Ohio Bike Week seems to have the reputation of bringing out the biggest, baddest bikers from all around.
Although the stereotype may hold true in some cases, bikers camping out at the Erie County Fairgrounds during the thunderstorm earlier this week shared a different story.
"We were all sitting around after the gates closed, sipping on beer and laughing it up," vendor Ted Sands said. "And then that thunder and lightning hit. Boy, we ran away like a bunch of scared little girls."
Locals listening to NPR's Diane Rehm Show at a little after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday might have pricked up their ears at one point in the show.
A high school teacher named David from -- yes, Sandusky -- contributed to a discussion about the dwindling attention spans of people, young and old, and what that means for widespread intelligence levels.
Maggie Jackson, author of "Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age" theorizes that unless people make sure to take time out of the day to really focus on deconstructing ideas, today's distractions will lead us into another Dark Age, when inspired innovations are kept to a minimum.
Our man Dave suggested that -- if I remember correctly -- schools need to better promote critical thinking skills.
Jackson said, "we've inherited an education system mired in the Industrial Age."
Some things need fixed, she said.
Sandusky famous, Part II
When I came back from a recent journalism conference in Miami, Fla. there was an interesting e-mail in my work inbox, aptly titled "Holly and Dave..."
Which Dave, you may ask? Famed humor columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Barry.
I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Barry at the conference, as he was the keynote speaker. Along with me I took a copy of The Register from May 2007. On the front page is an article I wrote, "Humor columnist finds material in Sandusky," about how Barry had taken a liking to Sandusky news and began blogging about it. I wanted to present him with a copy of the newspaper and tell him I was the reporter who wrote the piece about his blog.
When we met Barry was enthused and said something along the lines of "Sandusky is awesome!" when I told him that is where I work. He then gave me a high five.
So what does the e-mail have to do with this? It was a link to Barry's blog where he posted a photo he took of me holding the newspaper article and a blog entry about our encounter.
Warner knows county government
Sandusky's newest city commissioner, Bob Warner, knows a thing or two about county government, too.
For the past two or three years, Warner has frequently attended Erie County Commissioner meetings.
Warner, marketing representative for International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, usually sits quietly but speaks up from time to time to make sure workers are getting union wages when the county has a construction project under contract.
"I've been interested in county government and city government for quite some time. We all have to work together," Warner said during Thursday's county commission meeting.
Warner knows the three commissioners well and also knows all of the candidates running for county commission. After the meeting, he could be seen talking to Mike Printy, a Republican candidate for county commissioner.
Having been to only a handful of concerts in my life, I was looking forward to the Saliva concert Friday.
The free concert was already a little rowdy with crowd surfers and a mosh pit going full force throughout the night.
Just as I was beginning to enjoy myself, a fight broke out about 5 feet from where I stood.
Like everyone else, I backed away, hoping I wouldn't get taken out.
I was surprised when I saw my co-worker Luke Wark push toward the fight, so I asked what he was doing.
"I'm trying to get a picture," said Wark, ever the photographer.
Biker love undercover
The love between two bikers is a special bond, fueled by common interests and the intimacy of sharing seats during a cross-country ride. But one other factor seemed to bring several of this week's couples together -- one they'd rather not mention.
While interviewing bikers during the festivities, most were eager to talk about their experiences, but when it came time to drop names, a few people froze.
"Well ... we're celebrating our three-year anniversary," one couple said, their cheeks flushing pink, "but our spouses don't know we're here together."
For a reporter, it was a rare instance where no further details were needed.