Update on Preparations for the 2002 Lincoln Highway Association National Conference
By Norman Root
Co-chairman of the 2002 National Confernece
The 10th annual Lincoln Highway Association National Conference will be held in Sacramento, June 11-15, 2002. Our California Chapter is the host. Over two years ago, the chapter officers were approached by the National Committee, asking us to host the 2002 Conference. We agonized over the decision, but finally realized that hosting a national conference would be beneficial for the chapter. It affords an opportunity for wide involvement, thereby strengthening the Chapter. Besides, every other active chapter hosted a conference; it was our turn. Well now for the wide involvement part. We're in the final countdown months now. We've had some ups and downs, but here's the status.
Publicity: Conference flyers have been distributed amongst the 1000 Lincoln Highway Association Members nationwide with the most recent issue of the Forum. It is hoped that second notices will also be distributed with the next issue of the Forum, due out in April. In addition, 3500 flyers and applications have been mailed to National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and state historic preservation Offices in each Lincoln Highway state; historical societies, bicycle clubs, and vintage auto clubs in California Lincoln Highway counties; several national historical societies; architectural historians; historic construction equipment associations; and the Caltrans History Preservation Committee and District Cultural Resource offices. Notices have been put in Via Magazine, The Scrounger, and Car Talk. Flyers have been distributed at area auto swap meets, and notices have been e-mailed to 50 "roadgeek" web sites. Yet to go are mailings to area museums, motorcycle clubs, and cultural resource offices in other Lincoln Highway states.
Registration: The largest number registered for any LHA conference in the past was 125 at Nebraska last year. We're going for the record. We're aiming for 200, but the budget is based on 160. At this early date we've already received 18 registrations. If we get response from all the flyers that we've sent out, discussed above, we could get inundated. The Sacramento Visitors Bureau is providing the name tags and various other handouts. The Registration Committee is preparing canvas conference tote bags, in which to carry all the registration material and handouts. Opportunities are available to staff the registration table, which is expected to be open during most of the conference.
Outdoor Displays: We have a vintage Dodge truck coming, and Caltrans will be bringing a restored 1935 Caterpillar tow grader and a 1952 Sno-Go. We're still trying to get other historic road building equipment and owners of vintage vehicles to provide displays.
Book Room: So far, no one has reserved a table. But we expect at least half of the State Chapters, the National office, and at least a half dozen private vendors to want one. We will need monitors to assist with the book room to make sure everyone gets the table space they need, that valuable lobby displays get put away at night, and that the place gets locked up at night.
East Tour: Most of the details have been worked out, but we still need two more bus tour guides. The tour guides will be taking practice runs over the route ahead of time to identify and learn about the features to be seen and mentioned on the bus. These practice runs will have to wait until the snow melts, which may not be very far in advance of the tour itself.
Seminar Day: All six speakers have been confirmed. Caltrans will provide an LCD projector and a technician to operate the equipment.
Award Dinner: Our only responsibility for this event is obtaining a speaker. We are planning on Edith Lane (her maiden name), but we still have not located her. Her father, David Lane, wrote The Lincoln Highway: The Story of a Crusade That Made Transportation History. It would be a real coup to have her as the speaker. At this late date we may need another speaker.
West Tour: We're running time trials to determine the most efficient route in and out of San Francisco. Dignitaries and Boy Scouts have been invited to the terminus marker ceremony and the program is coming together. Caltrans District 4 in Oakland will handle media coverage. Lunch and dinner contracts have been signed and deposits made. Details to be confirmed include who and how to handle refreshments, and how to get the terminus marker post to San Francisco once it is cast. Rollin Southwell will handle the Post Office commemorative postmark for a commemorative post card.
Workshop Day: There will be three concurrent workshops: signage and monument projects, mapping and resource study projects, and vintage car tour events. There should be three panelists for each workshop. Each workshop is covered, but more panelists are needed.
Annual Membership Meeting Luncheon: We do not have any responsibility for this meeting, but we plan to distribute a group photo in the form of a poster. What is envisioned is a photo poster of the conference attendees standing on top of the Carquinez Strait Bridge. Of course, this will be done with computer trick photography. The needed details of computer software, two different photographers, and the printer are being worked out.