Overheard on a connecting flight
Jeff Martin hears a familiar name repeated during a flight from Dallas.
There’s nothing like travelling to get new perspectives on where you live. This weekend I went to Nashville for a big book festival near the Capitol building.
One-stop flights to Nashville from Tulsa are few and far between, so I was forced to make a connecting flight to Dallas. This is not unusual to any Tulsan who travels often or even occasionally. It’s just hard to get anywhere from here on a single flight. But had I not been forced to catch that flight to Dallas, I wouldn’t have been seated in row 13. If I hadn’t been sitting in row 13, I wouldn't have seen a couple to my right looking through the in-flight magazine for American Airlines, American Way.
It was hard to make out what they were looking at, but I heard the word “Tulsa” over and over again. Once I realized what they were reading, I realized I had my own copy right in front of me. I flipped through the magazine while simultaneously eavesdropping on their every word. Phrases like “We should go up there for a weekend,” and “I’ve never been, but it sounds pretty cool,” piqued my interest even further.
On the very last page of the publication, I found a short, nostalgic piece written by a native Tulsan named Eric Celeste. It talked about everything from Coney Islander to Vintage 1740 on 18th Street. There were some of the usual suspects mixed in, such as Route 66 and ORU’s statue of praying hands, but it was a fun take on the current vibe of the city.
Celeste spoke of areas that were culturally dead when he was a teenager, now coming to the forefront. I couldn’t agree with him more when he wrote, “Tulsa is as aggressive as any city in trying to reclaim formerly abandoned areas in and around downtown.”
Now I am not impressed that Tulsa has a nice article in an in-flight magazine. I am not even impressed that people were reading it. What does make me happy is that we now have something to offer that makes people say things like, “We should go up there for a weekend.” A little phrase like that, said and acted upon by enough people, is all the economic stimulus we’ll ever need.