I spent the first half of yesterday in airports and on airplanes on my way to Colorado. I kind of love airports. There’s just something unspoken-ly great about a place designed totally the passing-through. The airport feels like a portal.
There’s something else I’ve inherited from my mom (besides her incredible good looks and sense of humor). The ability to talk to strangers.
Yesterday, I met Joe.
Joe is 80 years-old and a Korean War veteran who served on an aircraft carrier in the Navy for three years. While on board ship, he survived a typhoon but told me he only got seasick once. His wife was a professional exhibition and ballroom dancer who performed at famous supper clubs in the 1960’s (places like the exclusive Friars Club in New York City) and he tells me with great pride, that she was “the prettiest girl in town” and that they had danced together in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. “I’m not much of a partier anymore,” he laughs, “But I do love to ballroom dance.” Joe was a dance teacher, and later an EMT. One of his good friends wrote songs for country star Tammy Wynette. He has two daughters in California. And these days, he tries to keep doing new things. He’s learning how to play the piano and reading a biography on Charles Lindbergh. “I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none,” he tells me. When we get off the plane in Denver, I ask if I can take his picture and he says, “Sure.”
“I hope you have a good time with your family,” he tells me as I walk away.
“Safe travels,” I say.
“You’re a sweet girl.”
You never know who you’re traveling with…
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met on a trip?