1. The spectacular Bob Raughley. One of Delaware's finest. I love that guy.
2. Marlo, a man whose son got in trouble for words, but his son learned an important lesson.
3. A woman who was getting on my nerves so much. Jesus, she didn't stop talking. And then she mentioned that after hurricane Katrina, her sister was found dead in her New Orleans home, on top of her refrigerator.
4. A man who blamed unions for the downfall of everything.
5. A barber who lived and worked in West OakLane. He had just bought a horse and named her Loretta Lynn. He was also baffled by my being gay.
6. A flight attendant who had a lesbian mother and had just moved back to Southern Louisiana.
7. A man who had to fly back to a city he wasn't from to face DUI charges. He hadn't told anyone in his family and make up an excuse for why he had to go back.
8. A woman who was drunk and crying and explained "my dad died two weeks ago." She stopped crying in the first 30 minutes of our flight and got excited about her trip to Florida. She had a pretty heavy Philadelphia accent.
9. A woman who fasted one day a week along with a prisoner who she mentored.
10. Juanita who really reminded me of my mother-in-law.
11. The awesome Valerie Wilson. First, she got some free drink tickets because someone was rude to her when she was checking in, so she generously offered to get me a drink so we could have "cocktails on a plane." We talked about a lot of things and I asked if she would write something brief about one of my photos. I was honored to receive it from Valerie. Thank you, Ms. Wilson.
Everyone Needs A Second Chance.
How far would we be as a nation, as a community, and as a people if we gave second chances? A second chance to the mother who lost her children to addiction, or the youth who made a mistake as a kid, or the man who lost his job and became homeless, or a soldier who returned from war mentally scared, or the person who committed a crime and paid his debt to society. A second chance to find their uniqueness, respect their journeys and redefine their forever changing authentic selves.
Second chances don’t come often enough, but when they do come, who knows what kind of difference we all could make. Conceivably we will become better teachers, better doctors, better neighbors, better friends, better lovers, better parents or simply better human beings.
By Valerie Wilson
There are so many amazing things that happened with the above seatmate discussions that I haven't listed here.
12. Earlier this week, this woman and I were waiting to be picked up at the Philadelphia airport. She said "I always wear these glasses when someone picks me up from the airport."