How did the convention go? Better than I ever imagined

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Posted 5/10/16 (Tue)

Whines & Roses
By Cecile Wehrman

We traditionally charge for thank you notes. This would be a pretty expensive one, so it’s a good thing I can take the money out of one pocket and put it in another.
To the community of Crosby, to the staff of The Guardian Inn and the Bypass Restaurant and Lounge, and Bob Gillen and Brock Harward of the Community Center, along with the Crosby Hockey Moms and Crosby Area Chamber, I say “Thank you” for helping to make the 130th annual North Dakota Newspaper Association convention a resounding success.
All of the naysayers who wondered at the wisdom of a state newspaper convention in Crosby can now eat crow. A huge plate of it! And I don’t mean that in a mean-spirited way because I am so full of appreciation for every person who made the trip. 
Honestly, I was not without trepidation for having cooked up the idea of bringing NDNA members to Crosby. I could see the vision clearly, and just as clearly, I could see why it might not work.
But work it did!
Sure, there were challenges as the hotel and restaurant staff stretched themselves to the limit to go from a bit of a lull in pace recently to absolutely full tilt. Everyone was gracious and friendly, going all out in accommodating our guests.
The food was to die for -- truly over the top in taste, presentation and variety, and I just have to say, if you want an event catered, there would be no better place to hire. Chef Troy outdid himself. I still can’t figure out how he managed to have so many different appetizers ready for consumption at the same time -- nor how he could time out the buffet entrees, not to mention, serve them up at the hockey rink. 
Wait staff at our banquet, including placement of salads, water and other accoutrements included the labor of Lynn Jacobson and Jim and Sandra Simonson, the people who lease the restaurant from a group of local investors. These are busy, busy people who have their own business to tend to and they hoofed it to  make sure Crosby looked good.
Around town, several businesses displayed signs welcoming our NDNA members. Someone even remarked on the fact the Assembly of God sign acknowledged members’ presence. How nice!
People were a little over-awed by the welcome bag the Crosby Area Chamber put together. Upon registration, what with receiving the chamber’s bag, registration materials and a commemorative edition of The Journal, most folks had to immediately retreat to their room to unload all the booty.
Several members enjoyed spending time downtown, either in stores or at the bars. One of our board members left town with the prize of a gun after buying out the remains of a pull tab jar at Joey’s. He was pretty tickled. Others took themselves to the Homestead Saloon and enjoyed meeting some of Crosby’s characters.
I visited with a woman wearing a shirt purchased at Crafts 4-U on Saturday and heard from people who went to Stems & Salvage/Henny’s for either coffee or trinkets.
Everywhere, by Saturday noon, people were saying things like “This is the convention people are going to be talking about for years,” or “This is the best food we’ve had at any convention,” or, even, “Let’s have the convention in Crosby every year -- but only if Chef Troy cooks.”
I also have to thank, in particular, my staff members at The Journal -- Holly and John for minding many logistical details on my behalf, Jody and Sydney for helping with the actual news we needed to gather, and Deb for holding down the fort. Also, the NDNA staff, most especially Steve Andrist and Shari Peterson. I am so glad we all got to share this experience. My only sadness is that John Andrist did not make the trip. We done you proud, John, and the spirit of our publisher emeritus was present anyway -- not the least way of which was the name “Andrist Arena” hovering over a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate. How fitting!
There’s only one more thing I am thankful for -- that the convention is over. Now I have a high school graduation to prepare for and it’s time to get back to work on Crosby’s 2017 Celebration!