Untotaled: Stepping 57 (September 6th, 1970) Leavin’ on a Jet Plane … March 7, 2015

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I had never flown on an airplane.

Matter of fact, the only time I had been to the airport was when I got lost in Gahanna and ended up with the front end of my car staring at a fence, at the end of a runway.

So when a friend dropped me off at the Columbus International Airport Terminal (an unfortunate choice of names) I was scared to death and inched my way through the door and up to the ticket counter, where a lovely young woman assisted me to purchase a stand-by student ticket for Tucson, Arizona, which was due to leave at 10:44 that morning.

She asked me if this was my first flight. I lied and said no.

I don’t know why I lied–I guess I didn’t want to come off like a rube, but it was a huge mistake. Because after I acquired my ticket, I sat in the lobby at the front of the terminal, and when 10:44 came and went, I found the courage to ask the lady who had sold me the ticket why the plane was late.

She, realizing now that I was a liar about travel experience, explained that it was necessary to go to the gate to depart on the airplane–not stay in the lobby of the airport.

It was a good tip.

She graciously found a way to transfer my ticket to the next flight, and at 2:23 that afternoon, I flew out to Arizona.

Rube, as it turns out I was, I had not considered what I was going to do when I landed in Tucson. The airport ended up being quite a distance from the university and a taxi was out of the question.

I decided to walk through the desert to get to town. Fortunately, I was rescued by a long-haired young gentleman driving a green Volkswagon bug with a peace sign on it. He drove me to the college, took me to a motel, where I did actually acquire a room for the night–for five dollars.

Being insanely optimistic and young, I felt that the worst part of my journey was over, never realizing that back home in Ohio, somebody had gotten wind of my plans and had called my girlfriend’s father, warning him that I was on my way to get her.

So I took a short nap at the motel, walked out of my room towards the college, being trailed by a Tucson police car, which obviously couldn’t interrupt my plans, but certainly spooked me.

It was at that point that I realized that the adventure had just begun,

I found the dormitory my girlfriend stayed in, confirmed that she was going to be there and waited for her to get back with her friends.

It had just begun to rain in Tucson (which is usually a local holiday) when my girlfriend walked in the door with her pretty little raincoat and saw me for the first time.

I would not describe her look as glee; nor was it disgust.

How about horrified surprise?

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Published in: on March 7, 2015 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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