On the Road with USGlass

Glasstec: The Prequel

Firefighters arrive in the lobby.

Glasstec 2010 started in a most peculiar way. Got here on the overnight flight from Newark non-stop to Dusseldorf. The plane could have been renamed the “glasstec express” because just about everyone on it was coming here. (I did notice a certain Mr. Steve Howes up in first class in a three-cabin plane so hopefully he arrived well-rested.)

Anyway, got in, hotel room ready early (double-YEAH), and, after a three-hour nap, I met up with my colleagues at the show (USGlass magazine editor Megan Headley, video producer Marshall Stevens and editor Charles Cumpston) and we hit the hall.

Our full shipment had arrived undamaged, so we set up and were done and out by 16:00 (that’s 4 p.m. in the U.S. translation).

Went to a lovely dinner sponsored by Glaston’s Glass Processing Days in the old town area. The dinner itself is a wonderful tradition and I enjoy it immensely. Glaston is able to bring together most of the glass-related press in the world and it is always nice for us to see our colleagues from around the world. There are always some new faces and some very familiar ones and it’s nice to see people with whom you share a common bond. There are lots of journalists in the world, and lots of glass people, but I figure there are fewer than 100 glass journalists in total.

I was back at the hotel room at a reasonable hour, hopeful for a good night’s sleep.

Now comes the weird part: my last thought before shutting the light off was that there was going to be a fire drill. Never in all my years of travel have I had such a thought before. “Silly,” I said to myself, “you haven’t been in a hotel that had a fire drill in 22 years.” I just couldn’t shake it off so I mentally noted where my shoes and coat were and went off to a peaceful sleep …

… Until the fire alarm woke me right around 6 a.m. Yup. Fire on our floor. I lost 30 seconds just pondering the eeriness of the whole thing. Then I got out, along with everyone on my floor of the Radisson. We stood in the lobby for about 20 minutes until the fireman left. Never did find out where the fire was. Then I returned to my room to get ready for glasstec to begin and hoping against hope that I have a premonition tonight about winning the lottery.

On to day one …