Monday, December 26, 2011

Notes in Flight from Chicago to Paris on Christmas Day

With no wi-fi , and a pocket (paper) notebook inaccessible -- some bozo's barely-fit-in-the-overhead-compartment carryon luggage is smothering my jacket to death -- I'm using the Notes feature of my IPad to provide a flight update. (Might as well be au currant about this.). Two years ago, when Mom was still living, I would have packed a portfolio notebook with college-ruled 8 1/2 x 11 paper and carefully composed a series of vignettes -- printing as opposed to writing in cursive -- that provided a detailed chronology of our trip. A week in Louisiana in August 1999 ran to 27 (eventually typewritten) pages.

Eventually, all the luggage got stowed, but not before one slightly dazed-looking man wheeled his steroidal carryon up and down one of the aisles in coach. Twice. And of course it was the side of the plane where are seats are located.

As the plane taxied to our runway, the pilot inexplicably mentioned that we'd be flying over Jamestown, New York, which is 20 miles north of where I spent the majority of my so-called formative years. (And maybe that's all you need to know about what makes me tick.) It was 44 years today when my best friend Mike Foster (R.I.P.) and I went to see "Fitzwilly" (with Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Feldon) at the Wintergarden Theater (razed in the late 1990s) in downtown Jamestown with Renee Shulman (R.I.P.) and her equally ebullient freshman roommate at Ohio State. (Whose name I can't recall. It was the only time our paths crossed.)

Maybe I should give you a chance to catch your breath after that last paragraph.

After the movie -- anyone else heard of it? -- we might have stopped at The Pub for a drink. But since this was Christmas Day, chances are the bar was closed. Remember, this is 1968, when the drinking age in New York State was 18. For high-school-aged residents of Warren, Pennsylvania, it was the era of going "up north".

Something to be described in a later, non-Paris post.

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