July 14 — Wipers, lost keys and heavy rain

Note: USA Wrestling intern Adam Engel will be writing short blog posts daily as he attends the USMC Junior and 16U National Championships for the first time.

Thursday July 14 – It all started with windshield wipers.

As a communications intern at USA Wrestling, one of the main trips is to Fargo, ND for the 16U and Junior Nationals. My boss, Gary Abbott, Director of Communications for USA Wrestling, and I arrived in Jamestown, ND after a smooth flight from Denver. The adventures began with our rental car on the 90 minute drive to Fargo. A light, barely perceptible drizzle dotted the windshield of our rental Ford Escape.

Immediately, Gary got annoyed that he couldn’t turn the rear wipers off. New rental car. New buttons. Confusing. You know how it is. He tried and tried but finally gave up on the task. So it did about 50 miles with the rear wipers sliding back and forth. At that time, the rain stopped.

In an attempt to help my boss, I googled a YouTube tutorial on how to turn off the windshield wipers in this particular car. I followed the instructions and…nothing. About a minute later Gary tried again and guess what? It worked. The Gary touch.

When the rain started to fall later in the day, he was able to put his newly acquired skills to good use. Once in town, we stopped at the Fargodome to pick up our media credentials and room keys. (Stay in dorms with other staff). All good except when I reached for the mini envelope for my key, I didn’t feel anything. I shook it upside down.

No key.

Gary and I drove to the NDSU Residential Life office and eventually got a key back, but a few more minutes were spent trying to find the building. (Thanks to road closures and diversions).

We dropped off our bags and went to the grocery store to buy groceries for the week and to get snacks for the media.

Note to self: do not carry your Fargo media credentials to Walmart or you will be mistaken for an employee. Twice in 20 minutes. No, I don’t know where the granola or the storage bags are. I’m as new here as you are.

Gary and I drove back to the rental car in the pouring rain. Again, a great use for these rear wipers. We weren’t the only ones soaked. The Oklahoma team arrived in two charter buses and the wrestlers took their time in the rain. They enjoyed it.

And I enjoyed my first day in Fargo. The fight isn’t until Saturday. But who cares ? I’m already having a good time.

The FargoDome two days before the start of the 2022 USMC Junior/16U National Championships. Photo by Adam Engel.

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