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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Monday, October 1 2001 

Let's do lunch

Last Thursday's entry consisted mainly of a speech reportedly given by the captain of an airline flight from Denver to Los Angeles a few days after the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, encouraging passengers to intervene if a hijacker should try to commandeer their plane. We've already looked at the pilot's major theme, but there's a leitmotif worth considering. He also said at his conclusion:

Now, since we're a family for the next few hours, I'll ask you to turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself, tell them a little about yourself and ask them to do the same.

Considering this advice reminded me of the first description of airline travel I ever heard. The person describing her flight was Mrs. Dora Searle, our fifth grade teacher at the Blacklick Township High School, which included one classroom of elementary students, fifth graders, at the time. There were no jetliners in 1952, so the "big" planes of the time were more like the ones that hop between Pittsburgh and Johnstown or Altoona airports these days. Nevertheless, Mrs. Searle was enthused about her experience and we kids were of course excited to hear about it.

Mrs. Searle instilled in some of us a longterm interest in air travel, one of whom was me. I hate flying, but the benefits of doing so still outweigh the objections. The actuarials still insist air travel is no more dangerous than many other routine activities. Today's planes are safer than those in Mrs. Searle's day. But in her day, it was an adventure. She liked airline meals. People routinely observed that one of the benefits of flying was the nice people you meet on the plane.

Over the years, it gradually became chic to criticize airline food, then to dislike it, and eventually to "hate" airline meals. And, more lately, making conversation on a plane has also become the butt of jokes. "Leave me alone to listen to my CD Walkman or work on this laptop computer project."

So why have things changed such that now, maybe, airliner passengers can be described as "a family for the next few hours"?

Do you think maybe on your next flight you might meet some nice people?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Three to go on (series of 15)

7. The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

8. The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends.

9. The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement. .

Sent by Sallie Covolo

Heaven as bribe

We are afraid that heaven is a bribe, and that if we make it our goal we shall be no longer disinterested. It is not so. Heaven offers nothing than a mercenary soul can desire. It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure inheart want to.

—C.S. Lewis

Sent by Carole Levinson Stuart

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