Sunday, August 12, 2007

Home Again

You meet some interesting people traveling...Particularly standing in the security check line.

I was chatting with a well dressed lady in front of me who said she worked with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I told her I was a member of several stations and appreciated her work. We made small talk and moved along in the line until she waved over my head at someone to come up to join her. A very distinguished looking gentlman stepped ahead of me and they started chatting about public broadcasting and I faded back and admired the big photos of music stars all over the walls and wondered what the Gibson display would have in it when I returned.

At the baggage claim there is a glass display that usually has at least one beauty of a guitar in it and I figured I 'd check it out when I got back.

So the distinguished gentleman was paying all his attention to the nice lady from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting when it came time to put his shoes back on after the Xray machine rolled all our possessions out, and he hopped in his very expensive looking shoes and scurried after her. I figured him for late seventies but he was trim and active and wore his suit quite well. I hope I look that good in a suit when I'm his age.

I reached to gather my laptop and other things and noticed the black brief case. I also noticed the name on it. I looked for the gentleman and saw him wandering away, so I grabbed the briefcase and rushed to catch him.

"Mr. Seigenthaler!" I said. "Excuse me, sir. I believe this is yours." He didn't hear me.

The lady turned and saw me. "Yes it is. It's his." And the gentleman turned and saw the briefcase.

"Oh my gosh! I can't believe I was going to leave it. Thank you so much." And he looked me in the eye with a most genuine and thankful face.

We chatted, introduced ourselves, and wished each other a safe trip.

John Seigenthaler was Bobby Kennedy's assistant when Bobby was Attorney General to John F. Kennedy... and he was one of Bobby's pall bearers. He was the victim of a rightwing smear that bounced back and totally discredited his smearers when they tried to falsify Seigenthaler's Wikipedia entry.

Seigenthaler is 80 years old and a genuinely nice human being. Oh, and he also founded the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.

On my trip back to Tennessee, I sat with a young man who had quit his job in Oregon and gone to New Orleans as a volunteer to help them recover from the Katrina disaster. He stayed and took a post graduate position at the University of New Orleans and is writing a paper on the consequences of natural disaster in an urban environment.

As I waited for my bag to come out of the little door that fed the conveyor belt of happiness for airline travelers awaiting their baggage, I admired the solid body electric Gibson guitar in the glass case.

Life is a song, played in the key of the moment...A wondrous thing to listen to.




  1. Yes, and when NBC had the choice of John Seigenthaler, Jr., Stone Phillips or Brain Williams ...

  2. oops - Freudian slip? That should be Brian.