Like I said, last week was wild and as a result, I am beyond behind on blogging.
Last weekend, Mom, Dad and I decamped to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting in Omaha. I’ve been meaning to go for a few years now because (1) what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have to say is important to hear and (2) they are old as hell.
We did the whole trip in about 30-ish hours, leaving Plymouth at 3:00 PM on Friday, spending the evening in Des Moines. We left for Omaha at 4:00 AM on Saturday morning (it’s about a two-hour drive) and then left at about 2:30 PM for an 8:00 PM arrival in Plymouth on Saturday night.
So it was sort of a whirlwind adventure.
I packed a dress-cardigan-heels, because I knew the only way that I would possibly run into Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger/Bill Gates was if I was dressed impeccably or looked like an urchin.
If you couldn’t tell, it was cold and rainy and windy and generally miserable outside. To our surprise (as well as the rest of The Masses) they ended up opening the Century Link Center early.
That was pretty much wonderful because we were able to stake out some seats fairly quickly and get to the business of visiting the expo.
What’s at the expo? Well, during the meeting you’re able to purchase merchandise from Berkshire-owned companies like Brooks, Dairy Queen, See’s and Justin Boots onsite in the convention hall.
Mom and I left Dad to look over our seats while we headed out of the arena and down to the convention hall. We didn’t have a massive agenda while we were down there, but we did grab Berky Boxers from Fruit of the Loom, an eclectic assortment of candies from See’s and some Warren and Charlie M&Ms from the Mars booth.
We had only just wrapped up our first shopping stop when I saw the cameras and the bodyguards not 20 feet away and realized that was where Warren was. So, I am not too proud to admit that I hustled over there as fast as I could and attached myself to the press pool.
And for my best efforts over the course of five minutes to avoid a fit of hyperventilating and shaking, I was rewarded.
With a shot of moi on ABC’s This Week the next morning.
So that was pretty much the peak of the day for me. I’m sure that sounds heinously superficial when you think about where I was and what I all got to hear that day, but seriously kittens it was so WILD.
After Mom and I wrapped up our shopping, we hustled back up to the arena and I headed back down to the convention hall with Dad.
More shenanigans (and a bit of Dilly Bar eating) ensued.
And all of this before 8:30 AM.
Weirdly enough, we ran into a few people we knew while we were down on the floor. One couple was from church and then there was a gang composed of one of my father’s former co-workers, his 11-year-old daughter and another friend of theirs.
This was obviously wonderful and incredibly awkward at the same time. Even though pretty much everyone in attendance walks around looking as if they have won the lottery, We Do Not Talk About Money. So really, the only available conversation topics are: How long have you been coming? Where did you stay? Did you buy anything today?
At which point, I would sort of do a present face. So great to see you, more Dilly Bars please.
As for my thoughts on the actual meeting, and the Q&A, it was plainly: overwhelming. One part church, one part rally cry. The Woodstock of Capitalism. Full of Really Important Stuff. If you want a good picture of what all was said and how people seemed to feel about that, I’d direct you to the NYT’s DealBook Live Blog of the event. Or this set of notes for something a bit more comprehensive.
What I do feel qualified to say is that it was nothing short of astonishing to watch 30,000 adults sit quietly for seven hours and listen to Warren and Charlie speak. 30,000 people. Seven hours. Completely silent. I do not know that I have ever witnessed anything like that in my life.
And just like that, in (truly) a blink of an eye, our day was over and we were headed back to real life at full-speed.