Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Airports Big and Small by T.R. McClure

Earlier this month I revealed the cover for Deal of a Lifetime on my Facebook page. www.facebook.com/trmcclureauthor

The third in the Home to Bear Meadows series, this Harlequin Heartwarming story debuts the first of September. Behind the hero and heroine, hugging on the tarmac, is a commuter plane.

Anyone who lives more than 100 miles from a large city is accustomed to flying out of a regional airport. Compared to their international cousins, regional airports are smaller and easier to access. Commuter planes usually seat 50 to 100 people.

Air travel has been in the news a lot lately, mostly for negative reasons. Fights and arguments abound. But last year I saw a story about a little girl who lost her Teddy bear on the plane. She posted her dilemma on Facebook. An airline employee found the bear and took pictures throughout his workday. In the cockpit. On a baggage cart. At the end of his shift he returned the bear. What a great story.

Maybe that's why I love airports. Big ones, small ones, busy ones, quiet ones. So many stories swirling in the air. Between flights once, I met a woman from Madagascar, a beautiful set of islands off the east coast of Africa. No, I've never been, but I wouldn't mind seeing someday. She was on her way to Texas to visit her daughter. I was on my way to Atlanta to visit mine. She wore a colorful sarong and headdress. I wore jeans. So different. So much alike.

Living in the Northeast I, along with millions of others, dream of going south in the winter. Miami International, Cancun, Hilo in Hawaii. All conjure up images of palm trees and fresh ocean breezes.

Checking out a college with my other daughter (I have twins), we flew into Charlotte. I remember a long line of white rocking chairs in front of big windows. I think that's where I saw the grand piano, too, but I'm not sure. I have a secret ambition to stop and play a song there some day.

Denver has the famous statue Blue Mustang out front. I spent the night on hard plastic chairs when the last flight out for the day was canceled due to a blizzard. It was May.

A few years ago we drove to JFK International to put my daughter's Saint Bernard on a cargo flight to Milan. She and her husband were based at Aviano Air Base for the next four years. Driving a Saint Bernard through New York City? Of course I had to write about the adventure.
Rocky in NC



This true story ended up in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Families which came out May 9.






Travels with Rocky meant a lot to me. I was grateful Chicken Soup gave it a home.






When I think of airports I think of adventure. Of people coming and going. Of interesting stories. And not an insignificant fact...I met my husband at the airport.

So what's your airport story? Do you have a favorite airport?

As always, enjoy the read.

T.R. www.trmcclure.com

25 comments:

  1. Airport story...or nightmare? LOL Got stuck on the tarmac once, in Phoenix, during a heat wave, FOR SEVEN HOURS. I was so traumatized, I haven't been back to Arizona, since! LOL
    LOVE the cover for Deal of a Lifetime, and can't wait to read it!
    Have a great weekend, m'friend!

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  2. The Teddy bear story was great, wasn't it? Airports are certainly a great place to people watch and dream up stories. I remember once, while traveling to Key West, Florida, I ran into an old high school friend at the Miami Airport. That day, the world got a little smaller. Congrats on you Chicken Soup story, TR!

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  3. You certainly know how to leave someone hanging! I really would love to hear how you and your husband met.

    As for the teddy being returned to the little girl, I am proud to say that that was Toronto Pearson airport. In case anyone is interested, here's a short article about it: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/lifestyle/smart-living/toronto-airport-staff-reunites-little-girl-with-missing-teddy-bear/ar-AAf24wj

    I love the cover of your book and the concept of the story, and I look forward to reading it!

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    1. I flew out of Toronto to Munich when I was 20. So long ago I can't remember much. Thanks for the additional info on that great teddy bear story. And thanks!

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  4. Yes, I too would like to hear - or read!- the story of how you and your husband met at an airport! So far - touch wood - I have no bad airport stories to recount other than once spending 8 hours in Frankfurt airport en route to visit my daughter, teaching in Kuwait. Although there was plenty of diversion - most of it people watching - napping on a row of hard plastic chairs wasn't fun. The cover of your release is great, as is the title. I look forward to reading it.

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  5. Fun post! I love that your daughter flew her dog to Italy to be with her. What an adventure!. Airports really do make the world seem like a smaller place. I've had some interesting experiences myself. One of the most memorable was being stuck in Dallas/Fort Worth for two nights when bad weather canceled flights and we were stranded. Kind of a nightmare, actually. But it makes a great story now.

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  6. Thanks so much for this post. I'm old enough to think of airports only as the gateways to adventure! We even got a little dressed up when we met someone's plane. True, it was so much easier years ago, especially before the heightened security issues. European airports had that demand well before we did. I used to fly in and out of the Charlotte airport when I lived over in Asheville, NC, and if the flight landed late and the last one to Asheville had left, they piled us in buses and drove us over to Asheville. Those rocking chairs and the piano are like touchstones that give anyone who has flown in or out a common experience with millions of other people. Everyone mentions it. A professional speaker I knew all my life always said Charlotte was his favorite of the U.S. airports--and he flew a few times a week. Thanks for bringing it up. Even with all the changes, I still view airports as special. The international terminal at O'Hare is probably my favorite place for people watching--and flying from as well, because it means I'm going somewhere wonderful.

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    1. How interesting. Thanks for confirming my memory of Charlotte. I'm not sure if I've been to Chicago. I'll have to check it out. Thanks, Virginia!

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  7. I used to love flying -- pre 911. Now I'd rather drive long distances than take a plane and it's not the plane. It's all the time it takes to get to the airport and go through security. Then there are the layovers. I find in a lot of cases that it takes just as much time to drive as to fly. And driving is cheaper, even if you have to stay overnight somewhere.

    I still get on planes when time is a problem or the distance is just too far. My maximum driving time is about 14 hours.

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  8. I, too, want to hear about meeting your husband at an airport. I have mixed feelings about airports, but they do abound with stories. We were once flying from Hawaii to Alaska when something went wrong just before midway and the plane had to return to Honolulu. We arrived around 1am to an empty and somewhat spooky terminal. It wasn't worth sending us to hotels when they were putting us on an early morning flight, so they handed out pillows and blankets and we had a campout in the gate area. Nobody got much sleep, but we survived and got a discount on our next flight.

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  9. I don't fly, but I love airports. I remember going to the airport in Omaha, Nebraska, when I was just a little girl and there were chairs that had tiny television sets attached to them. You put in a quarter and could watch a few minutes of televisions. Sometimes I wonder if that was a dream or if I really saw them.

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    1. Sounds like something that might come up in a google search! Good tidbit of info, isn't it?

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  10. I love airports, too, but my airport story isn't a happy one. It was December of 1968 and I was at what was then Weir-Cook Airport in Indianapolis with my girlfriend, whose Navy fiance was flying in for their wedding. As we waited (right at the gate; it was 1968, remember), a soldier walked down the middle of the concourse. People scattered all around him, avoiding him as if...well, as if. He soldiered on, not looking right or left, more alone than anyone I'd ever seen. I started to get up, to greet him and welcome him home, but I didn't.

    Duane came home from Vietnam three years later. It was still the same way, but he had family (and me) waiting for him. I hope that soldier did, too. Almost 50 years after the fact, I still wish I had at least greeted him and told him thanks.

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    1. My brother came home from Nam in June of 68. San Francisco to Pittsburgh. Different times, for sure.

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  11. I've flown into Charlotte many times and love seeing those rocking chairs. Totally enjoyed the post and love that your daughter flew her St. Bernard to be with her. That is so sweet. And I love your cover.

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  12. I'm late to comment here but loved your post. I fly out of a regional airport--Chattanooga--and Security is so quick and easy. Friendly, too. My other choice here would be Atlanta, busiest in the world. Rocky must have had quite the adventure with you and then all the way to Milan. I think Aviano is the most romantic sounding place.

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  13. Thanks, Leigh. Rocky is a travelin' dog. Every time the back of any SUV is open, he jumps in ready to go somewhere.

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  14. One of the benefits of posting late--okay, really late--is that I get to read all the great little stories from you all--poignant, funny or otherwise. Thank you, everyone! And thanks to T.R. for your stimulating blog! Best!

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