It was dinner hour during a transpacific flight when a passenger in
front of Insider leaned across the aisle, addressing a fellow
tour-group member thus "Don't worry, Connie; that's not turbulence.
It's just me trying to cut this veal!"
Dry holy days
The effects of Hurricane Floyd were felt by travel agents on a
fam trip to the Holy Land on the eve of a very holy time.
Glenside, Pa.-based Gate 1 reported that 45 retailers were on its
Israel fam trip and due to arrive back at Newark Airport, aboard
Continental, on Friday, Sept. 17, the day after Floyd swamped the
The group's departure from Tel Aviv was put on hold until Newark
could dry out. Complicating matters was the fact that Friday night,
Israeli time, began the Jewish Sabbath, which limited airport
Furthermore, there was an urgency to get passengers and staff
home in time for Monday night, when Yom Kippur, the holiest day for
Jews anywhere, would commence with supplications for a safe new
Continental promised to provide agents accommodations in Tel
Aviv until it could get them home, no matter how long it might
take, and Gate 1 treated them to meals and tours.
As it turns out, it took only one extra day. The group bailed
out of Israel Saturday night and got home just in time to mop up
Floyd the Redcoat
Sometimes people can get kinda grouchy when bailing water. We
were in the riverside hamlet of Millstone, N.J., cleaning up after
Hurricane Floyd, when we overheard a remark of decidedly local
Millstone has a rich history. During the Revolutionary War, it had
been set ablaze by British troops, and some folks there just can't
seem to forget it.
The town features a few surviving Colonial-era structures, such
as the forge museum pictured here, as well as notable buildings
from more recent times.
As volunteers were helping to remove debris from a riverside
house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, some of the conversation
centered on downriver towns that happened to fare much worse.
Just a few miles away in Bound Brook, not only were 1,000 homes
flooded, but a fire had broken out among a block of buildings on
its flooded main street.
In chewing over this incident, one longtime Millstone resident
was heard to remark, "Yeah, we don't mind Mother Nature getting us
wet, but that fire -- it must've been set by the Redcoats."
What day is it?
Steve Loucks, who does public relations for Carlson Wagonlit
Travel in Minneapolis these days, has a proven knack for getting
himself to his appointed rounds in a timely fashion.
But he seems to have gone overboard recently. We know because we
were to dine with Steve in Minneapolis one recent Monday.
Not a complicated deal. Steve knew the restaurant, and he had
the name of another that had been considered.
So when he turned up at the first restaurant and found no
companion, he visited the second eatery. Still no dinner companion.
Then, it came to him: He had shown up a week early.
But the next day, Tuesday, was another story. He rose at about
4:30 a.m. to meet a flight that was to bring his parents and
grandfather to the Minneapolis Airport around 6 a.m. for a layover
of an hour or two.
He called the airline and learned the flight would arrive at
He raced to the airport, arriving in time to wait patiently as
the entire aircraft emptied. No parents. No grandfather.
He finally asked a gate agent about his family members. He had
come to the airport a day early.
This was because someone (not Steve) had not factored in the
So, yes, Steve rose before the roosters again the next morning,
Wednesday, to see his family, but these days, he is reading his
calendar and checking it twice before he even steps out of his
P.S.: When we e-mailed Steve to let him know we wanted to report
his misadventures here, he e-mailed back: "Just don't call me 'the
late Steve Loucks.' "