Food, fun but no sound at the STPA convention

What a great time we had at the South Texas Press Association Convention, held at the St. Anthony Hotel, near the River Walk in San Antonio.

The weather was divine, just like we special ordered it.

And then there was the food. I am feeling more than a little “fluffy” after our trip. We started off eating at Cooper’s BBQ in New Braunfels and of course, ate wonderful Mexican food at Mi Terria Cafe and Rita’s on the River in San Antonio. There was no shortage of great eats.

There were, unfortunately, a few “snags” in other areas of our trip.

First of all, I couldn’t hear a thing. After a bout with bronchitis, my left ear was completely closed and I could only hear a little bit out of my right ear. So the whole week-end I was doing a lot of smiling and nodding.

I arrived in San Antonio just in time for our STPA board meeting. As the meeting started, I felt my phone vibrate. It rang too, but I couldn’t hear it. I saw that it was my 24-year-old daughter Katie and decided I’d call her back after the meeting.

Then I get eight text messages that said “Mom call me--911!”

It was hard to breathe as I excused myself and went out into the hall to call her back. I was in a full blown panic. There surely must be something wrong with my precious two-year-old grandson.

Mom! I am at the nail shop and all I have is my debit card and they don’t take debit cards. Can you believe that!” I bit my tongue to the point of pain, hung up on her and went back into the meeting. This time, I turned my phone all the way off.

Later, at the awards ceremony, with the large crowd and accoustics, I was completely deaf.

Presenting the awards was my friend, Cyndy Slovak Barton of the Hays Free Press, who has a lovely speaking voice normally, but to me she sounded like Charlie Brown’s English teacher.

When our name was called for the different categories, husband Bill would pat me on the leg and look at me and mouth “Rock-dale Re-port-er” and I would then walk up to receive our award.

At one point, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye and I turned to see that my Mom, who was sitting right next to me, had been talking to me for who-knows how long, and I didn’t hear one word she said. I was miserable.

However, things got even worse. Apparently the ceremony was over because everyone stood up and was shaking hands and smiling and talking. So I also stood up and when I did, I felt a rush of air on my...well, the part of my body that I had been sitting on.

“How odd,” I thought to myself. “I hardly ever feel air in that particular area.”

I felt around where the air was coming in and was absolutely horrified to find that I had a gaping hole in the back of my black dress pants. Seriously.

I even didn’t know when the “incident” had occurred. I assume it was when I had been bending and squatting, setting up the silent auction.

Worse, I had just walked in front of the entire STPA group several times. Did I unintentinally moon them each time?

Also, when that much material rips, it generally makes a very deaf-inite, recognizable sound. That sound usually alerts us to the fact that we have a wardrobe malfunction that needs our immediate attention.

I did not hear that sound. But my temporary deafness would not have kept anyone else from hearing it.

I excused myself and holding the back of my shirt down, I ran for the elevators and the safety of my hotel room and changed into a pair of jeans.

Then I went into my bathroom to check myself. With my luck I wanted to make sure there wasn’t mustard on the front of my shirt or bird poop in my hair.

I looked into the mirror and started laughing. All I could see of myself was the top inch of my head. Who puts a mirror up that high?

On a lighter note, the top of my hair had never looked better.

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2012-04-26 digital edition

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