Monday, October 5, 2015

We loved visiting with the IBEW 6th District in Detroit!

What a great time GranFran and I had visiting with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, District 6  (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) Women's Conference in Detroit! It was great to meet so many women who are involved in electrical careers and to hear their stories. And the men really turned out for the Women's Conference, too. Can't say that I blamed them - the whole morning was great.

GranFran spoke at the end of Tuesday morning, and the audience was so receptive and wonderful. People came to speak to her during the breaks even before her time on program, and they gave her a standing ovation as she made her way to the platform. There was a wonderful lunch, and then came perhaps the most fun time of all -- the photo booth! Women and men alike lined up to have their picture taken with GranFran in her Rosie outfit, then to have her autograph on their prints and books.

GranFran and IR Cheri Stewart
We will never forget the kindnesses of the trip, especially how Cheri Stewart, International Representative (and the only woman IR for District 6 by the way, so way to go Cheri!) took great care of us, getting us to and from the airport, settled in our hotel, etc. All around, District 6 has it going on!

GranFran and Tracy
in the airport shuttle van

And you might be interested to know that this fun time came about because of our 6:00 a.m. airport shuttle ride when we were leaving the Rosie convention in Richmond, CA in June -- that's right, our airport shuttle! The van picked us up at our hotel to go to the Oakland airport, then wound through Berkeley and Oakland to pick up three more passengers. The third passenger was a lovely lady named Tracy Torbert, who was on her way home to Michigan. As we all chit-chatted (albeit a little bleary-eyed at 6 a.m.!) Tracy discovered that GranFran was a Rosie and had been to a Rosie convention. She was VERY familiar with Rosie and so excited to meet an actual one -- turns out she is the President of her union, and District 6 has been embracing Rosie and her "We Can Do It!" spirit for several years. We snapped this quick photo while the van driver unloaded the bags, and -- long story short -- in a few weeks the invitation came to speak to the Women's Conference in Detroit, and we are so glad it did! (I guess the moral of this story is -- anything can happen, even at 6:00 a.m.!)

Thanks, Tracy, Cheri, and everyone else who made this a memorable event for us!

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