Jan 14, 2013
Apr 15, 2013
We enter the plane to see the queen of Colombia stewardess looking like she would much rather be retired on the beach with an iced Rob Roy shaded by a pink umbrella instead of herding the throngs into their seats. "There's no more room in the overheads so you will have to check your bags" We heard our first collective Colombian groan, then I believe our first barrage of Colombian cursing. Another 20 minutes later and we were heading for the runway. Clay reappears with water in one hand and headphones in the other, " hold tight everyone we will be in the air soon", followed by his excellent Spanish safety announcements repeating the bit about cocktails....for the next 5 hours Clay is hoofing up and down the ailse with bevys, food, kiddie crackers and blankets with add lib getting to know you comforting conversation with whoever wanted. ( I know this because there was no sleep to be had between 12 and 5am ). On the way out Clay was still smiling, saying his goodbyes to a number of people by name. Great guy. The queen of Colombia was one day closer to the Rob Roy on the beach.
Every once in awhile you encounter that poster person who personifies everything you could ever picture in a host / plane steward. Clay is this guy. A rather large intimidating Texan who initially handed us our Colombia immigration papers informing us we should "get this filled In before you fall asleep on the plane and wake up with your shoes untied" "all over it Clay" After a Houston airport calzone and garlic dough balls and "no beer yo cause the booze is closed" we head to check in and Clay is in the process of herding the throngs towards Gate 26, about a 1/2 mile back from where we came from. "What's up Clay?" " The captain doesn't like the look of this plane so were heading to gate 26" . Clay had his near midnight grin on and held the fort as 100 plus groggy grumpos slogged along, beads of sweat now forming on Clays radiant face. After a 40 minute wait we went through a bizarre boarding sequence and met Clay again as we entered the plane. I was chatting up a Colombian who had just picked up a Graceland Martin guitar complete with psyco paint job and was hoping to get it on board via Clay. "What's your name sir" Chris, I say " and your friend trying to smuggle this guitar?" Pueblo volunteers a smile. Not sure if we're going to be able do this says Clay holding back Graceland while Pueblo looks like he's been busted. The new guitar will have to take it's chances with the rest of the luggage below.