Final Words From Weekend ICMA Convention


Retired New York Fire Lt. Joe Torrillo, who described his harrowing 9/11 experiences during the INA/ICMA convention.

Retired New York Fire Lt. Joe Torrillo, who described his harrowing 9/11 experiences during the INA/ICMA convention.

Unless I think of something else to say—and there is always that risk—I’m closing the door on the 2014 Iowa College Media Association convention, hosted by the Iowa Newspaper Association at its annual convention, which this final post.

What was the good, the bad and the ugly of ICMA 2014?

Thursday lunch, which was good. Sadly, I did not photograph my Zombie Burger. I was too hungry and it was attacked and consumed before cameras could be used. Just like a zombie would grab some brains.

Thursday lunch, which was good. Sadly, I did not photograph my Zombie Burger. I was too hungry and it was attacked and consumed before cameras could be used. Just like a zombie would grab some brains.

Good—All of the stuff I already wrote about, such as the Register tour, seeing candidates, etc. But, also: Discovering Zombie Burgers. In general, I ate well this convention—the Marriott has a good food service—but supper out Thursday night after winning 15 awards was grand, and cholesterol filled. I had something called the “Juan of the Dead” which featured slightly spicy chilies on top of some sort of fried cheese patty on top of two hamburgers and an inadequate and innocent bun. They warned me to cut it before eating, because the cheese bomb can explode. It was good advice. It was a great hamburger. The fries were perfect and I liked the dipping sauce, too. The networking lunch at the West End Architectural Salvage was fun, but the Zombie Burgers were a culinary highlight.

Bad—Forgetting my credit card at Zombie Burgers. A quick, cold drive for no reason other than an aging memory. Luckily, our witty waiter had spotted the card and saved it for me.

Ugly—Not much, really. The first few minutes in the MMU van were a bit cold. The traditional stop at the War Memorial was pretty silly. I don’t like Des Moines traffic, and leaving during the afternoon commute was a bit blah—but that’s not really ugly. Nothing was. It was a good convention.

More Good–I also enjoyed the Friday kick-off speech by retired New York Fire Department Lt. Joe Torrillo. He has a good story, which he tells well.

The speech was most powerful in the middle. The lead-in about his fire safety career was OK, but the story really took off when he got to his 9/11 experience. From his background, he understood how the World Trade Center was constructed, and within a few minutes of arriving at the scene, surmised that the towers would traumatically collapse. He succeeded in getting a triage area moved from the lobby of one of the towers, but left too late to leave himself and was buried in the first tower collapse. Found seriously injured but alive, he was placed on a boat in the Hudson River which was buried when the second tower collapsed.

Yikes! Bad enough to have one tower fall on you—but both? For three days, because he was wearing another firefighter’s coat with the wrong name inside, his family was informed he was dead.

Well, that made quite a story. Oddly, at the end of the speech, when he was making his pitch for all Americans to re-united, his message seemed to get away, a bit. Maybe I just was not sure what he wanted. It was a bit weird, too, that the chippy, clip-art like images at the end of the speech sort of pulled his punch, a bit.

Still, if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, please do. He understands very well that he is representing more than 300 brothers who didn’t make it out of the buildings on that day, and his story is one that is very worth sharing.

ICMA’s convention had many highlights for me. I liked all of the sessions. In fact, I missed the ICMA Young Professional’s panel, which I enjoy pretty much every year.

So, INA, thank you very much, from this ICMA advisor. The 2014 convention was far more good than bad and ugly, and I appreciate your support.

And, for one last time, congratulations staff of MMU Times. Next year—lets with 14 multimedia awards to go with our 14 newspaper awards, shall we? But, job well done.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s