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PEOPLE WATCH
Like Father...

by Casey White
January 9, 2003

Like Father..._Casey White- On my way back home from vacation, I was in the Charlotte airport, concourse B, where I spotted a man in his mid-forties, as he briskly walked down the concourse. He had sandy-brown perm-curled hair, and was casually dressed in earth tones, with his shirt unbuttoned two buttons from the top. He sported a light brown leather coat as well as a gold chain around his open neck. He was talking loudly on his cell phone as he power-walked.

Behind the man was a teenage boy of 16 who was walking just as briskly, about two paces behind his father. He was wearing an Aeropostale shirt, cargo pants, and had salon-styled hair, with highlighted tones and plenty of firm-hold gel. His necklace was one of the dark-colored, large-bead necklaces popular with school kids. He was also holding a cell phone to his ear, and talking just as quickly and as loudly as his dad.

My first impression was that of being part of a crowd observing a parade. It made me laugh to myself, because a sight like this would be hard to set up. They didn't hesitate. They were full steam ahead, oblivious to their surroundings. Yes, it was like a little movie scene, something from the Disney channel. Exaggerated. Animated. Fun.

But after the show had gone up the ramp to the main terminal, I became more reflective and sad. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was seeing and hearing yet another loud cell phone conversation, no... two at once. Perhaps it was the fashions from two generations revealing certain similar insecurities. Or perhaps it was the fact that not too many years ago, those cell phones wouldn't have been there at all. Father and son might have been talking to one another, rather than to others via our sophisticated wireless technology.

Well, we can't turn our backs on progress. Or can we?

About the Author:
Yesterday's news of the commuter crash upon take-off from the Charlotte airport, using the same model Beech 1900-D plane and using the same tarmack where I was just one week ago, comes as a shock. I wrote this People Watch article just the day before the accident. It gives emphasis to the importance of putting family and things in perspective. Deepest sympathies to the families of the 21 victims! - CW.


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