Thursday, September 6, 2012

I've hit the wall, y'all

This week has been a blast so far, but I think I'm on a collision course with the wall.

I and many others have willingly made 16 hour days our norm this week and we've enjoyed every minute. Charlotteans love to throw great parties and this one has been a doozie.

I will get my energy up for the late night. Thank you Mountain Dew. But right now I'm taking a moment to reflect on highlights of my favorite moments as of now:

  • My source who asked me if I wanted to attend a party with Vice President Joe Biden. Uh, yes. Thank you! 

  • Getting kicked out of the Biden event by the secret service moments before the Vice President entered the party. The agents didn't have to ask me twice. I have complete respect for them and what they do. 

  • After being shown the door at the Biden party, it was pouring the rain. There were two ambulances outside, about five black SUVs, 10 police officers on dirt bikes and numerous other police and secret service agents. The parking lot was small and all the hoopla was blocking the main entrance. I thought I would try a side street but when I pulled around toward the back of the building, my 1996 silver Mercury Sable came grill-to-grill with the Vice President's mega-car. It had the flags and everything. I truly did not think I would be able to squeeze by without hitting it. Under the gaze of a concerned agent, I made it and I lived to tell the tale. 

  • Being at Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge when the President arrived. Not that I ever saw him. But I did see the White House press corps come in and that was interesting to observe. I overheard a few of them wonder aloud if there was a good pizza place nearby.

  • I wasn't at the hotel specifically for the president's arrival. I was there because a year ago the Allegro Foundation booked the hotel for September 5 for its annual Allegro Golf Invitational tournament and awards reception. Who would have thought it would fall on the same day and time that the President would spend the night there. 

  • It actually made the fundraiser even more of a success. And it gave people a topic to have fun with. As legendary charity auctioneer Ernest Perry jokingly lamented, he couldn't encourage people to drink more (which equals bidding more) because there were too many secret service and police. 

  • The Ambassador from Monaco to the U.S., Gilles Noghes, was at the fundraiser. He told me Ambassadors are invited to the conventions - he went to Tampa - but for obvious reasons they stay out of taking sides. One of my favorite photos from the event is the Ambassador with Ernest Perry and beloved local TV personality Larry Sprinkle having a celebratory moment together. I think it reflects the mood in Charlotte at this point: Let's all relish the last few hours of  this spectacle and enjoy each other's company. 
  • I love James Taylor.