Listening in hotel rooms

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I wasn't able to attend the Newport Show but I've certainly been to a fair number of other shows. In fact, since the mid 1970s I've attended at least one—often two—hifi shows a year. And that's a lot of years and a lot of shows. I remember the first show I attended back in Chicago when summer CES was at the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue, across from the lake. Stan and I had never been to a show, or Chicago for that matter: a couple of California backwater hicks going to the big city. I remember the eager bellhop outside the hotel who lifted a taxicab full of amps and preamps and toted them upstairs for us. I had remembered Terri's strict instructions that I "take care" of people helping us by tipping them. I pulled my wallet out, spied a crisp dollar bill next to a tired looking 5'ver and all of a sudden felt generous. It had been an entire bellman's cart full of heavy amps and boxes, after all, so I handed the man the $5 bill. I suddenly panicked, worried perhaps I was overpaying, but... when in the big city, sometimes you have to play the part of the high roller. It impresses the locals when out-of-towners do things like that (at least that's what the movies I'd watched seemed to suggest). Instead of a look of gratitude there was one of quizzical surprise instead. "Five bucks?" he asked. "Yes, and you did a great job, thanks." "Five bucks?" He repeated and I finally got the sense he wasn't happy. I opened my wallet and pulled out the dollar bill I had originally intended and sheepishly handed it to him from the now empty wallet. He gave me a smirk I shall never forget and handed back the $5. "You obviously need this more than I do." Welcome to Chicago and the big city.
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Paul McGowan

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