A Good Question

A Good Question

Reader DJ comments:

Way back in October of 1995, my wife and I attended a trade show in Paris. What is relevant about that trip is an event that happened on the way back.

We flew back on a TWA L-1011 from Paris to JFK in New York. We sat in seats 1 and 2 in row 53, in that small section of about ten rows all the way in the back. That little section of about 90 or so seats was filled with Russian immigrants. My nose told me emphatically that their trip, so far, had been a long one, and we had a long way yet to go.

Right across the aisle sat what appeared to be a middle aged couple traveling with a granddaughter about five years old. The were a stereotype right out of Life magazine. He appeared to have worked hard, his faced burned by the sun and frozen by the wind, and her cheeks a bright red as they peeked around the kerchief that was knotted beneath her chin. He was wearing a well worn tweed suit coat that might have fit about 25 pounds ago, and she was wearing a cotton dress over her dumpy frame that was more patches than original fabric. She carried the child while he carried a small bundle of boxes that were neatly stacked and carefully tied together with a ribbon.

What made it memorable was what happened as they took their seats in all the hubbub and confusion of immigrants who don’t speak the language of air travel. She picked up the child and sidled into their seats, after which he slid into his seat next to them and on the other side of the aisle from me. They sat down, stowed their bundle, and got the child belted in.

Then, when all was ready for flight, he squared his shoulders and took a deep breath. Then he let it out and slowly, ever so slowly, slumped forward until his forehead was against the top of the seat back in front of him. Then I noticed his eyes were closed and his hands were shaking. He sat there, slumped over, his hands still shaking, for a full two minutes. Then he slowly straightened, leaned back, and I noticed tears in his eyes and hers.

What had they been through to get where they were?

I’d have given a month’s pay to know his thoughts at that point, but I didn’t intrude. As the flight progressed, it became apparent that they didn’t speak English, only Russian.

That was thirteen years ago. I can’t help but wonder what these people think of Obama. I have thought of them often as more and more of the reality of Obama has come to light.

Do you suppose they’ll defend the freedom they came so far to find?

I think I know the answer Mrs. Ly Chho would give.

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