Dave is at home in Gainesville, resting.
His term ended at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006.
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Friday, May 12, 2006

May 12: Knoxville, Tenn.
What a whirlwind couple of days it has been in east Tennessee.

I got in late Wednesday night and checked into an interesting little bed and breakfast called the Maplehurst Inn (Google map). But it seemed as if the morning came just moments later.

It began at 6:45 a.m. Thursday with a visit to WNOX radio and an appearance on a popular radio talk show hosted by Hallerin Hilton Hill. Hill dubbed me "the grand poobah of news." From there, it was on to WUOT radio for a public radio interview with Ann Lloyd. After that, it was lunch at Rega's with my old Albuquerque Tribune Pal Jack McElroy, now editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Thursday afternoon, I met with folks from the University of Tennessee student chapter and long-time adviser Bonnie Hufford. In the evening, I had dinner with another old Abq. Trib pal, Lara Edge, now vice president editorial/interactive at Scripps Networks. The food: Eclectic Southern at Bogartz.

Friday began with a guest lecture at UT, lunch at the Riverside Tavern with members of the East Tennesee Pro chapter board, an afternoon appearance on WATE-TV and, finally, a trip to the University Club, where I gave a speech after dinner and before the Golden Press Card Awards.

Whew! I'm looking forward to some downtime on homeward-bound airplanes tomorrow. Let's hope my travel luck has improved.

Thanks to Georgiana Vines and Jean Ash for being such wonderful hostesses. Jean shot the photo. From left, Jack Lail, Lisa Hood, me, Mark Harmon and Georgiana Vines at the Riverside Tavern.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May 10: Knoxville, Tenn. (maybe)
It looks as if my airline luck is running low again.

The truth is that I'm not in Knoxville. I'm still in Gainesville. I arrived at the Gainesville airport at 2 p.m. for a 3 p.m. flight to Atlanta, only to find out that the flight is running two hours late. Fortunately (I guess it's fortunate), I had a three-hour layover in Altanta, so I should still make it to Knoxville at about 8 p.m. tonight. We'll see...

Addendum: Well, I did get to Knoxville, but it was at 9:20 p.m. I went to pick up my rental car at the Enterprise booth, but it was closed, locked up tight. So, I called them. "Sorry, sir," said the vivacious voice on the phone. "That location closed at 9 o'clock. We won't be able to rent you a car until they open in the morning."

"You're kidding," said I. "No, sir. I'm sorry. Was your flight delayed?"

You can imagine what I wanted to tell them they could do with their car in the morning.

I'm usually a Hertz guy, and now I remember why. I don't think I'll be doing business with Enterprise ever again. That's what I get for trying to save $25.

Every other rental car counter in the airport was open, but they were all out of cars. I ended up grabbing a cab for . . . $25.

Poetic justice?