I just returned from a four day trip to Ohio, part of which included delivering the keynote speech at the Association for Career and Technical Education conference. The name of their annual program was called “Communicate the Dream.”
The speech went quite well, considering it was the first time I’d worked since my lung collapsed three weeks ago. Good thing I made it through without an oxygen tank! Also, since we were in Columbus, there were a lot of Ohio State Alumni in the audience. Now, I wasn’t looking to start any trouble, but since I mentioned Miami University a few times during my speech, it became a running joke for the next two days about which school was better.
(Look, all I have to say is: Ben Roethlisberger.)
Actually, funny story how I ended up working there. When I first began speaking (literally, one of the FIRST speeches I ever gave!) I met a woman named Susie Rutkowski. She’s the woman in the blue, standing up at the back left side of the table.
When we met in 2003, we connected right away and hoped to work together in the future. Unfortunately, we had limited contact over the next few years. But to my delight, she dropped me a line a few months back looking for a speaker!
Now, because ACTE’s conference was called “Communicate the Dream,” the staff went all out. The whole conference area was decorated with beds. They constantly blasted songs like “Dream Weaver,” which kept reminding me of that famous love scence from Wayne’s World.
And of course, everyone wore pajamas. How cool is that? Check out these slippers!
Met lots of awesome people. Starting with Zane, my youngest new friend. He grabbed the nametag off my lapel and started messing with it. Then, when I pulled a spare out of my wallet, he wanted that one too. What was I gonna do, NOT give it to him?
So I just kept taking nametags out of my wallet and sticking them to his hands, arms and of course, on his face. He giggled incessently. It was the cutest damn thing I ever saw.
Babies + Nametags = Good Times
As usual, several audience members took it upon themselves to take their Scott’s Friend nametags and slide them inside their badge holders. It always cracks me up when people do this. And when I saw her walk past me, I jumped out from behind my book table, shouted, “Hey Scott’s Friend!” and she stopped by to let me snap this pic.
On Friday I drove a few hours south of Columbus to meet with the University of Rio Grande to talk about doing summer/fall programming with their students. My friend Jamie asked if I wanted to see the historic Bob Evans Farm, (uh, yeah!) so we drove down the dirt road and ended up here.
Wow. So that’s where all that sausage I ate during college came from.
Now, although we didn’t have time to eat, we also stopped by this restaurant: it’s the ORIGINAL Bob Evans! Now, today, there are 585 locations in 19 states around the country.
But I think it’s safe to say this location is the best one.
Finally, on the way back to Cincinnati to see some old college friends, I passed through a town called, believe it or not, Shyville. I pulled over to get gas and snapped this picture. When I went inside to pay, I wondered how “shy” the town really was. So I tested it out.
“Good morning ladies!” I said to the cashiers.
“Mornin’,” one of them replied. “Do you know you’re still wearin’ your nametag?” she asked.
“Oh yeah. I wear it all the time to make people friendlier. Sometimes two,” I said as I showed her my second layer.
“Ha! It’s that bad, huh?” she asked.
“Well, you know…people always forget names. I’m just trying to make it easier.”
They both nodded. And right when I noticed that the second cashier wasn’t wearing a nametag, she said, “Yeah, I forgot my nametag today…”
“Oh no! She’s fired!” I joked.
She giggled and said, “I can tell you my name if you really want…”
“Yes. What is your name?”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Pamela. Thanks for the Slim Jims.”
“Your welcome. And have a great day…Scott.”
God I love Ohio.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your favorite state?
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Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag