What an eventful work week down in Atlanta.
I flew down to video interviews and floor exhibits.
I found it sort of sad that me, not being an agriculture type person, got to hang out with farm equipment while Kim stayed home to hold down the fort. Walking among millions of dollars of tractors and combines really made me stop and think about and industry that I've always taken for granted. The job? fine, how can running around getting B roll of displays and talking to a few people NOT be a good gig? After the first day I was able to have dinner with my cousin John White, his wife and son. One of the things I will always remember about my Uncle Len was his devious, sarcastic humor. Oldest son John carries the torch quite well. Great food and many laughs made for darn nice welcome to Atlanta. Met salt of the Earth farmers that most Americans take for granted.
Most of us are all about instant gratification. They want that burger, loaf of bread or salad....NOW! If any of us really knew the amount of labor, technology and passion it takes to provide us with the simplest of needs, we'd be ashamed that we don't support them more. As I finished my shooting duties, I thought my adventure was over...
The rumor mill around the show floor was of the upcoming rare winter storm to hit Georgia. Snow happens but melts pretty quickly. I made my way to the airport about 3 hours before my flight to make sure I didn't get caught in panic traffic.
Side note. 1 suitcase, a computer bag, a travel case for microphones, a camera bag and to top it off? a tripod bag. Checking three bags with Delta? 185 smackers, thank you very little. So where was I? Oh yes, flying home. The inbound flight from New Orleans was about 45 minutes late. By the time we boarded the plane, I could hear sleet hitting the jet way. Fifteen minutes later I was sitting in my seat over the wing watching snow accumulate with every passing moment. Thirty minutes passed and the pilot came on saying we are in cue for de-icing and to hang tight. Another thirty minutes passed and he comes on again with the same announcement. The whole time I'm sitting there I'm watching three inches+ pile up on the wing. I knew we weren't going to take off so there I sat just waiting for that announcement. Finally the pilot comes on and tells us that the flight is now canceled. We grab our things and get off the plane. It was very surreal watching thousands of people in the terminal all filing off the various planes at the same time. I went into "B" mode and called my boss to procure a car before they were all gone. I talked to an agent and he said the soonest he could put me on a flight would be Wednesday night. Hmmm..... Three days in the Atlanta airport just was not going to happen. Jim calls back with a car....phew.
I creep my way out of the airport I got to witness my first Georgia residents driving in snow. The good folks down there just don't get enough snow to be proficient snow drivers. I saw three accidents before I even got on the highway.
Turning on the radio, I find out that there are only eight plows for the entire metro Atlanta area so my hopes of seeing a plow on the highway weren't too high. Traffic is moving, it's slow but it's moving, the time? 11:30pm. The Toyota I have is doing quite well in the snow so I'm only worried about the other cars. I felt it necessary to try and get as far North as possible. I lost count of the accidents I saw but I just forged ahead. In the four+ inches of snow on the highway I could only get up to about forty miles an hour and maintain control. On my tedious drive I passed over one hundred cars on the side of the highway. No trauma anything just neat tire tracks showing these people just pulled over and abandoned them. Very odd indeed.
On an entrance ramp I slowed to see a jackknifed truck and a car sideways with 5 guys trying to right the car. I saw that there was enough room to squeeze by so as bad as I felt, I passed them all by and got on 85 heading North. The snow just kept falling and by the time it reached 4am and I'm haven't even hit Tennessee yet. I decide to give up and find some food and a bed. Turns out I'm only about 10 miles South of Tennessee so I decide to pull off. The first ramp I attempted had a stalled truck blocking it. The second had a four car accident. The third? clear. Across the street from each other was a Waffle House and a Holiday Inn Express. I took that as a sign. I ate and checked in. Nine thirty came and I woke to about six inches of snow piled up on my fellow cars in the lot. I only had one inch and it was still falling. I decide to risk it to get to my goal of Nashville. I get back on the highway and see a sign "Chattanooga 15 miles". There's a mountain highway towards Nashville that I was a bit worried about but as soon as I crossed the state line, the roads were clear. the GA/TN line was just that, a line, Georgia? snow covered, Tennessee? Plowed concrete. The roads were all clear and just fine. I was trying to figure out how much money TN could make by renting a few plows to GA...all very odd. I made to the Nashville airport. I checked in and had two hours to kill. I was so stressed that as I walked through the airport. I saw two establishments, a message place that had magic fingers and a airport bar that had Jack Daniels. Sorry fingers, Jack won. I made my flight, Kim picked me up at O'Hare and I spent two days getting my luggage back from Delta. Would I do that again?
In a heart beat... I love my job!
Notice there are no pictures? With all the video gear I had to take, I had no room for a camera, now THAT part sucked!