Ice Breaker

Posted: September 17, 2014 in Everyday Life, politics

The big turboprop twin finally arrived using most of our 2900 foot runway. It taxied to a stop at our main ramp. After the highway patrol security arrived she emerged from the plane. She looked around and there was no one but the State Troopers to meet her. No one, except my wife, the Geezer, the airport cat and me. The sound of the light and quiet southern breeze was deafening. She actually had a look of relief on her face when she spotted us standing there at the main hangar door. She came walking across the tarmac smiling and with an outstretched hand to say hello!

Just 15 minutes earlier I was just finishing my first pot of coffee that Saturday morning when I got a call from Clansey, our ol’ Airport Geezer*. He said he had received a call on the radio and the Governor’s plane was about 20 miles out and would be on approach to land at our airport in about 10 minutes. He said I’d better get to the main hangar if I wanted to watch her arrive in her fancy new King Air. We live just 5 minutes from the airport so I called my wife and we hurried out to watch. In our realm, a chance to see the Governor is a big deal, particularly this governor. It was Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Democrat. I’m sure you have heard of her, she later became the Health Secretary for the President of the United States. (Because of the large population base in Kansas City, Topeka and most of Northeastern Kansas we can elect a Democrat Governor occasionally here. Forget it for U.S. Senators, most Congressmen or Presidents). Being a small rural community in Central Kansas west of Topeka, you can count on one thing, Republicans out number the Democrats 4 to 1. We had lived here over 10 years. We are not natives and we fit into the minority.

Evidently, not having anyone that understood protocol in the small Democratic Caucus in our county, no one thought to send a welcoming party to meet her and take her to the public events she was to attend. If I had known she was coming I would have offered, but who would have thunk it. But my beat up 1994 Jeep Cherokee I was driving that day would not have been very impressive for her to ride in. All she had for transportation was a state patrol car.

She shook my wife’s hand, wife was speechless. Clancey smiled politely through his over-grown white beard and gently shook hands (he plays Santa Claus at Xmas). She even patted the airport cat on the head and luckily it didn’t bite her. When she finished shaking hands with me, I wouldn’t let go of her hand, and said “You don’t know how good it is to finally meet another Democrat out here in Central Kansas!”. There was a short moment of silence, I think that broke the ice and the big hangar finally echoed out with loud nervous laughter from her and her State Trooper entourage.

So I guess I can proudly say I put a smile on the face of the lady Governor of Kansas. But I think, my not letting loose of her hand made her and the troopers a little worried.

Such is the life of John

* Definition : Ol’Airport Geezer : All small airports have one. A warm hearted, hard working gentleman that mows the grass, answers the radio, greets all aircraft arrivals, makes everyone that stops there feel welcome, fixes them up with an old airport courtesy car* to take to town for a hamburger and pumps Av Gas for the Lawyer and Doctor pilots, that don’t know how to pump their own.

  1. That is so cool! What a great memory for her, Clancey, your wife, you, and the cat! 🙂
    You DID, indeed, break the ice…in a great way! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂


  2. You put a smile on her face 🙂


  3. ~ Sadie ~ says:

    What an awesome memory & great story! A little shocked myself that her press secretary didn’t set up someone to greet her upon her arrival. I’d be willing to bet she does remember – esp with you all enamored holding on to her hand and all 😉


    • She is a very striking woman. I’m not sure but those may have been her travel arrangements. After she left for the tour of the county her pilot stayed behind at the airport and asked who’s Prius it was parked outside, my wife had driven her’s there, After it was over we both thought perhaps she would have accepted a ride from my wife for the morning if we had thought of asking at the time. Yes, I admit it, I am enamored by handsome looking and powerful women. Hahahaha! 😀


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