This post comes a bit late, just like my insight.
©2012, Mirror Image Presentations
On December 24th, 1978, my girlfriend Lori Ann Wollard and I boarded United Flight 114 in Los Angeles bound for Denver. The flight never did take off. This is the poem six of us travelers wrote together that night in our hotel room, to the accompaniment of Roland’s guitar.
‘Twas the night before Christmas when throughout The States
record snowfall and fog had closet most airport gates.
Patiently we waited, seat belts fastened tight;
When three hours later, we still weren’t in flight.
Attendants served beverages with holiday cheer.
Steve asked for Seagram’s and Seven – instead he got beer.
Snowflakes on portals were melting to rain
When three hours later we were asked to deplane.
Amid the pay phones the six of us met,
And United officials were starting to fret.
A room for the night was what we requested
“Plus dinner and wine,” Sue Ann suggested.
At The Quality Inn our heads we would rest
But even Christmas dinner proved far from the best.
In high spirits we all caroled as dinner digested
And by 1:45 we were nearly arrested.
We six had been drawn to each other by fate;
As through the night we laughed, sang and ate.
We continued our caroling to Roland’s guitar,
But home for the holiday we had missed by afar.
At five the next morning (and higher than kites),
With keys in hand we bid our “Good Nights”.
On Steven, on Michael, Sue Ann, Lori, Alan; the fog hadn’t risen
And neither had Roland.
His head in the pillow, still snoring at eight
The five of us headed to the terminal’s wrong gate.
Our luggage we entrusted United ground crew with care
And prayed that on arrival, they’d be awaiting us there.
“Merry Christmas and welcome aboard Flight 694”
this poem we completed in the tackiest decor.
Number three on the runway, our take off now clear
The magic of Christmas we were ready to cheer.
No breakfast, no beverage, seatbelts fastened tight
Into the skies of United we rose into flight.
Six strangers made poetry that cold Christmas Eve,
It really did happen in our heavenly reprieve.
Though fate sent us all onto our own separate paths
This Christmas we’ll cherish for all the good laughs.
When planning holiday travel, our advice to you all —
Before booking United – give American a call!
On into the sunrise we climbed into flight
Wishing all a Merry Christmas and to all – a safe flight!
And so it was — thirty-six years ago — yesterday, when I was young.