During the winter of 1985 I found myself with my Mother attempting to board a plane to NYC from Denver. The plane was overbooked, the airport was pure madness, my Mother pulled of one of her best performances and got us first class tickets on the next flight out. The only catch was we would have to stop over in Chicago. We were assured by theagent that we would not have to get off the plane. I was excited for my first time in first class, even if we sat in the last row of first class. First class is first class!
Back in those days United flew wide body across the country. First class on the DC-10 was very spacious, big leather seats, 2 aisles, good food…..I felt like a king! It’s as if Coach class didn’t even exist. We were part of upper crust society, and no longer squished in the cattle car behind us. ‘s
We landed in a sprinkle of snow in Chicago, pulled to the gate, and turned off the engines. I was determined not to give up my seat, all the time waiting for my bubble to burst and be sent back to that god for awful section in the rear. To my surprise, everyone in first class got up and left the plane, leaving my mother and I alone amongst all the leather seats. A few minutes later one of the new flight attendants turned on the main TV in the First Class cabin…..a TV…..can you imagine…..what technology! All of a sudden I was watching the NY Giants playing the Chicago Bears in the 2nd round of the NFL playoffs. Could life get any better than this? I didn’t even mind that our “layover” was taking quite some time….some sort of delay. Who cares, I was sitting in First Class watching playoff football!
There was a bit of commotion by the First Class cabin crew, they were preparing for passengers to arrive. These first class people were really pampered. It’s as if the King of Sweden was about to board the plane.
Finally passengers began to board, I looked up, and up and up. To my amazement everyone who was walking into first class was about 7 feet tall. Shocked and awed, I sat there watching these real life “Giants” walk by. And then, I saw Patrick Ewing.….and it all made sense. I was in first class with the NY Knicks! There was , the coach, who I thought was of average height, but was really tall! I recognized and Rory Sparrow…..Wow! There was , not one of the prettiest guys in the world…..
Now this was not a good team, in fact they stunk! But it was the Knicks no less. You would think as a young guy who was a big fan of the Knicks I would be running up and down the aisles asking for autographs and hooting it up with the team, but that day I learned two things about myself:
1. A group of men with the average height of 6’6″ are very intimidating to be around.
2. I am the type of person who respects peoples space. No matter who they are.