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Reprinted from PN July 2002
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To quote from Don Broderick's acceptance speech after he was elected PVA's president at the 28th Annual Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1974: "It is a very fortunate man who gets to work at what he believes in most." And PVAers and their entourages are heading to that enchanted island this July, exactly 28 years later.

After nearly three decades, some things haven't changed much. Bob Webb, PN editor in '74, wrote in his Cob Webs column:

"The 28th Annual Convention of the Paralyzed Veterans of America was the first, to my knowledge, ever to be held outside the continental United States.

In addition to adding an air of exotic anticipation to the event for many, I am sure it also raised some questions on what sort of delights we might expect.

"I, for one, have no particular fondness for hot weather and viewed with some qualms the prospect of heading even farther south toward the equator during the middle of summer.

"When the aircraft's windows steamed over on the outside immediately upon landing in San Juan, I was sure my worst fears had materialized. To my very pleasant surprise, though, although warm, the weather in San Juan was delightful. At least at our seacoast hotel, the San Juan Sheraton, the pleasantly balmy trade winds blew almost constantly day and night, making for a relaxing tropical feeling."

However, some things never seem to change, as Bob described day four.

"The benignly balmy trade winds gave no clue to the marathon session that lay in wait for us as we wheeled toward the meeting room. But, alas, the meeting convened at 8:35 a.m. and did not finally recess until more than 13 bottom-burning hours later, at 10:15 p.m."

For those attending PVA's 2001 midyear meeting, a similar seat-scorching session occurred. But, with lightning speed, in an attempt to curtail long-drawn-out sessions, the national directors immediately proposed that future meetings be extended by one day.

The edict, to put the kibosh on blurry-eyed business, was adopted during the following August's annual meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

And speaking of lingering issues that never fade away: After conclusion of a hotly contested debate over research funds, Bob reported a notable comment by a delegate who in regard to budget allocations said, "Research is great, but while we are looking for a cure for paraplegia, I'd like to be able to go to the bathroom."

 

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