Monday, October 25, 2010

Just About a Mile from Texarkana

I’m in Texarkana, Tex. tonight. Texarkana is one of those towns that gets sung about a lot because it makes for a nice rhyme, as Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Cotton Fields," Crazy Elephant's "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" and Jerry Reed's "Eastbound and Down" can attest.

One thing that doesn't rhyme with Texarkana is syphilis. The Ark-La-Tex region has some of the higher syphilis rates in the country, so I'm here for a meeting with public health folks from the tri-state area to discuss coordination of prevention and messaging efforts across state lines.

I would’ve preferred to meet in Hot Springs, Ark. for the spring-fed baths or Shreveport, La. for the casino buffets, but our leash ends where Texas does. As far as I can tell, the primary extracurricular activity in Texarkana would be to have a photo taken on State Line Ave. with half my girth in Texas and the other in Arkansas. Having already done that in several obnoxious iterations over the years, I’m content to hit the hotel treadmill and watch the Cowboys try to soak up some Texas Rangers mojo on Monday Night Football.

Yup, just another crazy night of road-hogging in the name of public health.


Patrick said...

Why all the traveling to meetings? Hasn't the state heard of the Internet?

Greg said...

Right now, I think a better question is, "Why all the meetings?," real, virtual or otherwise. That said, I've done it both ways and my experience is that getting stakeholders engaged and invested in coordinating social marketing initiatives is more likely if you have at least some face time with them.