(Continued from “Forty Years Ago.”)
The new Houston Intercontinental Airport had opened less than two years before and, at the end of 1971, I was there for my first flight on an airplane. By the end of the day, I was going to be far away from Houston, far away from anyone I knew.
There were several of us flying standby that day. In those days, flights often flew at less than capacity and still made money. There was little concern that I wouldn’t make the flight, of course, I wouldn’t know until it was time to board.
After all of the regular ticketed passengers had boarded, the ticket agent started to call for the standby passengers. I was pleasantly surprised to end up in first class, the one and only time that’s ever happened.
The food in first class was excellent and the drinks were free. I was quite surprised with the shish kabob, though, which I had never had. Along with the more familiar beef and veggies on the skewer were mushrooms, which I didn’t discover until I bit into one. The taste and consistency were not at all familiar and I didn’t care for it. While today I do eat meals with mushrooms in them, mushrooms are far from a favorite.
While the flight wasn’t a direct flight, I didn’t have to change planes when we landed at an intermediate stop in another large airport.
One more takeoff and landing before arrival.