BRACK: Viewing dress at the airport, and how to present Georgia’s weather

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher |   Spend time at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and you get to see a continuing distinctive display of people walking by, decked out in all kinds of outfits for their travel. America’s clothing today is a far cry from the once common more formal apparel for airline travel. You see few people “dressed up.”

We’ll say this: it appears that many international travelers from distant lands dress for travel far better than their American counterparts. You see people from distant Africa and Asia in their ceremonial dress which is both colorful and distinctive, and covers most of their body.

All too often many Americans seems more dressed for travel more suitable for the beach or swimming pool, if you call what some wear “dress” at all.

We were among those at the airport welcoming nearly 40,000 Rotarians for their international convention last weekend.  About 10 of us at a time were stationed around the arriving areas of the airport seeking to be helpful to visitors.

One restaurant at Atlanta’s airport has a new gadget to summon your waiter. Press one button to call the waiter, another for your check, or another to disregard the previous communication!

Yet far more than helping the visiting Rotarians, we were being asked all kind of questions from everyday travelers.  While there is a plethora of signs directing travelers to various locations throughout the airport, Hartsfield-Jackson suffers significantly from “sign overload.” It confuses many visitors.

So, we directed guests to the Southwest, American or United or Delta counters. Or to the Starbucks, Post Office, or rest rooms.  Having been a traveler in unfamiliar airports, we could understand the frustration of some visitors. The day was tiring, but an interesting way to spend some time directing newcomers to the airport.

Well, here’s one way.  

During last week’s Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, the daily Rotary internet message of upcoming events featured a spot called “Local Weather.”

Here’s how they showed the temperatures for Atlanta during its convention:

  • Monday, 65 F., Partly Cloudy;
  • Tuesday, 73 F., Partly Cloudy;
  • Wednesday, 78 F., Partly Cloudy;
  • Thursday, 75 F., Partly Cloudy; and
  • Friday, 71 F., Partly Cloudy.

That was correct, of course. But it was only the daily low temperatures, not the high temperatures. Do you suspect that Rotary International got the information from the promotion department at the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce? After all, this is late springtime in Georgia, and the average daily high temperature is usually in the 80s. But Rotary’s daily calendar never mentioned that.

For early arrivals at the convention, stepping outside the Georgia World Congress Center later in the day may have been somewhat surprised about the daytime temperature.

Rotary’s convention has a big impact on the City, the eighth largest convention of the year, making a $57 million economic impact from the 40,000 Rotarians from 170 countries all over the world visiting Atlanta. It is truly a mini-United Nations, with 1.2 million members throughout the world.

The Rotary Club of Atlanta was founded in 1913, eight years after the 1905 founding of Rotary in Chicago, with 37 members. Today its membership is limited to 500 members. Today there are more than 10,000 Rotary members in Georgia. Gwinnett  County has seven Rotary Clubs, with about 300 members.

International president for the past year of Rotary has been John Germ, a resident of Chattanooga. While Seoul, Korea was the site of last year’s convention, the 2018 convention will be in Toronto, Canada.