6/9/08: “Man plans; God laughs.”

Handout prepared for PRBF ‘08 

 

From Left: Lucy Knight, Mary McNulty & Sandy Bass pre-storm.  Photo Credit: Art BrauerJan tries laughing away the rain.  Photo Credit: Suzanne HanneyIWPA Tent Mid-Storm.  Photo Credit: Art BrauerKim Benziger (in red) surveys damage.  Photo Credit: Art Brauer

     How many times have we all seen those tornado reports: one house completely demolished while all the others on the same block are fine?

     Well, I live to tell because that’s EXACTLY what happened to us @ yesterday’s Printers Row Book Fair.  This was my 7th year staffing IWPA’s PRBF display & I thought I’d experienced every weather condition possible, but, how wrong was that?!?  This year we were in location “BB” on Dearborn, 4 tents in from the Polk Street corner: a seemingly perfect location.  But as the winds from the southwest grew increasing active, a furious blast whipped around the historic Franklin Building & toppled our poles!!!

     Me?  I was yakking away @ the edge of the rain, treating it all as a joke.  But suddenly Art Brauer (this year’s IWPA Coodinator) had a certain “look” in his eye.  With his mask of command firmly affixed, he shouted: “Everyone out of the tent!”  I obeyed immediately, grabbing my box of WITASWAN materials & dashing into the Cafe Mediterra just in the nick of time.  Pretty exciting stuff!

     I huddled with rest of the refugees for about 30 minutes.  Then the rain subsided & most folks went about their business.  But not us: the IWPA tent was totally trashed 🙁

     *****

     Huge thanks to my team: Pat Graunke (who came @ 9 to help set-up), Sandy Bass (who staffed with Pat from 10 to 12); Mary Lou Edwards & Bernadette Jones (who staffed from 12 to 2, helped gather everything up when the rain started, & schmoozed with me in the Mediteraneo); Pamela Sanner (who called from Dearborn when she arrived ~ 2:30 to find… no one); & Amanda Robertson (who was scheduled for the last shift from 4 to 6 & tried to warn me on Saturday that weather conditions were worrisome).  Thanks also to Kim Benziger & Mary McNulty (companions from AAUW-Illinois staffing the Jane Addams Day display to our right), & to all my IWPA buddies, most expecially Art & Susan Brauer.

   *****

     Last but not least, my biggest thanks of all to my husband Richard, who not only helped carry everything to the PRBF in the AM, but found me, rescued me, & got everything home safely after the storm.  As Rabbi Stampfer (my Yiddish teacher @ Spertus Institute) likes to say: “Man plans; God laughs.”  He’s got a great sense of humor!

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