"On the road again/just can't wait to get on the road again ..." The Station has indeed been on the road for the last three days, this time in Washington, D.C., encamped at the historic Willard Intercontinental, located a mere one block from the White House.
The assignment: Help present (as well as cover) the Ziff Davis Enterprise Virtualization Summit 2008 at the National Press Club.
It was a well-worthwhile journey across country for the summit, which was fully subscribed and featured such luminary speakers and panelists as Karen Evans, former Department of Energy chief and current director of the White House Office of Management and Budget; Curt Aubley, Chief Technology Officer of Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services; and Paul Sikora, vice president of IT transformation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Yes -- that's his title.
I'll be filing a wrapup report on the daylong summit, which was open to 100 attendees (all ZDE Summits are kept to that size) and featured valuable trend, use case, and policy/procedure information about virtualization for IT managers and corporate decision makers alike. That report will post in eWEEK in the next day or so.
For the sake of this blog, however, I'll just offer some color about the trip.
The Willard, located at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., is the most interesting hotel at which The Station has ever been assigned. All the Presidents since Franklin Pierce (President No. 14, in case you wondered), have bunked there at one time or another. President U.S. Grant, who favored cigars but wasn't allowed to smoke them in the White House (his wife kicked him out when he did), often enjoyed them in the front lobby of the Willard. Clever members of Congress and other people with agendas took these informal opportunities to try and pursuade Grant to come over to their points of view; these folks became known as the first "lobbyists."
Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday was recently celebrated, polished off the final words to his "I've Got a Dream" speech at the Willard before delivering the famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. Composer Julia Ward Howe wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in her room back more than 125 years ago. Detective Allan Pinkerton sneaked Abraham Lincoln from the White House safely into the Willard before sunrise one morning when an assassination plot was uncovered just before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.
The story goes that Lincoln -- who had huge feet -- forgot his bedroom slippers in the rush at the White House, and that there were no similar slippers available at the hotel. However, owner Henry Willard's grandfather-in-law also had big feet, so he came to the rescue and lent the president a pair of his. The slippers are still on display in the hotel's small but vastly interesting History Room.
Next time: The National Press Club, site of the summit. More wonderful stories coming.
Oh, the random things you can read that have nothing to so with storage at The Station.