I walk into the hotel and check in, there is a group of people standing in the lobby. It is Jamie Coelho and his wife and baby, Tony Biagiotti, Patty Guerkink and Gerald Guerkink. I introduce myself and meet these nice folks for the first time. Although we had never met before, in a couple of minutes, we are “old friends”.
It was not very hard to figure out who Gerald Guerkink was. He was wearing a hat that said “Grumpy” on it. However, Grumpy he was not! He has great sense of humor. Jamie’s baby girl was in her stroller, taking it all in, and just as cute as any baby can possibly be, not at all intimidated by all the strangers.
It was 7:30 PM, just under the wire for me, in from the airport on the hotel’s shuttle.
We were waiting to check in for the dinner at 8:00 PM, which was now being organized. Along comes Yaser Amireh, and John Guerkink, and a couple others, and we introduced ourselves.
Soon, we were all standing in line to check in, and who do you guess was standing there next to me? Why, it was no other than The Best Swedish Cleaner in Phoenix, Anders Berg! I finally get checked in, and since everyone now is wearing a name badge, we circulate and introduce ourselves all around. Many folks who had attended previous Summerfests already knew each other, and it was old friends greeting old friends.
Dinner was excellent! Masters of Ceremonies, Scott Rendall and Mark McNutt (who introduced his daughter to us who in turn led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to The Flag) introduced Ron Curtis, who gave out Possum Belly Marketing T-shirts to several folks, including me.
Claudine Davis was presented with Woman of the Year! What a surprise to her and to the rest of us, but very well deserved. I also got a Fjord King T-shirt from Terry Brevik, and so did several others. Among the folks at my table were Evan Kessler and his wife Judy Kessler.
After the awards, the door prizes were given out. Mark McNutt’s daughter drew out the tickets, helped by Gerald Geurkink. There were, in act, so many door prizes, some of us got seconds! Several folks donated their door prizes back to be donated to the INF Fund auction the next day at Greg Trigero’s plant.
After dinner, a lot of us stood around and gabbed. Now there issomething we all like to do!
The next day, Saturday, we went to Lisa Wagner’s rug plant for a tour. I went in Dustin
Murray’s car along with Ken Harris. Lisa’s plant was very interesting. She showed us how
the rugs are washed, dried, and repaired. Then we went to Greg’s plant, maybe 10 miles away, and had a tour there as well.
Then, it was lunch followed by the demos. Greg had spread out several rugs, and sections of carpet, and everyone had an opportunity to try various truck mounts, as well as the CCS and Orbitek OP machines.
Shawn Forsythe had a Drag-Wand connected to a Steam Genie truckmount, and I think that little drag-wand was the “big surprise of the day”. What an excellent job of cleaning
it did! Shawn had to park his truck over 200 feet away from the others because of a lack
of parking spaces, and even with over 200 feet of hose out, his truckmount had excellent power and vacuum. With his drag-wand connected, this system had the over-all effect of leaving the carpet barely damp. Many of the cleaners present saw his demonstration and upon feeling the carpet, commented on just how dry it left the carpet!
The Rotovac, the RX-20, and many different wands were also there to demo. Most of us had a hands-on experience with everything. Dustin Murray had a temperature gauge that connected onto the wands with quick-connects, and that was passed around from one wand to another checking temperatures. As I was using a wand connected to an Advanced Cleaning Technologies
“Sledgehammer” truckmount from Duane Oxley, I saw the temperature gauge read: 258
degrees! Keep in mind, this temperature reading was at the wand. I do not know what
the temperature gauge on the front of the Sledgehammer read. I did, however, have the dubious pleasure of getting my hand burned on the pipe of the wand connected to
the Sledgehammer. I still have a welt on the back of my hand to prove it was HOT !!!
On another demo, Dustin Murray’s Steamway truckmount produced a temperature reading of 280 degrees on the at-the-wand temperature gauge! Again, I did not look at the temperature gauge on the front of his Steamway truckmount.
Those of us who had not yet had the chance to get our hands on some of these tools, now had our chance to see just how good these new tools were. A real eye-opener for sure.
Here is a point concerning the noise level. All of the truckmounts were running at the same time, and it was hard to gauge which one was the quietest. My best guess was that the Sledgehammer was by far the loudest. However, in size, it was the smallest machine, taking up the least amount floorspace in the truck. In my opinion, it is time for all truckmount manufacturers to give some serious thought to making their machines quieter. I did not see Dan Sweet’s home-made trailer-mounted machine run, but I did notice it had 3 (count ’em, 3!) mufflers on it. My guess is that when running, it would have proven to be the quietest one there.
Here are my thoughts about the two Oscillating Pad Machines represented there: While I was demoing the Orbitek Towel Machine, I could not help noticing just how much injection yard it was pulling up compared to the CCS machine. I do not know why that should be. I also do not know what gliders were being used, comparitively, as I did not look under the pads. I did notice that the CCS machine was generating almost no lint from the carpet, whereas the Orbitek machine was generating a lot. Now it was time for the INF Fund Auction. Gary Broom was the auctioneer, assisted by Mark McNutt again. They did a great job!
Thanks to the many suppliers who donated the items, over $2300.00 were raised for the fund. Tom Tsao gave a fire eating demonstration that was very impressive. He offered to teach this skill to anyone who wanted to learn, and what a surprise! Lisa Wagner took him up on it, and shortly thereafter gave a fire eating show that was impressive for someone who had just learned this trick. She raised even more money for the INF Fund for her efforts! During the auction, the telephone began to ring in Greg’s office, and Eric Stewart from New Zealand was on the line. He was able to speak to many of us, including myself. What a nice surprise! In order to make him feel like one of the crowd, I bought a Possum Belly Marketing T-shirt from Ron Curtis, and sent it to Eric! Back to the hotel. Car courtesy of Terry Brevik. Where to go for dinner? A very nice steak house restaurant was selected, some five or six miles away. I went again with Dustin Murray, and with good directions, we were there in a few minutes. Some of the others had taken a wrong turn, and were delayed getting there, but finally did arrive. Sunday morning, I was ready to go to the airport.
As it turned out there was no shuttle from the hotel to the airport on Sundays. So, Jim Eckman kindly offered to take me in his rental car, and I accepted. It was too early to turn in his car, since we both were leaving at 5:00 PM. So, we spent several hours in Balboa Park, going through the beautiful Japanese Garden, the Museum of Man, listening to the fantastic outdoor organ music at Spreckles Pavilion where the organist played a Bach concerto. We also rode on the free tram that circles the entire park (What a huge place this is!) and had a nice lunch outdoors in the fine restaurant there. So… was it fun? You betcha.
Was it worth going to? You betcha. Will I attend Summerfest 2002? You betcha.
See you there!
-The Interstellar Crossroads of The Universe- http://www.heacocks.com