Views From Kennewick

Friday, January 20, 2006

Lessons Learned In San Francisco

Just last week at this time, I was boarding the jet to San Francisco...a lifetime ago, it seems.
Traveling to my first seminar, it was difficult to keep my apprehension down. I'd never met any of the people that would be attending, I only knew them from a forum for copywriters.

Two months previously, I'd heard that Dr. Harlan Kilstein was mentoring copywriters and tried to get into the group. As I was new to the forum, I wasn't aware that the group had been closed for some time. It nearly broke my heart, because I believed that Harlan was the one copywriter that could give a relative "newbie" the assistance needed to make the leap into the unknown, because he'd done it himself, and thrived.

So, I mailed Harlan and meekly asked if he would be coaching students again. His reply..."Follow the bouncing ball."


I've heard of obtuse people before, but...

So, I followed the bouncing ball. In about a month I received an email inviting me to a seminar for copywriters in San Francisco. Harlan's sidekick, Tina Lorenz would be hosting a working seminar. Not a rah-rah type seminar (though I would expect those would be great fun) but a working seminar.

I emailed him back with questions, he replied with answers. I paid, I went. WOW!

In my earlier post below, my very first blog, I blogged about this seminar, so I won't re-hash it.
I do want to mention Ron Lorenz, Tina's husband, and Rusty, Ron's seeing-eye-dog.

Both Ron and Rusty hit the ground running with Tina and Harlan. What an amazing man Ron is, his perception, and the few times we spoke, revealed an exceptional human being. Of course, Rusty's an incredible human dog, too.

Even though the participants didn't get to see the sights of San Francisco...Fisherman's Wharf, the Embarcadero, cable cars, or Alcatraz, and not even Queen Wilhelmina's Tulip Garden,
it was a trip of a lifetime. Some did stay an extra day to see the sights, and from what I've heard, they missed a lot of the tours, because they were busy pounding ideas into their computers.

Too many years ago, I lived in San Francsico for a short time. Back then I might as well have been from Mars I was so out of my element, and my comfort zone. The beauty of the city stunned me, the bay, the bridge, the hills, everything. It was foreign and new, exciting, and unnerving. And I loved it.

It was a while ago...ok, a long while ago. Because of the circumstances, I didn't explore as much as I should have, and I sure didn't live there as long as I would have liked. I recall this wonderful Russian restaurant near Haight and Ashbury street. The rum cakes...ah...never had one like that before or since.

I spent an afternoon in Golden Gate Park, just wandering around, and I stumbled into that marvelous tulip garden named after Queen Wilhelmina. I'm not sure what it looks like now, but back then, it was a beautiful little enclave of pure tranquility and peace. I wonder the garden reflected her personality.

At some point, I met up with my compadres, and we wandered downtown for a while. It was the same summer day, rush hour traffic was bumper to bumper. Horns honked, people talked, we walked on and suddenly all we could hear were the pure, sweet tones of a flute.

As if stepping into a strange vortex, all of the rush hour traffic noise faded away. All we heard was the flute. Finally we rounded the corner, and the street performer played on. We stopped, and put some money in his flute case, leaned against the building, and inhaled the music...

..the memory of the flute player is the sweetest of all.


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