Every so often on this blog I tell a story about an experience. I do that because I like to tell stories, and because some things just ought to be written down. This one has the advantage of being fresh in my mind, since it occurred just a couple weeks ago.
I graduated from high school in 1971. The 50th year was last year, but we didn’t have a reunion because of COVID. This year the class of ’72, which was the class I was originally supposed to graduate with, kindly invited ’71 to attend, and I realized that I could hang out with both classes at once. Can’t miss that opportunity.
I have siblings in the area, so I booked the flight up to Boston for Thursday, before the reunion on Saturday. BJU’s fall break was the next Monday and Tuesday—perfect. Scheduled the flight back for Monday. Scheduled both flights to avoid leaving early in the morning or arriving late at night.
So well thought out.
Checked in at GSP in plenty of time. Showed my driver’s license for ID and tried to keep from slowing up the line by throwing everything into the gray plastic tray as quickly as possible. No objections from the guy at the scanner screen. Again tried to keep from impeding the flow by gathering up my things quickly and getting out of the way.
In the process the lady next to me asked, “Is this yours?” It was a folded piece of paper that I’d put into my shirt pocket—with my driver’s license—while passing the ID check. “It was under my tray.”
“Yep, it’s mine. Many thanks!”
Remember that exchange.
Put my clothes back on—you know, belt and shoes—and grabbed a bite to eat before heading to the gate.
Flight left on time. Connecting at DCA (Washington) for BOS, with plenty of time to make the connection.
Half an hour from DC the pilot said there was heavy rain there and that we were going to circle for a while to see if it would clear up.
An hour later he said we were being diverted to Richmond.
Landed there and waited on a taxiway for an hour for a gate to open up so we could take on a little fuel. Understandable, since we weren’t even supposed to be there.
Got a gate and waited for a fuel truck. Refueled and waited for the little truck that pushes us back.
We were originally scheduled to land at DC about noon. Now it’s 3 pm.
Short flight to DC, where my connection had taken off 30 minutes before.
OK, that’s fine. There have to be more flights from DC to Boston today, and worst case, if there aren’t any seats, I can fly tomorrow—or rent a car and drive, if I have to.
Providence. It’s all good.
The line for the airline service desk is an hour long. OK, the storm has caused a lot of missed connections, and the folks are working as fast as they can. It’s still all good.
I see a flight at 10, getting into Boston at 11.30. That’s wicked late, as they would say, and I’m not crazy about driving an unfamiliar rental car all the way across town after dark, in the rain, but God’s on the throne, right?
To my surprise, the lady at the service desk gets me on an earlier flight, leaving in just a few minutes. Great!
The flight is delayed taking off, and it has to circle over Boston Hahbah for a while because of weather and general congestion, and it’s after 9 by the time we land and taxi to the terminal.
I don’t have any checked baggage—just a well-stuffed backpack—so I follow the “Ground Transportation” signs and grab the shuttle bus to the Cah Rental Centah.
The line there moves along well, and soon I’m showing my reservation and getting ready to go.
“All right, all I need now is to see your driver’s license.”
OK. Pull out the wallet.
No driver’s license.
Remember that conversation in security at GSP?
In my hurry I had slipped my license into my shirt pocket where that piece of paper was, and a few seconds later I had emptied my pockets into the plastic tray. The piece of paper had come out of the tray somehow and gotten under the tray behind mine. The lady noticed the paper and gave it to me.
Apparently my driver’s license is still inside the scanner at the Greenville airport.
Can’t rent a car. Got to go to plan B, which doesn’t actually, um, exist.
To be continued.
Photo by Phil Mosley on Unsplash
Your nearest exit may be behind you. 🙂