Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Terror At The Phoenix

Sound like a good name for a movie? Probably, but it's also an appropriate description for my experience last Friday night at The Phoenix Inn, located less than a quarter mile from the Carolina First Center in Greenville, S.C.

The power went completely off in parts of the hotel around 10 o'clock, and it flickered on and off in others. Account representative Ann Reiss, who had an adjoining room to group publisher Bob West and I, was one of the unfortunate guests without power right around 10.

The Phoenix's remaining power continued to flicker on and off for some time, and it gave me an uneasy feeling watching the dozen lights through our window across the parking lot simultaneously turn on and off while emitting that electrical "zzzzz" sound each time. The end surely felt near.

Eventually, Bob and my luck ran out, and our power blew as a transformer exploded. I can't remember how it went -- maybe with a pop or a bang -- but it startled me so much it prompted me to scream. Bob is still giving me a hard time about it, and rightfully so.

The kicker of the evening came around midnight, though, with no air conditioning, complete silence and the room starting to sweat like a sauna. Amid the silence, the sound of a chainsaw rose -- and I surely thought THAT was the end.

And, rightfully so, Bob is still giving me grief about it. LOL

The power outage struck a chord with other Southeast Greenhouse Conference attendees. Rita Randolph, a Tennessee grower who led an educational session at the Carolina First Center the next morning, started her hour by asking the audience: "Did any of you stay at the Phoenix last night?"

Maybe you had to be there, but if I were you, I'd plan on staying elsewhere if you plan on attending the Southeast Greenhouse Conference next year!

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