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Free Republic Network Conference a Roaring Success! Participants post your comments here
Free Republic | August 18, 2002 | Auntie Mame

Posted on 08/18/2002 5:18:22 PM PDT by Auntie Mame

Dear Freepers:

I just returned from the First Annual Free Republic Network Convention in Las Vegas.

The Free Republic Network Cruise last October was the most fun I've ever had in my whole life. The Free Republic Network Conference I just attended was the most informative and inspiring two days I've ever had in my whole life.

The Free Republic Network is stretching its muscle, not by talk, but by action. The Free Republic forum is liberty's college. The Free Republic Network is liberty's workplace.

If you attended, please use this thread to post your observations, comments and highlights of the conference. I will give mine below. But before I do, I'd like to take this time to thank Bob Johnson and the FRN board for putting on this conference. It's hard for me to find the words to adequately describe how great this experience was--and how much I learned.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Breaking News
KEYWORDS: activism; askaskel; askelagain; askelyetagain; bobj; bobjbobjay; bobjohnson; chuckmuth; conference; friva; herecomesaskel; lasvegas; lauraingraham; network; politicaleducation; richgalen
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Let me describe my observations.

The Hotel: The Treasure Island Hotel has to be the best hotel experience I've ever had. It wasn't the size of the rooms that made it great, it was the people, from check-in, to food servers, to security, to the pit boss at the blackjack table, to the dealer, to the girl cleaning ashtrays on the casino floor, we were treated to smiles and kindness and courtesy.

The Freepers: The best of the best is the only way to describe them. Those that made the conference are dedicated in their beliefs and it shows. I had the privilege of dining last night with two freepers I've never met before, Maceman and Strela. Talk about interesting people! I also dined with Taxman, Dixie Sass, WIMom, Badjoe and One Particular Harbor (who got in trouble for talking during Rich Galen's speech, but don't worry, Mr. Galen very nicely put him in his place and left us laughing hysterically at the same time). My only regret is I wasn't able to spend even more time with freepers. Next year I will add a day onto the front and back of the conference for socializing and hope others will, too.

The conference:

Friday night reception: As you all know, Laura Ingraham spoke at the Friday night reception. She's beautiful in person! Pictures don't do her justice. She's also not on a star trip and very approachable. She was extremely polite to everyone. We already know how funny she is and she didn't let us down during her talk.

Saturday seminars:

The Leadership Institute: This was the meat of the conference and it was almost too intense. Matt Lewis of the Leadership Institute spoke and this young man is not only well trained, he's got a talent for what he does. A little meat for you--he recommends reading Carville and Begala's book, said he believes in reading the opposition and this book is very good for what it is and if you want to understand how Clinton did what he did. There was substance here, folks, and the work they do is not for the weak. I found myself taking notes furiously. The Leadership Institute will have one more person--me--the next time they put on a seminar in my area. Every single freeper, and every single person interested in furthering the conservative cause and every single person interested in bettering themselves needs to participate in the programs offered by the Leadership Institute. I know I will. Perhaps at a later date I, or someone else, will go into depth about what we were taught by the Leadership Institute on Saturday at the Friva conference.

Chuck Muth: What a dynamic man! I love this guy! He, too, was full of tips and tricks about activism. Just a little tidbit for you--he says the best way to influence Congress these days are telephone calls, they block email but do log telephone calls. On the local and state level, emails will work. He stuck around for much of the conference and also spoke again later in the day. He had a very interesting take on abortion and I found myself thinking, "Yes, that's what I think, too, but I've never been able to articulate it before!" This man is completely honest and outspoken. There is no spin. He says what he thinks and he's not afraid. Mr. Muth has a newsletter that I will be signing up for forthwith. If you EVER get a chance to hear this man speak, do yourself a favor and go. You will be inspired.

Rich Galen: Wonderful speaker, funny, interesting, smart, and real treat to hear. We as freepers need to hear what he has to say as often as possible.

Nancy Bocskar: Ms. Mocskar is an expert in fundraising, event planning and political training. This woman is not only a dynamic speaker, she is a pro and knows how the game is played. She told us how to keep fundraising costs down, how to go about fundraising and setting up a fundraising committee. Here's a tidbit for you--Personal solicitation is the best way to raise money for a political candidate, not direct mail. All politics is personal in fundraising. This is another speaker you should run, not walk, to hear if you ever get a chance.

There were many many handouts and several speakers were generous with their email addresses and invited us to email them if we need help or have questions.

Don't miss next year's Free Republic Network Conference. The entire conference was about $200 and the value was in the thousands, if it can even be measured monetarily.

The conference was more, much more, than I expected.

I've been to lots of conferences and this was the most well done, most interesting, program I have ever had the good fortune to attend.

Thank you Free Republic Network! I'll see you next year!

P.S. There are some who would like to see the Free Republic Network disbanded; there are some who would work behind the scenes to destroy its effectiveness; there are some who think that the Free Republic Network and the Free Republic Forum are not two fingers on the same hand.

For those who think that way, you are going to be disappointed. I was there this weekend and saw the Free Republic Network in action. It is powerful and it is growing. And everybody who participated is a Freeper. It will not be stopped.

1 posted on 08/18/2002 5:18:22 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Auntie Mame
Excellent report; very much appreciate your work.
2 posted on 08/18/2002 5:26:21 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: Auntie Mame; one_particular_harbour
One Particular Harbour got in trouble? What a shockerooski!
3 posted on 08/18/2002 5:27:53 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: First_Salute
Thank you! I wish every single freeper could have attended. There is no way I am able with mere words to convey how powerful this conference was. I am energized and ready to be politically ACTIVE.
4 posted on 08/18/2002 5:31:23 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Dog Gone; one_particular_harbour
One Particular Harbour got in trouble? What a shockerooski!

I'm doubly shocked...LOL

5 posted on 08/18/2002 5:33:20 PM PDT by NeoCaveman
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To: Auntie Mame
I am proud to be a member of the Free Republic Network!

Even though I was unable to attend due to a schedule conflict, I was well aware of the preparation and behind the scenes work that was done by the FRN Board.

I am really bummed that I missed this educative event and obviously, the chance to meet & greet with my fellow Freepers!

Gene McDonald
Chapter Leader, Florida
6 posted on 08/18/2002 5:33:58 PM PDT by Seeking the truth
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To: Dog Gone
I agree. It was shocking. I would never have expected it of him, he's so shy and retiring.
7 posted on 08/18/2002 5:35:10 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Seeking the truth
Gene, next year there will be the "Second Annual Free Republic Network Conference." You WILL attend, so mark your calendar now. I know I will. And thank you for your work behind the scenes. Functions like this one must take an enormous amount of planning and preparation. I am in awe of your professionalism and hard work to make this happen. I cannot emphasize how well run this event was. It simply couldn't have been better. Thank you!
8 posted on 08/18/2002 5:39:03 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Seeking the truth
And you missed seeing all those damn purdy Freeper girls.

But don't worry, I took good care of them. : )
9 posted on 08/18/2002 5:40:44 PM PDT by BADJOE
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To: dubyaismypresident
I hope he found some fellowship.
10 posted on 08/18/2002 5:41:03 PM PDT by First_Salute
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To: Auntie Mame
It will not be stopped.

This is exactly the type of thinking that will be needed to affect change.

11 posted on 08/18/2002 5:44:02 PM PDT by AAABEST
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To: Auntie Mame
Are you WillaJohns posting in disguise?
12 posted on 08/18/2002 5:46:19 PM PDT by grahm_crackers
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To: grahm_crackers
This concerns you how?
13 posted on 08/18/2002 5:48:06 PM PDT by mountaineer
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To: BADJOE
Make sure to bring Laura Ingraham back next year....:)
14 posted on 08/18/2002 5:49:42 PM PDT by rwfromkansas
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To: grahm_crackers
Are you Chuck Allen posting in disguise?
15 posted on 08/18/2002 5:53:10 PM PDT by trick question
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To: Dog Gone
Can't take him anywhere.
16 posted on 08/18/2002 5:54:20 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: MissAmericanPie
I'm surprised he went at all. He is so timid.
17 posted on 08/18/2002 5:56:38 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: mountaineer
It only concerns me from a curiosity standpoint. Nothing more.
18 posted on 08/18/2002 6:18:50 PM PDT by grahm_crackers
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To: MissAmericanPie
Did he at least keep his clothes on this time?
19 posted on 08/18/2002 6:25:45 PM PDT by connectthedots
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To: Auntie Mame
Hiya, chickie!

We just got back in PHX a bit ago, and we're road-burnt. We'll get some pics over when we get a chance....

20 posted on 08/18/2002 6:27:53 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty
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To: Auntie Mame
BTTT! Sounds like you had excellent speakers.
21 posted on 08/18/2002 6:28:38 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Auntie Mame
"For those who think that way, you are going to be disappointed. I was there this weekend and saw the Free Republic Network in action. It is powerful and it is growing. And everybody who participated is a Freeper. It will not be stopped."

Me, too, Auntie Mame. I learned quite a bit about so many things.

Everything you've written is true.

We will post a bit later. And maybe Mr. Liberty will get some of the photos up!!!

Thanks for being your usual wonderful self, AM!

22 posted on 08/18/2002 6:31:25 PM PDT by Slip18
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To: Auntie Mame
P.S. There are some who would like to see the Free Republic Network disbanded; there are some who would work behind the scenes to destroy its effectiveness; there are some who think that the Free Republic Network and the Free Republic Forum are not two fingers on the same hand.

For those who think that way, you are going to be disappointed. I was there this weekend and saw the Free Republic Network in action. It is powerful and it is growing. And everybody who participated is a Freeper. It will not be stopped.

BTT Auntie...

Hoping to be able to attend the next FRN Conference.

23 posted on 08/18/2002 6:34:45 PM PDT by Neets
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To: Auntie Mame
(I posted this on another FRIVA thread, but I think it belongs here, in the 'wrap-up.)

My husband, Jim, came with me to the conference, as sort of a vacation, but didn't really plan to get immersed in the serious stuff. When he saw that the first topic was on "Politicians and Politics", he thought he would listen in on that one. Well --it was so good, he stayed for the second lecture, the third, and before you know it, he took part in the whole program!

It was really that good!!

Meeting old friends is always wonderful, but meeting new Freepers is pure delight ---- again it is like meeting strangers who are your friends. How often can people from all over, all ages, all different, be 'one' in an instant?

It was pointed out that the word "National Conference" should be changed to "International Conference". And indeed -- asFreepers ConnieW and Entropy Squared from Canada were in attendance. Again - it was like meeting old friends for the first time! These talented two have created "Free Dominion", and if you've never visited their site, please do. They have provided a haven for Free Republic, when we have cyper problems, here.

I ditto all that Auntie Mame has said. This was indeed a unique experience.

P.S. --My huaband kept trying to get rid of some loose quarters in the slots, but they kept coming back! Try as he could to lighten his pocket, it kept filling up!

24 posted on 08/18/2002 6:36:54 PM PDT by Exit148
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To: connectthedots
hahaha
25 posted on 08/18/2002 6:40:24 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: Cyber Liberty
Thanks for checking in. Can't wait to see the pix, but get some rest first. It was such a pleasure to see you and Slip18 again. I love you guys!
26 posted on 08/18/2002 6:54:41 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Auntie Mame; 1rudeboy; A.J.Armitage; aruanan; Barnacle; BillyBoy; celeste_aida; cfrels; ...
Auntie Mame, you said everything so well, but for once I won't stand by and let the thread go on without doubling your text! :)

All right, all you activists out there. Get ready! The people who attended this conference, a literal "who's who" of FReepers, are all just a tad bit smarter thanks to the Leadership Institute! Not only was the Friday night cocktail party, with newsbabe Laura Ingraham, a rave success. Saturdays educational program and dinner/awards banquet was, shall we say, smashing! Yea baby! :o)

What a joy it was to meet, greet and talk to other freepers in person. The cocktail party was set up 'almost' perfect, but nothing that a group of twenty manly FReepers couldn't correct by moving a 20' banquet table! (with food still on it) I never asked, but I hope the union didn't get 'mad'... hee hee. After the party, we all headed to the Battle Bar in order to mingle before gambling or sleeping, take your pick. Saturday morning came early after the craps table kept me interested until almost 1a. But Matt Lewis from the LI was very good at keeping your interest, even on 4 1/2 hours of sleep.

The Saturday education program was littered with very useful information. From public speaking to 'spinning' (ah, that's how they do it :), to fundraising and dealing with the press(titutes). They are a fantastic organization, though our speedy session was too speedy. We ran through the subjects so fast (mainly because we FReepers had so many great questions), I want to, no, have to go through the training again. (sneak peek) Next year, a more focused program is intented, where we will be able to swallow the information whole. Although, given the low cost, and the LI's willingness to work you into other visits, the FRN Chapters should seriously consider getting on their calendar! (Hint Hint Chicagoland)

The speech by Chuck Muth at lunch was perfect. He gave great insight into his life work, and he is inspirational. I've never subscribed to any of his newsletters, so I was only aware of his recent ascention to the director (or president, it's late, I'm tired ;) of the American Conservative Union. I will make it a point to try and learn more about this man, he is a sturdy individual with views that are based on logic and intellectualism. I'm glad the conference had him as the lunch speaker and panel moderator.

On to the Awards Ceremony and Dinner. Bob J gave a fantastic speech. He surmised, very well, the need for us to work like a team. Go Blue! (inside joke) He used a great role model in Bo Schembechler in identifying just how we can lead the Conservative movement to victories in the politcal stadium. My head was spinning from the thoughts of just how right Bob was. Rich Galen was informative, but I found him kinda dry. I will admit that since I was doing a lot of video, I wasn't able to give him 100% of my attention.

The winners of the awards, Peacerose, representing the CCRM Chapter (Best New Chapter), Sauropod, representing the DC Chapter (Best Chapter), JimRob, representing John Robinson (Lifetime Achievement) and finally Jeff Head (FReeper of the Year), all graciously, and eloquently accepted their awards. I'm sure many of you listened live last night, if you didn't I suggest you watch for the archive. Their words were wonderful and inspiring.

Early today, after I beat the craps table (YEAH), we all met and had a lively discussion. We talked for 2 hours (before I had to leave) about what the conference did for each of us, what we should do next year, and how we should work towards imporoving the effect of the FRN and the many chapters of this great forum.

I'm sure proud to have been part of this wonderful event. I can't begin tell you how impressive these people are. The thoughtfullness of their words, the quality of their questions, and the depth of their experience sure gave me more than I bargained for.

Thanks to all! See you next year!

27 posted on 08/18/2002 7:02:33 PM PDT by RedWing9
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To: Salvation
Sounds like you had excellent speakers.

Oh, they were. Every single one of them was excellent. If I had to pick a favorite, mind you, only if I HAD to, it would be Chuck Muth. He was so great I didn't get too many notes, he was just so riviting. But from my notes, here's a little bit more from him:

"The best candidate doesn't win. The best campaign wins."

"Bias in the media isn't what they write. It's what they write about.

The few other notes from Mr. Muth are, "Don't use acronyms [in your writing] except FBI, CIA, etc. Most people don't know what acronyms like 'ACU' mean," and "Keep it simple and straightforward." Mr. Muth is about as straightforward as they come.

I wish I had more notes from his speech to share. As a speaker, he is so engaging, all you want to do is sit there and take it all in.

28 posted on 08/18/2002 7:05:08 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Slip18
We will post a bit later.

Please do, Slip, once you're rested. It's vitally important that we share as much as we are capable of remembering with the Freepers who didn't or couldn't go.

We've got a country to save and we need everyone who wants to help. Do I sound pumped, or what? LOL.

29 posted on 08/18/2002 7:10:30 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: dubyaismypresident; Dog Gone; one_particular_harbour
One Particular Harbour got in trouble? What a shockerooski! I'm doubly shocked...LOL

I *KNEW* we should've held a freepathon for OPH's bail money BEFORE Friva.

30 posted on 08/18/2002 7:11:08 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Auntie Mame
"Do I sound pumped, or what? LOL."

That's the same way I feel, AM. My brain is pumped, but my body is pooped.

I'm reading away, though . . .

31 posted on 08/18/2002 7:17:03 PM PDT by Slip18
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To: RedWing9
Sounds great. I really wish I could have been there.
32 posted on 08/18/2002 7:18:30 PM PDT by Barnacle
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To: Catspaw; Dog Gone; one_particular_harbour
Hey, Cats, tell me when you have known OPH not to be in trouble? LOL!
33 posted on 08/18/2002 7:18:43 PM PDT by Slip18
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To: OneidaM
Hoping to be able to attend the next FRN Conference.

I hope so, too. I'd really like to meet you. Be sure and come rested and ready. It really was intense. I hope they have it in Las Vegas again. It really was the perfect venue. We didn't have time to even go outside to notice the heat. Well, to be completely honest, WIMom and I did find a couple hours on Friday before the reception to visit the outlet mall where we must have tried on about 100 pairs of shoes. And I also took a half an hour to run across the street to Macy's. Hey, I'm a girl, what can I say?.

34 posted on 08/18/2002 7:21:12 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Slip18; Dog Gone; one_particular_harbour
Hey, Cats, tell me when you have known OPH not to be in trouble? LOL!

GASP! Not our OPH!

He's probably got the Miranda warning tattooed on the inside of his eyelids.

35 posted on 08/18/2002 7:22:53 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: BADJOE
As someone who has hosted "Unspun with AnnaZ" from his hot tub, I really wanted to be there, but somebody had to be in Idaho flyfishing!
36 posted on 08/18/2002 7:25:12 PM PDT by gc4nra
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To: Auntie Mame
Great report! I knew I should have gone! :)

Pictures, we want pictures!!!!!!
37 posted on 08/18/2002 7:26:32 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: Auntie Mame
Did you go to the big mall they have there, I mean the regular one? There is underground parking and limos all over the place. It is Heaven!
38 posted on 08/18/2002 7:32:59 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: Exit148
What a great post. It was such a joy meeting you. Yes, I, too, felt I had known you forever. Next year, let's add a day or two onto the trip and get some real together time in. You and I and Mrs. Doughty were a great check-in team, don't you think? You'd have thought we'd worked together for years. Many thanks for everything and I'm very very glad your husband enjoyed the conference. What a compliment he gave the network! It really was an incredible experience.
39 posted on 08/18/2002 7:37:02 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Auntie Mame
Thanks for the report. I know I missed something important, but I had no time to attend, all the more reason to have opportunity to read a good report of what we missed. Thanks again.
40 posted on 08/18/2002 7:40:46 PM PDT by wita
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To: Auntie Mame
I'm delighted it turned out well, and a thumb in the eye to all the naysayers,and am especially pleased to hear OPH will make it home after all ;-)
41 posted on 08/18/2002 7:43:55 PM PDT by habs4ever
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To: Auntie Mame
thanks for taking the time to post this, especially the details of Sat's meetings -- that's very helpful!
42 posted on 08/18/2002 7:46:57 PM PDT by cyn
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To: RedWing9
Your report is wonderful! This is what I hoped this thread would turn into, each person's impressions and additions to the "story." And if you think of anything else, come back and post some more.

To add to your post, I'd forgotten to mention our own Freeper Carry_Okie who spoke at the panel discussion and brought his book for sale. His two beautiful daughters manned the book table and generally behaved like the troopers they are. Freeper Ginny bought two copies and surprised me with one as a gift. This book, which I've only flipped through briefly and read a few paragraphs, is crammed with information. I've already told two people about the part of the book that talks about the unintended consequences of the environmentalists who profess to want to save the fish, but through their clearing the rivers of log jams have actually destroyed spawning grounds. I've learned this much and I've only read two paragraphs of the book!

Oh, and we haven't mentioned Diotima and what an incredible job she did. She is one funny lady.
43 posted on 08/18/2002 7:50:41 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Auntie Mame
Thank you so much for your report .. I listened to it last night and enjoyed it so much ..

I just wish I could have gone
44 posted on 08/18/2002 7:56:05 PM PDT by Mo1
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: ladyinred
Oh my gosh. Another mall? With limos?

Now she tells me. ; - )

I, too wish you could have gone.

Hopefully we'll be able to get enough individual freeper reports on this thread and others that you'll almost feel you were there, but not get quite as tired as we did. I literally feel into bed both nights, my brain was not used to having to work so hard. The bulk of the Freepers probably aren't home yet and if they are they're exhausted, so keep an eye out for follow-ups.
46 posted on 08/18/2002 7:58:15 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Auntie Mame; diotima
I'll second that about Dr. Dio. She can be hysterical!

When needed, though, she sure can take hold of a ship. I was so proud of her!

47 posted on 08/18/2002 7:58:37 PM PDT by Slip18
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To: wita
You are more than welcome. Keep a watch out for more on-site freeper reports. Once the Freepers who attended start filtering home we should be having more reports. The speakers were so motivating I'm sure there will be a good turnout here and on other threads with Freeper reports. And everyone picks up different things so what might have slid by me might have been important to someone else and I'm hoping they'll jump in here and fill in the blanks.
48 posted on 08/18/2002 8:02:13 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: habs4ever
am especially pleased to hear OPH will make it home after all ;-)

I can only report he was still alive and kicking as of about 11:30 p.m. last night.

He's really a great guy, but perhaps we'd better keep that between ourselves.

49 posted on 08/18/2002 8:04:28 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Auntie Mame
It is wonderful that you joined on 2002-05-21, and have become so active. You must be a real go-getter.
50 posted on 08/18/2002 8:19:25 PM PDT by xJones
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