This is my first column on the Winter Outdoor Retailer, which, I believe, is entirely too early in 2016. I have not really recovered from the holidays, and normally, I am in Las Vegas, enjoying French food with my sister and French brother-in-law, visiting CES and watching TV 4 France via satellite.
C'est la vie.
Yes, I am of that age now that talks of the good old days in trade shows.
I can tell of seeing Technotronic at a Reebok party, then RUNDMC at, I believe an adidas event. One party night after another at the old Super show in Atlanta. After a week of that, I needed to go to rehab. I do remember one night, having Turkish coffee for the first time, and not being able to sleep, and cleaning up the three room suite we had in Atlanta. Then, there was the nigth at the Cafe Intermezzo, where, about two in the morning, a loud explosion woke us from our slumber, just outside the restaurant in Buckhead. Mick Jagger and Emilio Estevez were filming a movie. We just thought it was an LA Gear party out of control.
Truth is, I love the Outdoor Retailer. When I first came to OR, I would wear a suit. Not anymore.
Now, jeans, a flannel shirt and boots are de rigeur.
I have to admit that I did try to curl, as in the ancient sport of curling. Did you know that the stones, all 44 pounds each, are made in the same quarry in Scotland. Did you know that the same aforementioned quarry is actually for sale (my son and I discussed having such a business this morning).
I did try to throw the stones, which I attempted four times. I believe I got it fifteen feet, and my body went twenty feet.
I do have a new awareness of the sport and will watch curling with enthusiasm from now on. I do not believe, however, I will ever curl properly. Much like my ill fated attempt to run a steeplechase in 1976 (barrier rotten, I ran the 10,000m instead).
The goal of the Curling evening sponsored by Vibram and Wolverine was to show us Artic Grip a new product that will be used exclusively on outsoles in Wolverine products, including Saucony, starting in Fall 2016.
I tried the ArticGrip and am quite impressed with it. On wet ice, where one gets quite nervous, it is a winner like nothing I have ever seen.
And the Italian appetizers, were, well, wonderful.