Thursday, October 05, 2006

Finding Community in the Sixth Circle of Hell

I'm heading home from New Paltz NY....beautiful area...and, it's fall, so the colors are amazing.

Yesterday though, was a different story. O'Hare went down early in the day, and was backed up all day long. Hundreds of flights were cancelled, most delayed. My commuter flight from Springfield to Chicago was cancelled, as were the next two, so I drove the 200 miles, and then dropped myself into the inferno. Lines were 15 minutes for the bathroom, an hour for customer get the idea.

I was standby for a flight at 4:00 that actually left at 6:30. After two gate changes, the plane actually arrived, off loaded the passengers and loaded the lucky ones with boarding passes. When all of them were on board, there were about 40 of us waiting for an unknown, but small, number of seats. Since we had trekked together from gate to gate, and had depended on each other for information, we had developed a loose bond.

The gate agent explained that he had 6 seats.

He started calling names.

The first person stood up-----and the group broke out in spontaneous, sustained applause. Good for you...a pat on the back, a high five. Smiles all around. The other 5 people got the same reaction as they were called to board. The 34 of us who were left didn't quite want to leave, to spoil the sure turned a long day into a memorable one for me.

What power community has.

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