The Regional Rant

by W. Brewster Gillett

Joy and good fellowship reigned at this year's Annual General Assembly at the Embassy Suites/Denver South. Several dozen Ilians gathered to pick at their diversity of opinion and wide range of knowledge, much as you pick at a scab on your knee when you fall on the asphalt riding your bike . . . actually, all was quite cordial even between members of widely divergent beliefs. I made sure I never mentioned Ken Hamblin's name to Ed, and he was careful not to refer to Missus Co-President when I was in earshot.

Thanks to Ed Schreiber and his committee for throwing a great party with limited committee headcount. Thanks to Jim Hughes for picking a great hotel. Thanks to Denver for gifting us with what one wag referred to as "San Diego" weather most of the week.

Almost all of the board made it, with only a couple of missing Directors due to illness and family emergencies. Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Illinois were well represented, with a sprinkling of attendees from other parts of the country, and the world, including three from Germany and one from Britain. Lots of familiar faces mingled with new friends. Gert amazed us with his math, Asa amused us with his talks, and Ed delivered a most interesting assessment of the Balkan situation. A great many pictures were taken, so now everybody knows what the infamous Kort looks like. With any luck maybe some of them will wind up on the Intertel website.

As the party intensity mounted, the cardplayers came out of the woodwork. Six of us fools started a double-deck cancellation Hearts game at around 1AM Sunday that didn't end until 4:30. And we were fairly sober, too.

Your Director experienced his customary bewilderment at observing the construction of at least half a dozen fairly complex jigsaw puzzles over the course of the event. This seems to be a growing trend at Mensa gatherings, and looks like Intertel is not immune.

If you can swing it, try to make Tampa in 2000 - it promises to be a pretty good one, and the area has lots to see and do. AGAs are always worth it if there's any way possible to pull it off.

Yet another suggestion: if you have email, get yourself on top1, the Intertel email forum. It's not only fun, but an excellent way to stay in touch both with other members and with what's going on in the group.

We have new Local Area Coordinators in Minnesota and Colorado replacing lapsed or relocated members. Nebraska/Dakotas, Iowa, and Washington have vacancies. If you volunteer, you will be "it". Remember that the duties of a Local Area Coordinator are hardly burdensome; all you're doing really is providing a central point of contact for an area and keeping the Regional Editor informed in advance of get-togethers so they can make it into the every-other-month Port of Call - plus you are encouraged, if you can find the time, to promote gatherings in your area. I have my system tuned up much better now, (just in time to hand it over to Kort in January!) so can provide Local Area Coordinators with labels, and postage reimbursements if needed.

Submissions, submissions, submissions! Port of Call can and should be a showcase for our members' writing talents. Of the 135 or so members in Region VII, there's little doubt that at least half of you could write something interesting and send it in to Kort for publication. So do it, already! If nothing else, compose a letter to the editor praising his wisdom or taking him to task for his rants. Let us hear from you.

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