Archive for January 9th, 2023

January 9, 2023

Airplane chatting

by Rod Smith

Talked my ear off. And, I loved it. And, well, I confess, I did my fair share, too.

[I can hear Morey in 10th Grade English yelling at me for starting not one, but two sentences with “and” and I whisper mind your own business.]

Topics covered: insurance industry (he’s off to Rhode Island); having a new grandson (he has one); adoption (he’s adopted); rearing boys (he has two, both of whom are “launched”); Memphis (a city he associates with fabulous memories and he met his wife there, one son was born there); car trips, Sedona, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, to name a few……

I told this fabulous interesting man a few things too.

As my mother would sing, “a stranger is just a friend you do not know…..”

On a practical note Dulles is huge and it’s not uncommon to land at a gate that’s miles from your next departure gate. Not this time. Landed at C21 and departing from C8…….. just down a short drag.

January 9, 2023

Airplane reading

by Rod Smith

Heading to South Africa I stopped at the bookstore in Concourse A before my first flight and saw Malcolm Gladwell’s “Talking With Strangers.” 

I decided against it.

This was for sheer care and concern about whomever would be seated next to me on the long-haul from Dulles to Cape Town ‘cause if I sat with someone reading a book with that title I’d go into immediate oh-no-please-don’t mode.

It’s not that I won’t or don’t talk to strangers but when you have to read a book about it it’s likely you’ll want to get your money’s worth and practice on the first one you see and before you’ve even finished the book and haven’t gotten to the when-not-to bits.

Oh, I know, people have met their Dreamboats on flights and are ever so grateful for Pan Am’s delay between Idlewild and Fort Myers 45 years ago when the stranger to whom they chatted is now still by their side.

I know it happens.

Most encounters are short-lived and, thankfully, benign.

I’m glad I didn’t get the Gladwell book and I’m sure it’s as good as all his others but I couldn’t.

Just couldn’t. Sheer care for the man or woman with whom I’m about to sit just wouldn’t permit it.

Sorry, Malcom.