John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Mood:
My trip to Chicago ended much as it began: with a delayed flight. Shortly after I boarded, the captain informed us that a brake sensor was being replaced and that our takeoff would be delayed slightly while the job was completed. A few minutes later he announced that the maintenance crew had decided that the entire brake needed to be replaced, a task which would take about 90 minutes.

Then, to add insult to injury, it took nearly 45 minutes for my checked bag to show up in the baggage claim area. It was a little after midnight when I got to my car to drive home. Bah.

All that notwithstanding, it was a fine flight. We were allowed to disembark while the brakes were being repaired, and several people took the opportunity to rebook, so by the time we took off the plane was much less crowded than it should have been, so I got a pair of seats to myself. And even the delay itself was not unpleasant, thanks to the unexpected presence of an old friend and co-worker of mine who just happened to be returning to DC on the same flight.

Before boarding (the first time) I was sitting at the gate reading (The Meirnik Dossier by Charles McCarry, if you must know) when a woman approached my seat and said hi to me. I looked up and said hi back. I'm polite that way. As she continued to stand there smiling at me, it became obvious that this was someone I knew. Unfortunately, I'm awful at remembering faces, and this woman looked like any number of people I've met. She said, "do you recognize me?"

"I recognize your voice," I said. Which was true. I knew who she was and why I knew her, and, knowing that, recognized her face despite her new hairstyle and glasses. I didn't remember her last name though, and admitted it. She and I had worked together in Senator Riegle's office way back in 1993. After I left Riegle's staff. I ran into her from time to time, because she lived near the Senate. But I'd not seen her since about 1998, when I left Sen. Wellstone's staff.

We chatted until my row was announced for boarding. Since we were sitting nowhere near one another, I asked her to wait for me at the gate in DC so we could continue talking. Then we had the brake problem, so we both deplaned and spent our delay catching up. Fun!

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