Bill Hancock’s Olympic adventure: Day 2
Old pal Bill Hancock, on his second day in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics:
“Doggone, accepted an invitation from a colleague for dinner just before 10 o’clock last night. I should be in bed, not eating dinner! ‘Great fish place,’ he said, ‘only a 10-minute walk.’ Well, 20 minutes later we did find a nice restaurant on the water. Had a large fresh beer and some noodles and broccoli. Good stuff. But so darn late. In bed at 12:30. Up at six.
“Our hotel is in the south part of Vancouver, not far from the airport. We ride a bus to the train station, then take the crowded but nice Canada Line to the Waterfront station and walk to the Main Press Center. Drove the speedskaters from the village to the Main Press Center today. Great, great bunch of people. Bright, funny, happy, talkative. ‘Is this Chinatown? Cool.’ ‘Look at those mountains!’ ‘Hey, Mickey D’s! Look at the size of that parking lot.’
“The rules of being a driver are simple: drive and keep quiet. I always introduce myself, ‘Hi, I’m Bill, and I’m your driver, but you already figured that out.’ Then I don’t speak unless spoken to. Nobody likes a gabby person behind the wheel. One of the skaters asked what I was doing here. ‘Oh, I work in college football.’ Two of them: ‘Like what?’ Me: ‘Oh, I work with the bowl games.’ Them: ‘Cool! Like how?’ Me: ‘Oh, I work with an event that’s called the BCS.’ Them: ‘The BCS! Wow, that’s awesome! What do you do?’ Me, after thinking about it for a long time: ‘Oh, I’m the executive director.’ Them: ‘Hey, we’re pretty cool! The executive director of the BCS is driving us around!’ (I enjoy people who talk in exclamation points!)Me: (silence). Them: ‘So, Mr. Executive Director, when are we going to have a playoff?’ Me: ‘Not in my lifetime, probably.’ Them: ‘Great! I don’t want a playoff.’ Them: ‘I went to the Rose Bowl this year. It was SO cool.’ And they kept talking, which allowed me to revert to the comfortable role of quiet driver.
“Breakfast: awesome fresh dried apricots. More journalists arrive every day. Many old friends. Many stories of woes in the news business, but also a few encouraging signs. Many stories of travel woes.
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