had twenty-five or thirty senior people in town


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

Wanting to understand how this group worked, I tracked down one of the founders, Tim Welsh, a senior partner in the McKinsey & Co. team in Minneapolis. He recalled for me the first meeting of the Itasca group on September 12, 2003:

We had twenty-five or thirty senior people in town. Governor Pawlenty came and we spent well over an hour doing introductions—everyone was so passionate about this commu-nity and that there was the ethos that we wanted to preserve. We all knew it, but could not put our fingers on it, but it was a sense that we are all in this together and shared a commit-ment to the common good. . .

Does the bolded phrase imply 25-30 senior people gathered in the particular town?

Thank you.
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I'm not certain, but I think it has a slightly different meaning. Powerful people like that tend to travel a lot. Getting that many powerful, busy people in one room at one time is not easy. Somebody had to do the work of coordinating all those schedules. It's possible that some of the companies involved are not headquartered in Minnesota so their senior executives might have had to travel from somewhere else to be there.

    In that context, "in town" just means in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. In other words, close enough to be able to attend the meeting, and not hundreds of miles away in other cities. It's simply the equivalent of the word "here".
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