Two round trips: between Phoenix and Orlando. Sometimes it is apparent you are in the right place at the right time.
We were scheduled to leave Phoenix, our departure time 5:55pm, however, to our dismay, the flight was delayed to an 8:15pm departure. This meant an arrival in Florida of 2:00am! We were not the only group of inconvenienced passengers. There were 22 who had a delayed flight from San Diego into Phoenix so they missed their connection. Consequently they were put on our flight.
One of the passengers from San Diego was Paul. He was a nice man, very interesting and as he told us of his travels around the world I found myself thinking of another very interesting man I met years ago while I worked at the Retail Center at the University of Arizona – John Peterman.
Now some of you might remember this name if you watched Seinfeld years back. Not this man but an actor played the character. The real J. Peterman was fascinating, just like Paul. When we arrived in Orlando I gave him my card and hoped to hear from him since his farewell included a “come to SD and stay at my place at the beach” OK.
We had an outstanding visit with my son, his wife and our
handsome, brilliant and fantastic youngest grandson.
Our flight back was Orlando to Chicago to Phoenix. The Orlando to Chicago-Midway flight was packed and there were at least a dozen kids – I didn’t know what to expect but to my surprise it was a calm flight. The Chicago to Phoenix trip included another fortuitous human connection – Max.
Max was 85 years old, with a gorgeous white goatee and a full head of white hair. He was right out of a movie – a very handsome man (wish I had gotten a photo.) He was traveling alone.
Max was having a bit of a cough, he seemed uncomfortable so I grabbed a cough drop I had in my bag and gave it to him, he was glad to take it and I assured him it was sugar free and he responded “That’s good for my diabetes,” and smiled at me. I went back to the movie I was watching on my phone. After a while I noticed he was clearing his through and coughing (differently than the first) so I asked him if he was okay. He said he just needed a drink. I had an empty plastic cup and we had a bottle of water so I filled it and handed it to him. Again a thankful smile and he took a drink. He told me the cough drop had cleared his head a bit.
He started to talk. About the lights in the darkness outside, his family, his house in Buckeye AZ, that he travels between Chicago and Phoenix by himself since his wife didn’t travel, and he always traveled Southwest Airlines. One more fill of water and by the time the flight was over he was relaxed and I felt like we were meant to sit with him.
Max, I hope you are doing well.