A Kodak Moment _ Olympic Flame Passes Through Rochester, N.Y.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ The Olympic torch took a picture-perfect, albeit stormy, trail through Kodak country Wednesday, borne a few blocks by George Fisher, chief executive of the world’s biggest photographic firm.
``When you see so many people smiling, yelling and excited about something as positive as the Olympics, it’s really beautiful,″ Fisher said after transferring the torch flame outside Eastman Kodak headquarters.
Thousands of spectators, many of them Kodak workers on lunch break, roared their approval as Fisher and his wife, Ann, jogged through the clogged downtown streets of Rochester, their slow progress overtaken by black clouds gleaming with distant lightning.
``It was one of my easier workouts,″ Fisher, who runs three miles a day, said to laughter, moments before a burst of rain scattered much of his camera-clicking audience.
``Fortunately, you’re holding wood here,″ Fisher added, glancing at his souvenir torch. ``It could have been a lightning rod!″
The torch started out from Niagara Falls on the 48th day of an 84-day, 15,000-mile relay that will reach Atlanta on July 19 for the opening of the Summer Games.
It has been relayed by cable car, Pony Express, street car, bicycle, steamboat, canoe and biplane since it left Los Angeles on April 27.
More than 60 people ran the torch through Rochester, home to three major Olympic sponsors _ Kodak, Xerox Corp. and sunglasses maker Bausch & Lomb.
They included community minded students, a cancer-stricken teacher and Olympians like sailor Louise Van Voorhis and Randolph Lipscher, who played goalie for the U.S. men’s field hockey team in the 1984 Olympics.
The procession stopped in Rochester’s Manhattan Square Park for a rain-interrupted community celebration before heading off to Syracuse for the night.
Pat O’Connor, who has worked for Kodak, the city’s largest employer, for 15 years, said she wanted to see the torch pass by just to be able to say someday that ``I was there!″
She also wanted a close-up glimpse of her boss. ``I’ve never seen George,″ she said.