Thursday, March 24, 2011


The setting: Flying from Atlanta to Albuquerque, sometime in 1998. I'm flying with the young #1 Son and the very young (2 year old) #2 Son.

In those days, Giants still strode the earth, and airlines fed you. I had children's meals for the kids. The flight attendant brought them first, which was a nice touch.

Ah, hot dogs, I said to myself. Good. They'll eat that. My kids were generally good about what they'd eat, but every now and then something would go off the rails - for example, they'd never touch Mac and cheese. Hot dogs got the Borepatch seal of approval.

Except this time, we hit a long stretch of bumpy air. #2 Son got sick.  On me. Ah, the pleasures of fatherhood.

Of course, I'd checked the suitcases, because I had all I could handle with the stroller, snack bag, and other implements of destruction. Of course I had a change of clothes for him; I just didn't have anything for me. Plus, we changed planes in Dallas.

Good thing they have Golf Shops in DFW terminal. I bought a polo shirt that said "Dallas", which got me to Albuquerque. It was a sad day when the shirt ripped and we threw it away.

The setting: Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, sometime in 1999. #1 Son has been writing letters to his grandparents all summer. The deal was that I'd take him to the Balloon Festival. We'd ridden the MARTA subway to the airport, which was a mistake - there was construction, a big delay, and we got to the airport after the flight had left.

But this was in the days when Giants strode the earth, and before the airlines were all going bankrupt. The gate agent took one look at him, holding back the tears (plus a glance at my 100,000+ miles the year before). She asked him where he was going, and he said to see Grandpa.

She got us on a late flight, and bumped us up to First Class. It really didn't make much difference to him - he fell asleep pretty quickly - but it was a very nice diving catch by the American Airlines gate agent.

The Setting: Today, sitting next to #2 Son in DFW. It's very odd flying this route to Albuquerque knowing that Dad isn't there to meet me at the airport.

I'm glad to have the company.


North said...

Your Dad got bumped up to first class.

Tango Juliet said...

Nice story.

ZerCool said...

Coulda used a kleenex warning... safe travels, and God speed.

Dad will be waiting at the gate again one day. He expects that flight to be a long one.

BobG said...

The Albuquerque Balloon Festival is pretty good; my wife and I saw it in 1997.

Anonymous said...

:( ditto on what ZerCool said.


Anonymous said...

Very moving - the comments, too.

cheers, erich

Unknown said...

"Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak, and to speak well, are two things. a fool may talk, but a wise man speaks." Ben Johnson 1573-1637

You honor the memory of your Dad; as a wise man does... Thanks for sharing your memories...Have a great time with your son.

Borepatch said...

Thanks everybody. It's been a great help to me to write about this as I've gone through it. I've wondered if it's too much, and your comments let me know that it's not. I really appreciate that.

Eagle said...

Dad's watching you from above.

It's sad, tho, to realize that we're reaching the age when life stops giving you things... and starts taking them away...