Friday, April 29, 2011

Travel Disrupted but Talk Will Take Place

Yesterday, the East Coast was feeling the aftereffects of the horrific tornadoes and storms that struck the South, especially Alabama, with estimates of as many as 300 deaths.

I was at Bradley airport, waiting for my flight to Philly, with a connection to Ithaca, where I was to attend and speak at the Walter Isard Symposium. Then the notice went up that my flight was delayed, but the estimated time for departure made it still feasible for me to catch my connecting flight. You can guess what happened -- after several hours at the airport my flight was cancelled (and the flight from Philly to Ithaca later that day, which I had been told was sold out, was also). Flights were being cancelled to Dulles, DC, Chicago, Newark, Philly, etc. and the gate agent told me of planes that were hours behind schedule. He said that traveling would not be a pleasant experience given all the storms even if you could get on a flight (which I couldn't).

I felt like Steve Martin in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles."

I was terribly disappointed since I so much wanted to pay tribute to the founder of regional science and to see colleagues and friends who were coming for the memorial service and symposium.Professor Isard died last Fall at the age of 91.

Times like these call for resiliency. I contacted Professor June Dong, my collaborator, who was going to the symposium and who lives only about an hour away by car from Cornell and she agreed to give my presentation -- so the talk will go on. Appropriately, she is even in a photo that I had put into the presentation in which she is seated right next to Professor Isard, who came to the talk that I gave at Cornell on April 1, 2009.

I have been told that both the memorial service and the symposium will be videotaped, and posted, which is wonderful.

As Professor David Boyce emailed me this morning, "The weather has been a major problem for this event."

As for two of my doctoral students, they made it to the POMS conference in Reno, Nevada, and are giving their presentations now.