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Article Archive

Inspiration

You Sure Are Lucky...

You Sure Are Lucky...

It was a hot, muggy August afternoon, and I had every reason to feel sorry for myself. A comedy of hassles began with the normal airport security gauntlet, followed by a random drug test, and a missed flight home due to a number of mechanical, weather and late inbound flight problems. Now my flight home was full and late.

During the usual pandemonium at the gate, I noticed a 5-year-old boy standing by his mother and watching me. He looked at me, then my bag, then back at me.

Cautiously, he left his mother's side and slowly began to walk toward me, glancing between my bag, his mother, and me.

"Great," I thought, "now I have to baby-sit a 5-year-old. My day is now complete."

As he came closer, I was both relieved and alarmed that it wasn't me he was after. It was my hat!

I started to tell him not to bother my things, but something made me stop and watch. He stopped in front of my bag, looking at my hat, then up at me.

With wide eyes, he gently touched the bill of my hat. Running his index finger slowly along the edge, carefully touching the emblem.

Again, he looked up at me, now smiling, but saying nothing. I asked him if he would like to wear my captain hat.

He excitedly nodded his head, still smiling. I placed my hat on his head, but it fell down around his ears. He didn't seem to mind and held it up in the proper position with both hands. He ran to show his mother, then back to me still smiling from ear to ear.

With much reverence and ceremony, he slowly removed my hat with both hands and presented it to me as though it were the crown jewels.

I put my hat on and gave him an airplane card. This, too, he held with both hands in awe.

After this exchange, he still hadn't spoken, although I knew he was excited. I also was happy that I had been briefly distracted from my self-pity fest.

Still holding the card carefully with both hands, he looked up at me and said, "Mister, you sure are lucky."

"Yes," I said, "I sure am."

I contemplated the wisdom of a 5-year-old, as I got the last seat on that flight home.

By Ken Morris
Northwest Airlines Captain

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