ELECTRA: “OK, please explain — we arrived in 2001 ages ago, so why is everyone still buckled into their seats! What’s the deal? Why the wait?
ME: Well, a person named Gail (you know her — she’s a close relative) needed a “time out” in 2022 to celebrate several events. One was the publication of her new book, which I will tell you about in a future post. Another was the celebration of her eldest son being inducted into the Washington D.C. JCC Sports Hall of Fame. Gail promised not to talk about this because her son would be very embarrassed. And finally, it was Thanksgiving. Plus, one more thing, Gail is taking a much needed vacation. That’s right, she’s getting on a real plane and going to a real place called Phoenix, Arizona for a week of R&R!”
ELECTRA: “OK, but I have two questions. First, must we sit here until December 11 of 2022 when your relative returns? And second, do you mean to tell me that Gail is flying on a different plane? One you call real? Does that make me unreal?
ME: “Nope to your first question and Yup to the second.”
ELECTRA: “Wadya mean?”
ME: We absolutely need to go back. Back to 2001. And it can’t wait until Gail returns from her vacation. So, right now she’s busy in 2022 tying up loose ends before leaving. Like, ya know, paying bills, making year end donations, packing, doing the hair/nail thing AND, most importantly, allowing our passengers to disembark from her imaginary plane. That would be you … Electra!”
ELECTRA: “Imaginary? Harumph! So, what does that make me? Chopped liver? Less you forget, I’m Electra, your incredible sidekick transporter! And, as your personal time traveler I take you wherever and whenever you want at a moment’s notice.”
ME: “Electra, what you say is true. However — you may not realize it but — you’re even more important than a real plane because — Imagination is ‘Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.’ Thus — you are a Superplane!”
ELECTRA: “WOWEE ZOWEE! Thanks, I do like your explanation. Makes me feel extraordinary. But what about my second question. What type of plain plane will take Gail to the Phoenix place?”
ME: Gail will only fly a certain type of plain plane. Its name does not matter because it has a big heart and says it caters to passengers in extra ways. But, most certainly, this plain plane cannot do what you do!
ELECTRA: “Ahah, I get it now, it’s the one that claims to have … Low fares. Nothing to hide.”
ME: “Spot on Electra, you got it! So now it’s time to disembark.
Relieved, the passengers stand, stretch and yawn before shuffling, one bye one, down Electra’s steps. Gathering at the bottom, they huddle together for warmth awaiting my exit. The invisible new moon on this chilly November evening made it more difficult to know our whereabouts.
The passengers could feel their feet sink into soft ground and after adjusting to the lack of natural illumination, the few streetlights revealed we were standing in a grassy area adjacent to a large parking lot. In the background was a gray building.
ELECTRA: “Finally, what a relief! Hey — I know it’s 2001 and I know we are in the DC area but, I don’t recognize that building. Where exactly have I landed?”
ME: “You landed in the grass next to a large parking lot in the back of a hotel in Rockville, Maryland, just ’a stones throw’ from the District of Columbia, exactly where I asked you to take us. Remember, I’m here to receive an *Excel Award in the literary category on behalf of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (“ASHA”) for my article, “Side by Side,” which ASHA published in the Leader last May.
Once off Electra, I met up with my passengers below and lead them from the chilly night into the warm hotel. Once inside, we followed signs to the event ballroom. This annual dinner and awards program was hosted by the Society of National Association of Publications (“SNAP”) — which, many years later, changed its name to Association Media & Publishing.
A gentleman dressed in a tux seated me at a large round table. It was covered with a white linen cloth, adorned by a floral centerpiece along with a sign stating, “Table #6 Reserved.” Surrounded by ASHA dignitaries, and guessing I was one of them, made me nervous. In the meantime my passengers watched comfortably from a distant corner of the room. Suddenly a few glasses were tapped followed by the announcement made into a mike that … Dinner is served.
Stay tuned to learn more …
* “EXCEL Awards are the largest and most prestigious program recognizing excellence and leadership in association media, publishing, marketing and communication.” Google
Hope your close relative, Gail, has a much need vacation.
When Gail returns I would love to meet up for lunch.
You and Gail must make a lunch or dinner date soon!