Remembering the National Safety Congresses

Art receiving recent award in San Diego

It was 1978 and it had taken me five years to win that spot as Early Morning Speaker at the National Safety Congress at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago.  I was booked for three consecutive mornings and we had a full house for each morning.  As I recall it, we had somewhere near 2,000 attendees but that might have included an audience over at the Palmer House Hotel where my presentation was being shown on Video. I still have audio tapes of those three talks and doing those sessions were one of the biggest thrills of my safety career.  In those days the early morning speakers were always professional motivational speakers and there was always lots of laughter and inspiration at those sessions. In one session I did my poem My Brother’s Keeper and that poem turned out to be the basis for much of the work I would do for major corporations in the years that followed.  Talk about visualization.  I can remember going to Chicago and staying in a small hotel across the street from the Hilton and walking several blocks down Michigan Avenue and sitting down in the grass in Grant Park and looking over at the Hilton and actually saying to myself again and again that I would some day book that National Safety Congress and make those Early Morning Presentations.  Talk about goal setting and visualization and persistence; I used everything I could find to reach that goal.  Now, every time the National Safety Congress comes around I remember doing those early morning sessions, in ’78 and ’88  and ’98 and then attending in ’02 and receiving The Distinguished Service to Safety Award in San Diego… oh yes, I remember it all and when I remember those thrills I sort of get that itchy feeling that I’d like to dust off my tonsils and get out there and do it all again. As the late great Count Basie might say, “One More Time!”

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