I have been around the world several times by now. I have spent what must be weeks or even months waiting in airports. I have been in JFK, La Guardia, and Newark. I have been to LAX. I have been to O’hare dozens of times. I have been in the airports in Miami, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, and many, many others. Still with all this time spent in the wonders that are modern airports, I have never seen a famous person. I haven’t even seen a relatively well known person. I only see the other weary eyed travelers struggling through their ordinary lives.
Monday night I was sitting at an airport bar in Detroit, drinking a beer, watching Monday Night Football, and reading the menu. Someone approached me on my right so I turned to see this would be bar friend of mine. I looked up at this mountain of a man and all I could muster to say was….Dave…..Winfield?
He looked down on my awestruck person and said, “Yeah, how are you?”
I am sure there are many of you who think I have still never met anyone famous. Who is this Dave Winfield you ask. I also know that I have some readers who are baseball fans and know exactly who sat by me the other night. Dave Winfield is a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer. He currently works for ESPN and is on TV quite often. I watched him play as a kid. While he was never one of my favorites any baseball fan can admire the exploits of a Hall of Famer.
While we ate our dinners Mr. Winfield and I talked. We talked about how terrible the Redskins are this year. We talked about our travel plans. He remarked to me during a commercial about lawn care that he wouldn’t want a yard that required that much work. I think he probably has a big yard, but pays someone else to care for it. Maybe he doesn’t. What do I know?
So I sat there at the bar carrying on a friendly conversation with a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Then he left and said, “Have safe travels my man.” That was it. My brush with greatness was over.
Before Mr. Winfield sat down by me Monday night airports only meant delays, waiting, more waiting, and time away from home. At least now when I walk through an airport I know there is at least a small chance that something fun will happen.