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O’DAY’S TRAVEL WOES #35: Driving With My Head Out The Window

January, 1995: My first trip of 1995 was to South Bend, Indiana, where I conducted an air talent seminar for David Hayes and the folks at Federated Media. Most memorable about this trip:

1) My two pieces of luggage were the very first two items to appear on the Baggage Claim carousel (always a good feeling).

2) I drove back to O’Hare Airport in a blizzard, unable to keep my windshield clean enough to see through. Which meant I made the entire drive, at night, with my head sticking out the driver’s side window, being lacerated by the icy snow & rain. It was nowhere as fun as it sounds.

Later that month Jim Wychor brought me to Minneapolis for my fourth engagement with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association. His annual winter convention had grown into a genuine regional event, attracting attendees from seven states. (Jim had me conduct Air Personality Plus+ on one day, How To Get Rich Through Re-Orders on the next day.)

The only glitch was beyond Jim’s control. As I surveyed our meeting room an hour before our start time, I noticed some big, gaping holes in the ceiling. They were air conditioning ducts… without tubing or grates to cover them up.

When the air conditioning came on, anyone within range was blasted with cold air and any papers in the area blew around the room.

I called for the hotel’s maintenance expert, who surveyed the situation and said, “Well, it should only be a problem whenever the air conditioning comes on.” And then he turned to leave.

I did not find this response to be completely satisfactory. A quick call brought in the Catering Manager, who agreed this was a less than ideal arrangement and somehow managed to find someone to fix it.

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  • Don May May 29, 2009, 6:53 am

    mmm…do you always travel with the two bears? Or are they a pair of those cuddly animal-slippers that were all the rage back then with middle-aged Radio Consultants? 😛

  • Huub Gales May 29, 2009, 10:37 am

    I have done that, painfull experience.

  • Bob Brandon May 29, 2009, 10:37 am

    I did too! I was going to Grand Rapids to work at a Federated Media station there. The interstate was so bad, if you went more than about 20 mph, you would be thrown out of the grooves into a snowbank. My windshield was impossible to see through.

  • Jym Dingler May 29, 2009, 10:38 am

    I spent hours driving from Peoria to Champaign, Illinois with an ice-encrusted windshield and my head out the window, Valentine’s Day 1980. Major suckage.

  • Rich Strong May 29, 2009, 10:38 am

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Chicago, 1993. 26 below, 40 mile an hour wind, solid ice. Four hour drive.

  • Jon Brooks May 29, 2009, 10:39 am

    One of the things they don’t tell you in school: AM Drive jocks commute before the plows are out. In the dark. I now own a JEEP!

  • Don May May 29, 2009, 10:39 am

    I’m from that area of the midwest originally. The storms there, either rain or snow, are sometimes just unbelievable. It’s kind of funny though to watch people go about their business in that weather back there, but out here in L.A., if it drizzles, people will stay home and refuse to drive, lol.

    I was in the midwest a couple of years ago and the temperature went from 75 degrees one day down to 35 degrees the next…a 40 degree drop in ONE DAY! Crazy

  • Frank Bordonaro May 29, 2009, 10:40 am

    A few years ago I was doing a morning show in Worcester, MA – about an hour from where I live, in Boston. One December morning I made my way out – snow blowing and already a foot of snow on the ground. I’m driving along nice and careful-like, when a snowplow comes SPEEDING along and completely covers my car with snow! It took several turns of … emy windshield wipers before I could see ANYTHING. I really thought I was gonna end in a ditch that time. (I thought snowplows were there to make driving SAFER???) For all my efforts, by the time I got to Worcester, there was, like, only an inch of snow; it was a coastal storm! Ahh, the vaguaries of New England winters!


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