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The Hotel is on Fire!...

The Retreat at the Beach was going well. We were at The Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, MD. It was
Saturday morning. There we were in this beautiful conference room which had one wall of windows
looking out on the water. It was amazing to watch the waves while listening to the program. What a way
to learn!!!

To access the conference room, you walked down a long corridor inside, adjacent to the hotel stairwell,
then turned into the room to see this wonderful view. Our continental breakfast was set up in the back
of the room, just as you entered. There was egress to the porch outside. As the weather was nice,
people were taking their food outside, looking at the ocean, chatting.

Suddenly, the fire alarm went off. People were flying down the stairwell, into the conference room to
exit the hotel onto the oceanside veranda. Despite being in pajamas and different levels of dress for
the day, the guests were calmly leaving the hotel. But not before helping themselves to our beautiful

In the meantime. Dr. James Zabora, then Dean of CUA, NCSSS, had arranged for Matt Loscalzo from
California to be one of our presenters. Jim was not able to join us that year and Matt was traveling to
Ocean City on his own. He was to arrive very late Friday night. Jim called the hotel, just to be sure
Matt got there. Only to be told by whomever answered the Front Desk phone, “I’m sorry sir. I can’t tell
you if he arrived or not. The Hotel is on Fire and we are evacuating!”

It was a false alarm. No fire. Matt got there safely on Friday night and gave a great workshop. The hotel
restocked our breakfast, and a great time was had by all. (Jim was relieved to hear all was well)

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