Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I hear the Motel 6 in Waukegan is nice too

While the weekend's accommodations... in the form of a Howard Johnson's in Tampa... are a housecat to this week's sinewy puma, in its own way the weekend conference was also very pleasant. And, whereas this week in the Bayhaymays will be themed by relaxation, there was a definite sense of camaraderie and of cooperation through the weekend as TLMS and I jutted up for the Florida Federation of Young Republicans quarterly meeting.

Considering what will follow below, it's a pretty funny side note that this weekend's conference may go down as "The One Where Sarah Got Bitten". Socializing at Gasparilla festival (a sort of mini Mardi Gras), TLMS and some little 60ish year old lady both reached up for the same cheap beads tossed from a parade float. The old lady promptly BIT into Sarah's arm which out of surprise, reflex and anger warranted a thump to the back. The lady (somewhat) apologized... and since no skin was broken we didn't feel the need to dig into the issue further... Thankfully the result was a bizarre story to tell and not, say tetanus.

To the more mundane.... You wouldn't tell by looking at it that even this time last year, the statewide rather loose affiliation of YR clubs had as its M.O. a highly unproductive spirit of brinksmanship and demonization as the orders of the day. All that appears to have cleared out, and in its place you only find the various club leaders genuinely looking to help each other out with ideas and suggestions, a free flow of ideas, and new energetic local young leadership that is rewarded, rather than suspected, for its fresh enthusiasm.

We continue to play around with the format of how these conventions will work. Being involved in politics on a fairly regular basis, it became apparent throughout the organization that pretty much everyone was ready for something more than the "Rah Rah we love Reagan" Rubber Chicken lunch and dinner in a non-descript hotel 4x a year. Indeed, that, perhaps second only to the aforehintedat hostility, was probably a leading cause of the dwindling attendance... Instead we're focusing on rotating in practical sessions --- tips club leaders can USE, inspirational stories, reports from those who have done it before, and panels that are more discussion provoking than ideological.

That said, I think these conferences also can't always be COMPLETELY devoid of a little bit of star power... Politics after all is "show business for ugly people" But we'll find a natural happy point to be most productive with a bit of both.

For now I'm just happy that the group is really quite civil, and dare I say it friendly.

Sent from my iPad

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