This is really a coda featuring Long Beach Airport, an unusually small airport given its proximity to Los Angeles. That is, somehow you just don’t expect something that has the feel of the tropics more than that of the airport of media moguls and the like.
The afternoon before we left I stopped by the Hilton cab stand to check about when we needed to leave for the airport. A tall dud (he epitomized that term) in a black suit and an earpiece immediately told me I could “arrange” for a cab for the next morning. After some unintelligible talk of freeway numbers we scheduled things and I smugly took off and told my roommate that I’d gotten everything ready. Long story short — we figured out he was not legit, cancelled, and took a regular cab. The thing was sketchy from the get go (he fumbled about claiming to be looking for his badge when I wondered if he was a Hilton staffer) and being a veteran traveler who is usually hyper vigilant about scams I’m still red-faced at having been so gullible.
At the airport I ran into Lane Smith who was waiting for the same flight and we hung out together. Lane and I first met many, many years ago when I tagged along with a 4th grade student of mine to his then-in-NYC-studio where she interviewed him for a little self-published newspaper of hers. If you like Lane’s work, especially the more subversive stuff and don’t know it yet, do check out his Curious Pages. On the plane he gave Roxanne a delightful drawing for her daughter drawn on a barf bag (how’s that for alliteration?).
What else? For days I (and many others) had been seeing #printzaccordian tweets from Victoria Stapleton related to the accordion she was literally lugging cross-country for Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman’s Printz speech. Much as I wanted to see the actual speech I wanted more to spend some time with far-flung friends so had to miss what I heard was a fantastic evening. But then at the airport, there was stalwart Victoria and the accordion. And here is my final shot of her at JFK, shortly before the accordion headed to Brooklyn and the hashtag to oblivion, no doubt to Victoria’s pleasure — that instrument is heavy!