Future Reflections Convention 1994, Vol. 13 No. 4

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WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE TEN YEARS OLD AND GO TO AN NFB NATIONAL CONVENTION

by Tim Day

[PICTURE] Hailee Linhardt and Tim Day celebrate Hailee's birthday during the NFB Convention

The 1994 NFB National Convention in Detroit, Michigan, was my third National Convention. But this time instead of our whole family driving as before, just my mom and I went.

Even though I'd been on an airplane as a baby and even visited an airport with my class, I had lots of questions about the airport and flying. I was very curious about how we would get from the terminal onto the plane. Even though my mom explained it to me, it was much better to see the jetway myself. I was able to talk to one of the pilots of the plane and learned that the plane had to go about 150 miles per hour down the runway before we could take off. I also learned that when we change altitude our ears start to plug up.

We arrived at the Detroit airport at approximately 4:19 p.m. and took a commuter van to the Westin Hotel. Our room was on the 37th floor out of 72 floors. Instead of a key, they gave us a card. We stuck it in a slot on our door to unlock it. It was strange! I liked the way they Brailled the room number so that blind people could see their room number.

Being at the convention was fantastic! I got to go on a field trip to the Henry Ford Museum where I rode on a train. Another day we went on the Diamond Jack's River Tour. Boy, was it ever hot! It was 90 degrees. On the 4th of July NFB had an outdoor picnic. But it was the weirdest thing, the park was on the 3rd floor of the hotel!!

I met a new friend named Hailee. We went to Greektown with our moms on the People Mover. The People Mover was kinda' like a subway or a train except it was high above the streets. I didn't like the way it jerked me forward. In Greektown we had dinner and celebrated Hailee's eleventh birthday at the bakery. It was fun.

I met lots of other people; most of them were blind just like me. Most had canes, but some had guide dogs. I met one girl with a Braille Lite. This is Blazie Engineering's newest Braille computer.

One of the best things I did was to hang out at the exhibit hall. It was huge and filled with all sorts of things to buy. My favorite vendor is the Blazie Engineering Company. I got to meet Deane and Bryan Blazie and a lady named Delores who speaks Spanish. Deane let me borrow a new Braille Lite for a whole day! It was so cool.

The Sensory Safari Exhibit was really cool too. I looked at wild animals from all over the world. I liked the deer.

We did so much every day that sometimes I stayed up until twelve a.m.! I felt like a teen-ager. I had so much fun at the convention in Detroit that I wasn't ready to go home at the end of the week. I really hope I can go to next year's convention in Chicago. You know the world's tallest building is in Chicago, and everybody oughta see that!

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