My Travels. #13

My Travels #13

June 1994. Katowice, Poland. I get a lot of grief for this picture and a lot of teasing. No, I was not in the CIA.

My company was expanding in Europe. I was part of a 4 person start up team. We were tasked with bringing four, new distribution centers online and enabling selling, distribution and financial processes before summer’s end.

Therefore, the start-up team decided to survey all four Poland locations (Kielce, Rzeszow, Lublin & Opole) in one day. This would require us to travel all over the country from southern Poland to central Poland, to eastern Poland, to western Poland and back to southern Poland. We could not do this in one day by train, hence

the need for a helicopter.

Just so you know, I dissented to that mode of travel. I hated riding a chopper when I was in the military and my attitude about riding in a chopper had not changed.

Nonetheless, I was out-voted and there you see me standing in front of it about to board. The word reluctance did not begin to describe how I felt about that journey.

We left from Katowice, Poland, visited all four cities, mapped out our strategy and flew back to Katowice. The pilot was very talented. He did buzz jobs over the rolling hills. Many people on the ground cheered us on. My team had fun looking at my face turn beet red as we sped up and down over each hill. They asked if I would need a stretcher when we landed. I told them I was okay. I was, after all, okay.

We finished our project that summer in record time largely due to the assessment we made on that day.

Notes From My Writing Experience. Post No. 4

Notes From My Writing Experience. Post #4

On December 25th, Christmas Day, I took a train from New York City to Charlotte North Carolina.

Since we are in the middle of a pandemic, I decided to purchase a ticket for a private room. I could go mask-less in a private room as long as I kept my door shut. I kept my door shut.

I like riding trains. A lot of my poetry writing and blogging takes place on some type of train. For my day-job I took Metro North commuter train from Brewster, New York to White Plains, New York on weekdays. I wrote during the morning ride. I usually slept during the afternoon ride. On weekends I would take a train from Brewster to Manhattan in New York City. I wrote a lot on the way down to the city. I usually slept on my return.

Often, I take a a train from New York to Washington, D.C. I also take many trains from New York to Charlotte. I write during these journeys as well. The trip to DC is 4 1/2 hours long. Writing makes the trip feel like 15 minutes. The trip from New York to Charlotte is 12 hours long. Writing makes that trip feel like an hour. Along with my writing there’s also reading that takes place. I’ll usually read for a half hour to an hour and then I’ll pick up my phone and start writing.

I used to write in a tablet with a pen. For a long time that was how I wrote all of my material. One weekend when I was in Washington D.C., a friend asked if I could give him a ride to Reagan National. I picked him up from his hotel and I noticed that he was very busy writing something on his smartphone. He was typing away with his thumbs. I thought to myself, “man, there ain’t no way I would write on a smartphone.” A few weeks later I read a wonderful piece written by about his favorite guitarist in an online magazine. I wondered if that was what he was working on during the ride to the airport.

About a month later, I was on a flight from Chicago to New York. Yes. I write while traveling by plane too. It is a little harder to write while seated in a plane. You don’t have a lot of wriggle room on a plane. Now if you are seated in First Class or Business Class that is a different story. All of my day-job travel is in coach.

I digressed. Let’s go back to the flight to New York from Chicago. I boarded. I put away my jacket in the overhead. I pulled my writing tablet from my carry-on, placed it in my lap and stowed the carry-on underneath the seat in front of me. After a long time on the taxiway the plane took off. We reached cruising altitude and I was ready to start writing. I opened my tablet and to my surprise and consternation I had no more blank pages.

My jaw dropped. I asked myself, “How did I miss this?” I was in the mood for writing. I thought about my smartphone. I pulled it
out of my pocket. My plane was just very Indiana at that point. I navigated to the Notes app and with my thumbs I started typing. I typed all the way to final approach to the runway at LaGuardia in New York.

I still write in tablets but most of my writing is done on my smartphone. I’m using a smartphone now to type this piece, I am on a train, I’m in private quarters and I have plenty wiggle room.

————————————————
(c) 2020, Jerry T Johnson

You may follow Jerry’s work on the following social media networks:

jtjohnpoet.com
twitter.com/jetjohn3
facebook.com/jtjpoetry

My Travels. #12

My Travels. #12

May 1993, Manhattan Beach Pier

I was on assignment in Torrance California, a suburb of Los Angeles. After several days of work, I finally got some me time.

Here I stand at Manhattan Beach Pier wearing my Mickey Mouse jeans. Yes, you guessed correctly. There is a story behind the jeans.

Prior to my Torrance trip, I was working in Orlando. I arrived at Orlando on a Sunday and was scheduled to meet coworkers at Disney’s Pleasure Island for dinner. After dropping off my bags and heading to Downtown Disney, I was burning up. Orlando was hot and I was still dressed for the Northeast where winter was not quite finished.

I walked into a Disney shop, purchased a T-Shirt and the jeans you see me wearing in this picture. I actually changed clothes right there in the dressing room of the store. When I walked back outside in the burning sun, Wow did I feel better.

I kept those jeans for many years.

My Travels. #11

My Travels. #11

It was a Friday in mid-December, 2014. I’d just finished a long tour of duty on a project in Chicago. I had a late lunch at O’Hare at a restaurant that overlooked the outside gate areas. After I finished my meal, I sipped my Cab, gazed outside and penned this poem:

(Warning this poem makes some folk hungry)

MEATLOAF AT THE AIRPORT

i’m eating a late lunch at an airport,

at a restaurant named after a notable,

noted, well known chef.

maybe it’s not the healthiest choice,

turkey meatloaf wrapped

in a thin slice of bacon,

mashed potatoes smothered

in a layer of light brown, turkey flavored gravy.

the meat loaf looked like it was gently placed

by gentle hands on top of the potatoes 

while thin cut, brown coat onion rings

were sprinkled over the layered stack, 

topped with one last spoon of gravy,

just a dripping from top to bottom.

i have prime seating, facing main concourses,

two in the afternoon, prime space,

prime time, prime people watching,

truly, it does take all kinds to make a world.

i peer at large windows, 

gazing outside, i see several planes

parked at several gates and i think:

it’s gonna be a long ride.

Replay – of a previous, well liked post

October 1997, Moscow, Russia

Two days before this photo was taken, I was on vacation in Atlanta, Georgia where it was a nice 70 degrees . I returned to Moscow —where I lived and worked. On the flight back, as the plane made its final approach, l looked at all the snow on the ground covering the entire city. That is when I remembered, I left my overcoat in the trunk of the rental car at Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta.