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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

CORA AND SUNNY DO SAN FRANCISCO by Sunny Frazier


 On June 26, when Fresno was topping 107 degrees, Cora Ramos and I headed out to the American Library Association Convention for a weekend in 69 degree San Francisco weather. Cora has received the invite online. The offer? Agree to man the SinC booth for 1 hour and the $400 convention was our playground for the day.

It was touch-and-go as to whether we would make it when I caught bronchitis and Cora dealt with several deaths in the family. However, we both realized what we needed was a road trip. We are pros at traveling together: she drives and I talk non-stop.



After much searching on the Internet, Cora found the Utah Hotel for only $200 a night—a bargain since it was right downtown and near the Moscone Convention Center. It was very Victorian and we had to “share” a bathroom and shower with everyone on our floor. Quaint, but honestly, I never saw another person. I did expect to run into a ghost or two on the narrow corridors, but no such luck.

I loved the venue of the convention. It was spread across two huge buildings, but crossing the street didn't involve traffic. Everything was laid out with numbers on each aisle and booth numbers on the floor. I snagged a coupon book and filled out info for all sorts of drawings. I learned to ask at the booths “Are you giving away any free books?” I got 6 for my 9 yr old godson and 9 for myself.

Gloria Steinem

The highlight of the day was attending Gloria Steinem's talk. She was the feminist influence in our younger years and has remained an inspiration to this very day. She announced that she's finally gotten around to writing her memoirs and it will be on sale in late October.

We did our stint at the booth. While we couldn't sell our books, we had a ball giving away copies to librarians who stopped by. They are the ones who might recommend our mysteries to their library  book buyers. I enjoyed the convention so much that I'm considering volunteering for the Chicago convention in 2017.




The only snag was that San Francisco picked THAT weekend to have their Gay Pride parade. Only one day after the Supreme Court ruling, the Bay Area population was in the mood to party. Apparently there are no indecent exposure laws in the city; I saw things I will never erase from my brain. We got caught in traffic and it took two hours to go 5 miles, mostly in circles. History was made on many levels that weekend, and we were a part of it.    

        

15 comments:

  1. Had to laugh at seeing some things that are now forever embossed in your brain. It's just not possible to "un-see" things, although sometimes you wish it were!

    We did a convention in SF one year (back when we were still doing such things, as opposed to maintaining a virtual presence), and stayed at an odd little hotel like the Utah. I rather enjoyed the uniqueness, but my business partner was not similarly impressed. It was far more affordable than anything else in the city, though!

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    1. Well, you and I could travel well together. Seems like we can bunk anywhere.

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    2. Wait--is this you, Cori? An alias I didn't catch on until I pulled your profile. Yeah, we can and have done some fun stuff together. You hitchhiked to see me in El Monte, remember? Hey, it was the '70's and it was possible to do stuff like that.

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    3. I definitely remember that trip! Looking back, I count it as probably the biggest "What the f*ck was I thinking" thing I ever did. Yes, it was the 70s, and hitchhiking was safer then, but still... Just recently, the friend I hitched with and I were talking about the experience and our memories of it. I'm glad I did it, though, crazy as it was. My mother never knew I did that, though. Even 40 years later, she'd have had a hard time with the idea that I'd done it, LOL.

      We did have fun together, didn't we? If you're coming to Chicago next year, remember that it's not very far to Ann Arbor. Depending on when it is, however, we may no longer be living in Michigan. We're moving to Arizona next year, have already bought a house in Prescott. Looking forward to getting away from the temperature extremes! I've become increasingly intolerant of both heat and cold.

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    4. Girl! AZ is so much closer and they have some terrific mystery conference. Do you think you'll ever try your hand at a novel? We were pretty terrific as "Foster & Frazier."

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  2. Sounds like you and Cora had a great time, Sunny. I absolutely love that old building.

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  3. It was my first ALA convention. I really enjoyed it. And you are the first person I know who stayed at the Utah. I've been there for a drink, but never ventured upstairs. You are brave women.

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    1. Oh, you have no idea! In the future you will hear rumors about the riots I caused in Haiti, Bogota and Hanover, Germany. Okay, I started the rumors, but they're all true! And, I was in the Navy at the time. Wild child!

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  4. San Francisco is one fabulous city!

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  5. I helped with the set up of the booth here in New Orleans a few years back and worked the booth for a while. I had a great time. Our convention center is on the river but outside the French Quarter, so we didn't get to see anything exciting or unusual outside like you did. I would love to work the Chicago one too--my girls have been bugging me for a Chicago trip for the last year.

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    1. Holli, wouldn't it be great if we could meet up in the windy city???

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  6. I loved this! I'd heard some about the trip before, but not all this. I sort of forgot the cost of San Francisco. The Utah hotel looks fabulous, but $200.00 for a hotel night other places is high. This was probably a great deal in San Fran. What a coincidence that regulation on gay marriage happened just when you all were there. I can imagine the celebration, but your description of the "exposure" was a hoot. Sounds like a fun time. Hearing Gloria Seinem speak? How neat. Fun and interesting post.

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  7. Sunny; loved this, but my posts won't post--fourth time. Skye

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  8. Hi Linda, and I think I see someone else above from GR's. Great trip; always wanted to see San Francisco, Sunny, my daughter, went ten years ago for the first time.

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  9. Hey Sunny I know you and Cora had a blast. Many of those librarians are a hoot. I enjoyed volunteering at this event last year.

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