I took a cab to the Town and Country where the rest of the Teletype team had already arrived to set up the equipment in the exhibition center. My hotel reservation was arrange by the convention and I discovered I was staying across on the other side of the expressway in another small hotel. Left my luggage in Len's room while we checked out the equipment and setup for the rest of the afternoon. We all went to the restaurant for dinner together. When I went up to fetch my luggage Len invited me to stay as the guys were all meeting in his room to watch the Bears game on TV. Being a sociable chap I agreed.
Watching the Bears game was a painful experience and I looked for a diversion. We were on the fifth floor so I opened the doors and stepped out onto the balcony. It sounded like a good old Chicago rainstorm and water was pouring down over the balcony above me. Then I noticed the fire trucks below me. Seems there was a fire up above the 12th floor somewhere and they had evacuated some of the floors above us but we were blissfully unaware of the action. The game ended and we took the loss like true died in the wool Bears fans should.
Between the fire trucks and the time of night there were no taxis to be had for love nor money. I ended up walking at least a mile or two in hundred degree heat with my luggage to the other hotel. After checking in I staggered up to my room, gratefully turned on the air conditioner and crawled into bed.
I awoke in the pitch dark to the sound of the air conditioner rumbling to a halt. I reached over to turn on the light to see what time it was. The light did not work. I held up my watch and could read that it was about 3:00 am by the flashing red light coming in through my window. The lights were from the fire trucks in the driveway of the hotel next door. I found out the next day that an electrical vault had overheated and caught fire knocking out power to all the nearby hotels.
By the morning light I could navigate the room, but the morning shower and shave in the dark bathroom presented their own challenges. I presume it was successful since no one said anything about my appearance, but they might not have noticed since we spent most of the day (this was before Uninterupptible Power systems were prevalent) trying to save the systems each time the convention center power browned or blacked out.
Story two from a week that defies description with wrecked cars, rare
diseases and political shenanigans still to come.