Lisa (my wife) and I left the Hyatt Regency for Brando’s Speakeasy a little after 8 PM on Sunday evening, to be sure we’d be there to welcome the other participants. To our surprise, upon our arrival we found that the door was locked and a handwritten sign said simply, “Closed Today!” When our initial shock subsided, I tweeted out a note that we were returning to the hotel to regroup and consider alternative plans. I also asked Kate Hagan, AALL’s Executive Director, to post a note in the conference app, and Cara Schillinger kindly did so a little while later.
Lisa had left a voice message with the bar’s owner, and after concluding that there was no alternative venue available, we decided to salvage the evening by joining CALL for its trivia night at Timothy O’Toole’s. Debbie Ginsberg, Julie Prabarja, and their colleagues were very accommodating. I joined Debbie’s team while Lisa found a stool at the bar, and Julie kindly asked the bar manager whether they could bring in the karaoke DJ. Ultimately he could not make it. The trivia crowd of about 120 was four times the size they were expecting, and it was a raucous and fun time.
During the evening Ron Wheeler put me in touch with the manager at Brando’s and he explained that a water pipe had burst that day and flooded the bar. He assure me that they would reopen on Monday and we planned accordingly.
With Thomson Reuters promising “Librarian Idol” for the customer appreciation event, it looked like karaoke would be the order of the evening. After I invited Cindy Bassett to dance while Bonnie Shucha rocked the house, Lisa and I returned to Brando’s. Later in the evening we were joined by about 35 of our gang, making the evening a success despite the smaller than usual turnout. All-in-all, a great two evenings thanks to all the folks I mentioned above and many more!
Courtesy of Heather Kushnerick, here’s a shot of Lisa and me, with Lisa singing harmony on the choruses of “Hallelujah.”
Please plan on joining us in Austin next year!