by Penny Crane

After a few days in Orlando, my dry Arizona skin was as thankful as a giant saguaro “plumping up” during monsoon season. But, emerging from the Orlando terminal on Saturday into that dense humidity … Wow! What a difference!

The convention was in the Rosen Center Hotel – which was beautiful, with huge tropical plants everywhere. I even spotted a couple of conventioneers surprised at being engulfed by three-foot leaves reaching out of big pots! My favorite restaurant was at the hotel, where I had many a meal – which, of course, HAD to include Florida Key lime pie. And, no, I didn’t keep returning to the Café Gauguin just because a cute waiter called me “Sweetie,” and graciously put my napkin in my lap. Of the hotel staff, I just can’t say enough about their caring, kindness and consideration. If anyone with a cane or a dog just slowed down, or even looked a little concerned, there was always a hotel employee right there, eager to escort them wherever they wanted to go. On Sunday night, the ACB convention was called to order by our president, Mitch Pomerantz, with his capability, calmness and sense of humor. The business sessions ran smoothly all week. Marlaina Lieberg made the roll call of affiliates entertaining. David Letterman better look out ... There were so many activities available for the convention-goers that it was hard to choose. The auctions, silent and live, were fun, fun, fun! There was Brenda Dillon’s beautiful voice, and her accent reminded me of an Appalachian storyteller. Cindy Van Winkle could put a tobacco auctioneer to shame. There were many exciting items auctioned. I’m sorry I didn’t win the four days in Savannah, with dinner at the Paula Dean Restaurant. Monday night I attended a prose and poetry reading. One poem, “Listening to New York Radio in the Middle of the Night,” made my heart stop! There was early morning exercise, with Leslie Spoone's cute cheerleader figure getting me motivated to work out. I attended a session, “Dressing for Success," in which tall, elegant Lynn Cooper had all kinds of helpful hints for looking good. On Friday morning, the entertainment was by an inspirational gospel group from a local church. Friday was spent going over the resolutions and bylaws. And Friday night was dress-up time for the banquet. Our own Bob Williams, from Arizona, led the prayer with his elegant James Earl Jones voice. The guest speaker, Maryanne Diamond from Australia, spoke on the World Blind Union. As you can see, it is worth going to an ACB convention; there is a little something for everyone.

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