Sam Garrard was an amazing man. I never knew him even though I had met him a few times and knew his family pretty well. Sam had Parkinson’s in the very late stages when I met him. It was at the Celebration of His Life, his funeral, that I got a glimpse of Sam, a look at how he helped create and sustain his family with their love of nature, of arts, of the outdoors and of ideas.
Sam’s very musical family celebrated his wide interest in music. Sam had started his adult life as a violinist and a music educator. He was someone who would play Bach’s Concerto in D Minor as well as bluegrass and traditional fiddle music.
Later thanks to the draft he became a pilot.
He kept a journal, a moving book from the excerpts, about his life as an Eastern Airlines pilot, about the sky from the cockpit, about the rare priviledge of being able to fly. He wrote movingly about music and how it communicated, how it lifted.
Sam’s service bulletin began with a Rilke poem that ends “am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?” and ended with a lecture quote from Wilber Wright “If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on a fence and wath birds; but if you really wish to learn, you must mount the machine and become acquainted with its tricks by actual trial.”
The service was lovingly arranged and deeply thoughtout and sincerely touching. Afterwards I felt that I had begun to know the Sam Garrard that Parkinson’s has taken away.
After the service which was out in the county near the Eno River at Pleasant Green Methodist where many members of Sam’s family are buried, Jane and I saw vultures soaring. They are lovely at a distance. But we began to see them landing in a dead tree. By the time we got close to the tree, there were at least twenty of the raw red heads settled in for the night there.
Podcastercon was a big success! We had about 300 people here and a good many of them over 1/3 from out of state; Brian was right when he wrote that Podcastercon was national (and he was writing early on in the planning).
The conference was indeed self-organizing which meant that I mostly dealt with securing buildings, getting tables and trashcans, talking to caterers and the like while the sessions were well run by the attendees and Brian could keep us all on track.
During the first sessions, I managed to visit both the Podcasting 411 session and the Advanced Podcasting session as well as having some chat time in the halls with folks that I don’t get to see enough, like Ed Cone, and folks I was just getting to know as the day progressed.
For lunch we experienced the Med Deli version of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Brian’s order of good Lebanese finger food from domates to tzatziki to humas to salad and chicken skewers fed us all well.
In the afternoon, I got to parts of the Podcasting as a Teaching and Learning Strategy session lead by the talented teacher Dave Warlick and to Mur Lafferty‘s Women in Podcasting session. Mur had lost her voice which is a terrible thing for a podcaster to lose. I didn’t get into the Copyright Law and Podcasting session lead by Derrick Oien formerly of MP3.com. That room was way to full for me to slip in and hear what was up. But I heard great reports. Derrick certainly knows the consequences of running afoul of copyright laws.
The open sessions were a bit scattered in location and I was running one so they’re harder to mention (or to link to).
Overall, we had a great time. A very attendee directed conference in content and in tone — relaxed, welcoming, open to a variety of ideas and of people with no one feeling like she or he had to be a superstar. I think we stayed true to Brian’s ideals throughout and the result was a great feeling of comradery and shared success.
Dinner afters for some of us — many from out of state — was at the new Bon’s Home Cookin’ where we experienced such Southern food specialties as fried green tomatos, okra (fried or stewed with tomatos), pulled pork, fried chicken, field peas and corn and some very sweet desserts.
We were brilliant I hear.
Podcastercon is tomorrow and we’re way over the amount of folks we predicted. Should be wild!
Brian Russell and I — mostly Brian appropriately — were interviewed today by Sergio Quintana of NBC 17 in Durham about Podcastercon. Sergio got all excited about Brian’s Treo 650 and its short video capability. He couldn’t stop talking into the phone/camera. I don’t know if Brian kept any of that tho.
Remember Podcastercon, which we were talking about when not talking about the Treo, is Saturday!
Mama Dip’s not so little girl Bon has reopened her restaurant, Bon’s Home Cookin’, on the backside of University Square. I’ve always had some reservations about eatin’ Q cooked by a vegetarian, but eatin’ at Bon’s helped me get over that.
Signed Books Needed for Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser
The Writers’ Network is calling on members to contribute signed copies of their books for a fundraising auction Friday, February 3, at the Washington Duke Inn to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Durham. Please send signed books to: Ms. Lisa Lambert, Special Events Director, Ronald McDonald House of Durham, 506 Alexander Ave., Durham, NC 27705. Include your name, address, value of the book, and a memo stating the auction item is from the N.C. Writers’ Network. A receipt will be forwarded for your records. To request an invitation to the wine tasting and auction, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of all the online social network services, including My-Space and Friendster, Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla, said Fred Stutzman, who is working toward a doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science.
To its users, the Facebook is just as important as cell phones and laptops, he said.
“It has been totally ingrained in the social system. For the majority of undergrads, it is part and parcel of how they exist . . . online and offline,” said Stutzman, who is conducting a study of UNC freshmen’s use of the Facebook. “It’s the sense that when they’re part of the Facebook, they’re part of the community.”
We may have lost someone on the annual New Year’s Hike along the Eno River.
Our friends, Lee Landers and her son Bryon, called us and encouraged us to join them on the hike on this mild winter’s day. We are glad to join them. The weather here was in the 60s and clear so when we got to the hike site there were already over 100 others ready to go. There were three walks to choose from: a children’s walk, a 1.5 mile walk to Buckquarter Creek and a longer more strenuous hike of about 4 miles up Cox Mountain. We choose the last knowing that Cox Mountain is only about 600 ft above sea level and just a couple of hundred feet up from the river. But I had forgotten just how steep that rise could be. We crossed the swinging bridge over the River and headed up. Our crowd was over 100 people. Most all of us were panting by the time we reached the top of the Mountain. Up ahead of us a group of people were cluster around a guy on the ground. His face was purple and someone was beating on his chest. We called for a medical person but no one was in the crowd. The hike leader pulled out his radio and called for help. We were urged to walk on rather than crowd around and did. About 30 minutes later the Emergency Trucks were trying to drive along the trail which goes much too close to the River and across some rocks in ways that make a good part of it unpassable. Then rescue guys on a gator came by. I think they made it to the man. As we ended our hike we saw the helicopter carrying him off. The gossip, and this is no more than gossip, is that he had to be hit with the defibrillator several times but that he did have a pulse as he left.