Subject: Electronic Postcard #1

Hello everyone!

Greetings from the e-mail annex of the Internet room at the American
Library Association annual conference in Chicago!

I arrived here Wednesday morning after the longest flight I ever took
in my life -- just under eight hours from Honolulu to O'Hare in a
DC-10, the first time I ever flew away from a sunset and into a
sunrise in the same flight.  As we dropped below the clouds on our
approach to O'Hare, I could see a big orange ball of a sun sitting low
in the early morning sky, as we passed over the Chicago suburbs that
looked less the outskirts of a city than the midwestern town that is
the heritage and in some ways, the soul of Chicago -- railroad tracks
and old trucks on muddy roads being the most notable features to me.

The airport is large, but fortunately it was relatively peaceful at
that hour of the morning.  I was prepared to see a lot of things I had
never seen before, but nothing prepared me for the sight of the toilet
seats in the restroom -- they had a mechanical device on the back that
automatically applies a fresh plastic seat cover for each new user.

During the ride to the hotel, my bleary eyes were jarred by the sight
of billboards and boldly obvious commercial signs and advertisements
painted on the sides and roofs of buildings.  It made me very aware
that I wasn't in Hawaii any more.

My hotel room wasn't ready for a couple of hours after I got there, so
I walked around the neighborhood for a while.  I was anxious to see
the city, for as some of you may know, I was born in this city and
lived here for the first four years of my life.  I have almost no
memories of the place.  In my first wanderings, I found the hospital I
was born in.  I also found the headquarters of the ALA.

There are all sorts of associations headquartered here.  The American
Medical Association -- big tall steel and glass tower.  The American
Bar Association -- big office building, marble walls outside their
lobby.  Am. Hospital Assoc. -- huge complex of buildings.  ALA -- a
short white brick building occupying about a third of the block at 50
East Huron.  Oddly enough, I think we have bigger conferences than the
other guys.

The city is great.  I'm having a good time.  Wish you were here.

Ralph Toyama                                       /      73 and Aloha
Automation Librarian                              /__         from
University of Hawaii - Leeward Community College    /  Radio NH6PY/9 Mobile
rtoyama@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu                     /     Chicago IL, USA