This post comes a bit late, just like my insight.
©2012, Mirror Image Presentations, Alan John Mayer
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.
Flight attendants served beverages with holiday cheer.
Steve asked for Seagram’s and Seven, instead he got beer.
Snowflakes on the 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.
On Quality Inn’s pillows our heads were to rest
But even Christmas dinner proved far from the best.
In high spirits we caroled as dinner we digested
And at 1:45 we were nearly arrested.
We six had been drawn together through fate,
as we laughed, sang and smoked, drank and ate.
We continued caroling to Roland’s guitar,
But home for that holiday, we missed by afar.
At five the next morning (and higher than kites),
With keys in hand, the night before we bid our “Good Nights”.
On Steven, on Michael, Sue Ann, Lori, Alan. Yet the fog hadn’t risen
And neither had Roland.
His head in the pillow, still snoring at eight
The five of us ran for the terminal’s wrong gate.
Our luggage we entrusted United ground crew to care
And prayed upon arrival in Denver the luggage would be there.
“Merry Christmas” said the Flight attendant “Welcome aboard Flight 694”
this poem we completed in the tackiest of decor.
Number three on the runway, our take off now clear
the magic of Christmas we were ready to cheer.
No breakfast, no beverage, seat belts fastened tight,
into the skies of United we rose into flight.
Six strangers made poetry that cold Christmas Eve,
it really did happen in that Quality Inn reprieve.
Though fate sent us all on separate paths
this Christmas we shall cherish for all the good laughs.
When planning holiday travel, our advice to you all —
Before booking United, give American Airlines a call.
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 — (now forty in 2018)
yesterday, when I was young,
written in the tackiest of decor.