Saturday, May 7, 2011

Duct Tape and Glue

On my flight to Denver, I finished reading Gift of the Sea, and I got a little carried away with taking photos.  The scenery below wouldn't stop being interesting, as much fun as sitting on the beach watching the ever-changing, fast moving views of the waves and clouds and birds and beach-goers.






We came up through a cloud bank into that bright "Aha!" moment of breaking light, when the sun streams through the plane windows, the clouds below like a foamy sea.
The desert is fascinating from 36,000 feet up.  Footprints of giant dinosaurish creatures stretched out across the landscape, baklava baked by some giant bakery, scars and scribbles that below, are deep canyons and ridges.
Like a multi-colored map of a continent hanging on a schoolroom wall, a condensed, colorful version of humanity and history, the view below offers glimpses into what is going on: a green field here, a yellow patch there, a cluster of what could be the buildings of a little community nearby.  Patches sewed onto the earth, an attempt to hold things together, cover up the torn sports?





At the Denver airport, I switched to the Colorado Springs connection.  Waiting on the next plane, I watched a mechanic kneel underneath the jet next to us. He had his hands up above his head, working on the underbelly.  He appeared to be sticking on a piece of duct tape. Are they really holding that plane together with duct tape?  I watched, he reached down, picked up a roll, tore off another strip, reached up to apply it to whatever he was fixing. The pilot squatted down next to him, they were talking and laughing.  A baggage guy hung around, watching them.
This reminded me of my dad, who used to work in the plastic industry.  He traveled a lot, and used to enjoy telling the passenger next to him that he made the glue and the plastic that held the plane together.
Next time you fly - trust the duct tape and the glue - and, thankfully, the Lord!


*In fairness, when I told our son-in-law this story, he said there is an airline grade of duct tape used in the military and the aerospace industry.  It's not your home maintenance duct tape.  Still a funny idea, though, to see the mechanic using the guy-fix-anything-with-duct-tape method.

1 comment: