What Happens In Las Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay There

I heard a story from a friend that almost seems like a movie plot but is supposedly true. It went like this:

A funny thing happened on my plane ride to Vegas for a trade show. I’m sitting in my assigned seat and a young lady about the age of my daughter sits down next to me. She is in a mood to talk so we get into a conversation. She says she is going to Vegas to get married. I tell her that it was very nice but I don’t see the groom around so I ask her if she is meeting up with him upon arrival or does he already live there. She says, “Oh, I’m not engaged- I intend to find a husband while checking out the action in the casinos.”

Trying not to act stunned, I asked if her parents knew about this and wondered how they felt about it. She said that she was from Iowa and her father was old-fashioned and very upset but that her mother gave her the money for the trip.

Figuring he was finished with relating the story I nodded and said that it was intriguing. I wondered out loud if he thought she was really going to go through with it or was she just a young person in their early twenties boasting. He said that he indeed caught her again a few days later at his hotel’s casino. This time around she was hanging out with a good looking fellow about her age as well. She introduced him as her fiance and said they were planning on getting married that day at one of those Vegas chapels. He said he was from Chicago and as it turned out lived not far from me. He did seem like a real nice guy.

Hearing my friend’s story, I thought about the time when I was 22 and met a very nice, if not gorgeous, young lady during a week’s vacation at a resort. She looked somewhat like Sandy Dennis, if I recall correctly. Maybe it was her red hair that gave me a sense of simpatico.

We were assigned to the same table to have our meals three times a day so I had a chance to spend some time in conversation with her. She lived in New Jersey which seemed more than just a time zone apart. After I returned from the thrill of a week of living away from cares and woes, I got down to the business of exchanging letters and cassette tapes with her. She was studying to be a musician and played a mean flute.

Being both young and naive, I presumed that she was sincerely interested in getting to know me better. I told her I was flying out to New Jersey to visit. She didn’t say no but she didn’t say yes, either. I showed up at her parent’s door and she had that horrified look on her face that immediately told me I had done something not only irrational but stupid.

It would not be the last time I would impetuously take a plane ride to another city to find that alluring woman of dreams and come up empty. I guess I should have put Vegas on my itinerary.

The Friendly Skies

A certain airline company made news last week when they announced that they were pulling all their more than ninety model 757 airplanes from flight duty for repair. The initial report over the radio stated that it was a minor safety issue concerning the on-board computer that needed to be addressed and nothing to do with actual pieces of the plane. The newscaster stated that it would wreak havoc on the flights scheduled by the airline for the day as each plane needed to be out of commission for about ninety minutes. They also said that they were asked why it all had to be done at one time as it would affect travelers who already booked and paid for those flights as well as put a strain on other airlines trying to help stranded passengers by putting them into any available seats on their flights. The alleged answer by the airline’s spokesperson was that it had to be done and it was better getting it all done at once and out of the way regardless if it inconvenienced anyone.
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My First Airplane Flight

By Larry Teren

If you were born in the 1970’s or later, there is a chance you don’t remember much about your first airplane ride. You were a kid or maybe even a baby. I, who  was born when Truman still had a couple of months left in his presidency, didn’t go higher than the thirtieth floor of a skyscraper until after I graduated college.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, flying was relatively expensive. It was mostly for business travelers or those who had money to burn and needed to get somewhere quickly. The rest of us either took a train or went by car. If you don’t count taking a commuter train or the Chicago Rapid Transit (yah, sure) , I’ve never, ever been on a train to go from one city to another.

My first flight was in 1978 to go to a resort in the Catskill Mountains in upper state NY. In those days, the FAA did not prevent air traffic over the downtown areas of major cities. I requested and got a window seat. I remember as we were still rising, floating maybe ten thousand feet in the air, that I looked down over the Merchandise Mart along the Chicago River marking the northwestern edge of the Loop.
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