Saturday, September 4, 2010

Flight from Salt Lake City to Cincinnati

While waiting in the short but slow security line I got talking to the
thin young man ahead of me. He looked like a young Kurt Russell. He
was on his way to see his new nephew in Cleveland. He forgot that he
had a pocket knife in his backpack. TSA security spotted it during
the x-ray. I have heard stories of people being arrested for
accidentally trying to bring a knife on a plane, but maybe they don't
really do that. He agreed to let them dispose of the knife. Anyhow,
'Kurt Russell' and I had nothing better to do than chat for an hour at
the terminal while we waited to board the same plane.

Oddly enough, all this made me think about LOST. I knew that for the
next 3.6 hours, my fate would be would be tied to the fate of 200
complete strangers. If something were to go wrong with the plane then
it would go wrong for all of us. Usually I get to know a little bit
the people sitting next to me on the plane; there is a certain
intimacy to being crammed into coach. Then after the flight I will
never see any of these people ever again.

Why the connection to LOST? It is a story about 54 strangers who
survive on an island together for about 90 days. In the last ten
minutes of the series, it makes the point that these strangers end up
being the most important people in each others lives. (I think that
combat soldiers probably experience the same thing.)

On the plane I was disappointed to see that I would be sitting next to
two big guys, being a big guy myself. The other two big guys decided
to change seats. I guess that they were thinking the same thing I was
thinking. Good for them, but even better for me. I get 3 seats to

Flying out of Salt Lake International Airport I could see from above
many roads and trails leading up into the mountains. In the 17.7
years that I lived in Salt Lake City, I have only explored about 4 of
these, but there are many that I didn't know existed. I am not much
of an outdoors person, but maybe I need to get out more.

You can certainly tell when you are flying over Nebraska. Nothing but
patchwork farmland as far as far as my nearsighted eyes can see. I
have driven through it before; it is a real bore. The most
interesting part is a giant wood covered bridge over the interstate
highway that seems to connect to nothing at all. Nevertheless, I do
find it fun to drive across the country. Everyone should do it once
in awhile.

I realized mid flight that I had only gotten one boarding pass from
the automated checkin kiosk. I have a connecting flight to
Louisville. On the plane I talked to a stewardess who told me that I
should be able to get my second boarding pass in Cincinnati.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Sent from my iPhone

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