, too.  Let the record show that in the current recession, Oklahoma City never had to ask Washington D.C. for an economic stimulus; they get one every time LegalShield’s people are in town!

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