Friday Fictioneers 02.08.13 (100-word limit)

copyright-Rich Voza

copyright-Rich Voza

The hallways were long, dark, slanted. When you ran it echoed loudly and your body felt askew. It was a donut, impossible to get lost in. Impossible to go anywhere new.

We crawled out the office window and sat on the eaves of the building. From that vantage, you could watch the planes roar in overhead. Dad let us sit out there often.

We ate Planter’s Cheezballs, played with model airplanes, sneaked down a cylindrical staircase that opened into the ticketing area. We were airline kids—a rare breed. The airport was our playground.

Those kids don’t exist anymore. Airports have changed.

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27 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers 02.08.13 (100-word limit)

  1. Airport kids. That must have been fun. Wouldn’t happen now, that’s for sure. And Cheezeballs!!

    Hope you don’t mind me mentioning it, but in your first paragraph, “When you ran on them it echoed loudly”, should be “ran in them, they echoed loudly”, since hallways is plural and they’d be running on the floors but in the hallways. 🙂

    janet

  2. Dear Flossie,

    I was an airport kid. I learned to mimic the Public Address system announcer’s voice in the cavernous lobby and was always sending people scurrying for their flights to wrong gates and what not. Probably best that i grew up….a little. nice story. Those were the days…or they would be if these weren’t really them.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  3. You reminded me that a trip to the airport used to be a really great day out, and even better if you were actually going somewhere. There was nothing better than standing on the terminal roof, smelling, hearing, seeing the planes. How things have changed. Thanks for reviving the memory.

  4. Ah the memories of youth. Such simpler days when things like school shootings were unheard of and we were so much less stressed. I know you had fn running around the airport unfettered. Certainly nothing like the way the airport is now. You must have such great memories.

    • Our father is an aviation historian and journalist who once had an office at LaGuardia airport, and when we were very young we used to spend a lot of our time there, running around the Marine Air Terminal’s hallways and watching the planes fly in.

      • so it was kind of like going to work with dad at the airport and it was like a playground for you. that sounds cool. you think that still happens much today?

      • I doubt it—too much security swirling around that landscape these days.
        My father actually helped save a WPA-era mural depicting the history of flight, painted by James Brooks and housed in the Marine Air Terminal, so as kids we were given free reign. The music that played in the lobby was piped in from my father’s office, and we had all of our meals, for free, in the MAT cafeteria. My first job was as a cashier in the pilot’s cafeteria; my brother’s first job was making the sandwiches they ate. He was about 14, and I was 11.
        I guess my Dad was kind of like the Mayor of the MAT. One day Jack Nicholson was sitting in the lobby, waiting for a flight and looking overtired, and my father started a conversation with him. It ended with Jack Nicholson asleep on my father’s office couch. My Dad woke him up only to get him to his flight on time.
        For awhile, we had one school trip a year to the Marine Air Terminal. Our classes were invited to visit the Control Tower and watch the people working to bring the planes in, and we walked on the tarmac to see the yellow airport fire engine shoot water into the sky. For lunch we sat on a vacant airplane and off-duty stewardesses brought us tray lunches, and everyone pretended like they were going somewhere.
        It was sort of unbelievable, all of it, now that I think about it. I think even by the time my little sister was born, the class trips had stopped, and that was before 911. There was this tiny window of time, and it snapped shut rather quickly. But that’s a pretty good description of childhood in general, I guess.

      • oh, not criticizing that at all. i just didn’t know what an “airport kid” was, but it certainly seems, by the comments, that most everyone else does.

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