Last Sunday I was at O’Hare to take the first leg of a week of flying. Got there early, by 7 for a 9 am flight. Several hours later when the plane was rescheduled for 11:30, I knew that it was time to find another flight. This required that I give up the luxury of the Red Carpet club and join the masses waiting by the gate.
It turned out to be a gift. Once secured on another flight but with quite awhile to wait, I began to roam around. I was not paying attention too much to anything in particular. A thirty something mom with a baby in a stroller, a guy in the ugliest white and brown striped sport coat I had ever seen, and just lots of people.
Then Jesse Jackson strolls by. He is in a long dark coat and a dark, gray hat with a wide brim. He nods to individuals making eye contact with him, sometimes murmuring “good morning”. No one was trying to shake his hand or interrupt his journey. Conversely he was not playing the politician or trying to be noticed. No body guards or handlers. Just walking down the concourse.
I may be the only one who feels something in the air when in the presence of someone famous. Though I never spoke to him, I felt as if by being near someone well known I was special by association.
I began to notice more detail of my surroundings. My next sighting was a man on crutches. Quickly followed by the observation that he had lost a leg. I felt sympathy immediately though I realized that I had no idea how this happened to him or if he was or was not a person deserving of sympathy. Next, a young African-American boy maybe 3 years old in the company of a Caucasian couple in their forties. There was a man wearing only underwear as a shirt. Two very cute, little, blonde girls sitting next to their mother each holding a teddy bear. At first I thought they might be twins but one was clearly younger than the other. The younger sister was singing to herself and entertaining the crowd around her.
There were lots of persons of all ages and sizes. Next thing I knew we were boarding. It was a very good start to a very long week.
P.S. The little singing girl sat behind me on the plane; lucky for me. Part of the ride were quite bumpy and though I am a veteran traveler, I was beginning to feel a little nervous. That is until I heard the squeals of joy from behind me every time the plane bounced around. I figured if she thought this was fun so would I.