Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flight Home

We landed at sunset into Memphis, it was breathtaking
I've got just a sec but wanted to get in a quick post about my flight home. I had an amazing time and will remember all the places I went and the feeling I got. I want to do a post about the African American spirit, but right now about my flight home.
I had a quick flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Memphis Tennessee. As I was settling into my seat the flight attendant was walking around trying to make bags fit in the overhead compartment. (it was a full flight). She took a smaller sorta empty dufflebag out and started asking whose it was. The guy on his cell phone directly in front of me eventually claimed it, but when she brought it to him and asked him to put it under his seat to make room for bigger bags he got all up in the night. :) Swears I haven't heard in a while came out, he was sure she picked his bag because she was racist and that no one else had to put their bag under! Because he was on the phone he missed the three other bags that were moved as well. The tension on the plane instantly went up. You physically saw people tense and start to freak out. The guy is still on the phone and telling the person of his injustice and all together having a tantrum. The man next to him (lets call him bob, he looks like a 55 year old bob) looks to his neighbor who he obvious knows and they both give the wide eyed "holy crap are we going to die" look. The guy eventually hangs up his phone and is just seething. The flight attendant comes back and says she has found a place for his bag if he would like her to put it away. He barks at her, uses several expletives and explains his injustice. She very calmly (with the whites of her eyes, and her am I going to die look) states she's happy to put his bag away. The guy, lets call him Tyrone (early 30's big tattooed man) finally lets her take the bag. He is seething. Physically breathing heavily, yells to no one in particular, I need some alcohol. Can anyone get me some alcohol on this plane? The tension is so high, I myself am starting to get really nervous as well. His seat is back and touching my knees and I know they are going to have to ask him to put it up. Then a small miracle happens, and I am grateful I was able to witness it.
Bob leans over to Tyrone, "Have you flown before?" Tyrone softly, "No, and I'm so nervous."
Bob starts to explain all the buttons, the air vent thing at the top, the windows, then they get out the safety card and go over it together. Bob speaks to Tyrone like a son, hes not condescending just helpful. Tyrone is still a little loud and throws in expletives here and there but Bob just continues with his soft and slow voice. Soon Tyrone is talking soft and slow. They go through the safety instructions when the flight attendants go over it. As the flight attendant passes Tyrone tells her he apologizes, that he's just really nervous because it's his first time flying. The flight attendant softens, asks if he has any questions. Asks him to put his seat up and he apologizes to me if his seat was touching me. Tells everyone sorry for his outburst. Everyone smiles at him and we all get through the flight together. The take off and there was quite a bit of turbulence and the bumpy landing. Bob continues the whole flight to explain whats going on and whats happening. Tyrone looks out the window in astonishment like a child. Bob's neighbor is at first disgusted with Bob even talking to Tyrone, can't believe his eyes. He too by the end of the flight is being kind to Tyrone, even tells him sorry it was just a boring flight, to which Tyrone exclaims, "Boring, how could flying be boring, that was amazing, I think i might do it again sometime." Everyone smiles as we depart, they even ask Tyrone if he was ok and enjoyed his flight. It was amazing and I was so grateful for Bob, he inspired me to take more risks and help others, to squelch the fears inside of us.
That is one thing I did learn from this trip, there is no room for fear if you want to be amazing. I want to teach my children they can do or be anything and there is no room for fear. :) Thank you Bob for being amazing.


Michelle said...

I <3 BOB.
I'm glad you made it home safe.

Jared said...

Thanks for the story, now I want to fly somewhere :).

red said...

Thanks for sharing. That was sweet...and scary.

Cindy said...

It's a good thing there are cool people like "Bob" in the world :)

Eve said...

This made me tear up. What a good man - I would not have been so brave (or compassionate).