A Sparkling Adventure in Galveston: A Champion's Tale

- As told by Jeremiah Hickey owner of On The Spot Window Cleaning in San Luis Obispo County, CA

Does the Champ still have “IT”?

At the 2024 International Window Cleaning Association’s (IWCA) annual convention held in Galveston, Texas, at Moody Gardens, the answer was a clear “Yes.” But there’s a lot more to the story than that…

Picture an exhibition hall ablaze with excitement as I, alongside the esteemed Jeff Likes, showcased our expertise, setting the stage for an electrifying showdown: an exhibition heat as ambassadors building excitement for the speed window cleaning competition to come. Jeff Likes of Jeff Likes Window Cleaning in Davis, California, is the only other American to win the World Cup of Window Cleaning championship.

As the crowd gathered in anticipation, Jeff and I stepped onto the stage, our squeegees ready for action. With practiced precision, we demonstrated the finesse and technique honed over years of experience, leaving behind a trail of sparkling windows.

I completed my run in 10.5 seconds - the fastest run of the event! 

Jeff and my exhibition set the stage for the upcoming contest and ignited the enthusiasm of the audience. The next fastest run of the night was Jeff’s exhibition run, while the winner of the event, Kory Klimas of Koastal Kleaners Window Cleaning in Connecticut took the title of this year’s IWCA’s “Fastest Window Cleaner” during the Jim Willingham Speed Competition.

My exhibition run was by far the fastest of the event filled with competitors from as far away as Brazil and Sweden; however, I was there as a mentor, coach, and judge of the event, not a competitor.

This was my and Amanda’s first time in Galveston. From taking in the coastal views of the Gulf of Mexico, to walking the downtown streets finding delightful culinary treats, and exploring the deep history of the famous island off the coast of Texas.

Exploring Galveston

Storm Surge Marker Overhead

We didn’t realize, but Galveston is home to the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The storm of 1900 was a massive hurricane that put the island under water; destroying 2/3rds of the structures and taking over 6000 lives. It was humbling walking through the streets and seeing plaques on the sides of buildings denoting them as survivors of that major storm. 

Since then, there has been a sea wall built and many foundations raised to help prevent similar tragedies from the many hurricanes that continue to plague the region.

Culinary Fun

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What about the food?

My favorite dish of our vacation was cajun-style jumbo shrimp in a thick red sauce. The red snapper was also a delightful fish that I had never eaten before. It was very light and flaky with just enough meaty texture to make me happy as I sank my teeth into it.

If you head to Galveston, I recommend Katie’s Seafood House for their boat-to-table freshness and delicious seasonal plates, and the Cajun Greek for their "Mason's Royal Head On Shrimp" in their recommended spicy sauce.

Networking Opportunites

Of course, no convention would be complete without its fair share of networking opportunities. Amidst the bustling crowds and spirited conversations, I forged connections with fellow window cleaning professionals from Brazil to Sweden and everywhere in between. From sharing trade secrets to swapping stories of squeegee triumphs, I found common ground in our passion for perfection and commitment to excellence. It was a reminder that, beyond the thrill of competition and the allure of exotic cuisines, it's the bonds formed and cherished that truly make the journey worthwhile.

Until next time...

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