Simple plan: Fly to Phoenix, via Denver, Thursday. Give talk at breakfast Friday. Receives staggering fee… receive plaudits of grateful crowd. Come home Saturday. Loll about. Birthday on Monday. Lucky old me.
Not so fast. Torrential rain in New York just as board plane. Sit for seven hours, trapped on tarmac. Very boring. Except when looking out window at biblical rain …sheets of lightning. Also hear Colorado being washed away in storm of century. United wisely decides, the Hell with it… we’re staying in New York. I phone client from plane… warn may not show …nation impassable…blah, blah, blah.
Oops, Brave United takes deep breath, says flying to Denver after all, despite biblical rains in New York and Colorado. Brave United!
Plane does indeed cross nation… land in Denver in middle of night. Denver very damp, hotels jammed. Possible flight to Phoenix tomorrow v. uncertain.
Get one of last rooms at airport hotel…very last seat on possible 6 a.m. plane to Phoenix. Sleep two hours… up at 4 a.m. local time. Stagger off to D.I.A. Look funny.
Pleasant miracle: DIA designed it to shrug off monsoons… still fly. Plane goes to Phoenix … me on it. Arrive in sunny, clueless Phoenix at 7:00. Guy meets plane, sweeps me off to elegant Arizona Biltmore (thank you, Frank Lloyd Wright). Go straight to room where kind, eager audience having breakfast. Struggle to pull aging, sleepy self together … do imitation of human being.
Stride to podium … uncork speech. All v. happy… especially me. I go to hotel bedroom. Sleep until early flight home next morning. Fly all day…drive to Berkshires that night. Spend next day, yesterday, lolling around, watching football… drinking bourbon out of jelly jar.
Today, up and at em again. It is my 79th Birthday! by heaven! Hilly, Olive and I roar off to New York… cook supper for 15 loved ones. Life is sweet, kids! A little short, to be sure, but very, very sweet.