2012.01.11 We're going down together

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I CAN’T help it. It happens every time I  travel by air. I walk into the boarding area and I look around at the faces. I say to myself, “So these are the people that I might die with.”

It’s crazy, I know. Airplane crashes are relatively rare. It’s safer to fly than drive, they say. And I’m not at all afraid of flying.  In fact, I love it. The feeling of power at takeoff. Waiting for the bump at landing, followed by the thrust of the engines. Best of all is staring out the window at the geography.

I don’t fly often, but with kids living far away and with a wife who attends an occasional conference, I’m generally up in the air every year or two for a mini-vacation. This last long weekend I was able to spend time with all three kids when I attended the marriage of a daughter of my sister, Diane.

This means I was in the boarding area  looking at the faces.

In Detroit I noticed a young brother and sister sitting side-by-side reading magazines. So young to die in a plane crash. There were two babies waiting to board, too. What a shame.

I look at the faces and wonder if I would want to be near that person when the plane starts to dip.

I wonder what it’s like. Do the passengers know this is it? Maybe it’s just some nasty turbulence that will be shaken off. That reminds me of a line from a John Berryman poem: “His thought made pockets and the plane buckt.”

It reminds me of a Laurie Anderson song where the pilot (the captain) speaks to the passengers and says: “Good evening. This is your Captain. We are about to attempt a crash landing. We are going down. We are all going down, together.”

Rather gruesome talk.

The wedding I attended was in Savannah and I’ll ask the silly and naïve question, “Why doesn’t everyone live in Savannah?”

There may be some very good reasons not to live in Savannah, but I didn’t discover any of them. What a beautiful place. I was told that Gen. Sherman burned all the cities he encountered on his march through Georgia, but Savannah was too beautiful to destroy so he let it go.

How could a city have so many public squares? Every two blocks there’s another shaded park with a statue or a fountain. That’s every two blocks east and west. There’s another set of squares every three blocks north and south. Just amazing.

And when you walk down to the river, you’re looking at large buildings that were constructed as early as the 1730s.

I looked out the fourth-floor window of the hotel Sunday morning and the entire horizon was moving. An enormous container ship was heading out to sea, visible above the river front buildings.

There’s another side of Savannah. I learned the city has the distinction of being “the most haunted” in America. Our ghost walk tour guide—a man who explores paranormal experiences—took us to building after building where odd things occurred.

You start off in a darkened square with Spanish moss hanging from the live oak trees, then take off on foot to hear the tales.

The huge murderous mirror with a doppelganger behind it. The death of the twins at the Kehoe House and the odd things that have happened ever since.

The store clerk that kept seeing something out of the corner of her eye. The person who always saw a crying woman outside her apartment building.

It ended in the basement of a bar, just outside a room where slaves were chained to a wall and often died in the heat. Bizarre things have happened in that room over the decades.

It was soon time to fly home and we were back in the boarding area. Some seats were available in first class and passengers were invited to upgrade for 50 bucks. Did she say there would be “complimentary sex and drinks”?

I spy an MSU band member returning to Michigan (alto sax section). There’s an older gentleman pecking away at the keyboard of his iPad. There’s another baby.

But we landed safely. I never had to experience the terror on the faces of the young lovers who sat in front of us.

Now there’s only the terror of trying to instantly create a newspaper. 

“This is your editor speaking. We are all going down, together.”

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016