ALA Midwinter 2015

The Limo Ride

#ALAMW15  It’s still dark this morning in Chicago. In about two hours we’ll all be sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to hear each one of the astounding committees announce the winners of this year’s Youth Media Awards.

Right this minute though my mind is running back through last night.  A fortunate crew gathered at The Gage restaurant on South Michigan the blizzard mind you…and spent the evening sharing books and stories with some very lovely people from Penguin.

Everyone had to write their favorite book on their name tag as they came in the door…I chose A Wrinkle In Time.  I saw Winnie the Pooh on Nancy Paulsen’s nametag.  Ben Schrank of Razorbill had Arrow to the Sun..apparently he has been reading this to his own 3 1/2 year old.  Susan from Putnam who sat next to me had Island of the Blue Dolphins, a woman across the table had Charles and Emma…you see how wide the spectrum was.

Alexis who acted as a hostess for Table 7 asked us if everyone in the world had to read one book… as though they were all instructed or assigned to read one book…what book would we choose for them?  Oh, that was a tough one.  I was thinking The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B.Lewis. , or The Hundred Dresses or Stone Fox. Ben suggested The Chocolate War or Animal Farm.

Then the truly beautiful Shanta Newlin asked us if we could live in one city in the world and not lose our standard of living by moving, what city would we choose.  London got a number of votes.

So the night was filled with great food and interesting conversation and authentic sharing. Then it was time to head back to the hotel.  They announced that the restaurant was trying to call taxis but they were scarce as the blizzard was raging outside.

Well, to make a long story short… I had the business card of a limo company in my coat pocket.  Tony, who owned this limo company, had sent his fleet of stretch limos out to help out the hotels who had guests who needed to get through the city despite the wind and snow.

Rebecca, the hostess at the restaurant, took the card and called Tony and darn if he didn’t show up in about ten minutes, pulling the stretch limo up to the curb in all the snow right in front on South Michigan Avenue.  Four of us piled in.  Mary Anne S. from the Bay Area who had lost her voice, a lovely lady from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and one more lovely librarian.  The four of us piled in and there we were with the bar all lit up inside, the huge champagne glasses, and over our heads there was a constellation of lights.  It was hilarious. Think prom.

Tony drove us all back in our “coach” and got us safely to the hotel.  The four Cinderellas got out laughing our heads off.  A limo through the blizzard.  Life really does deliver some unexpected delightful twists.

It’s about an hour and a half now until the Youth Media Awards.  It’s really quiet right now but that buzz is going to be huge…. here we go…..


One comment

  1. Renee Perron

    I can’t wait to hear about the winners!!!!!

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