The Traveler, Father Christmas and the Constellation
In a previous post, I told you how the Traveler is an airliners fan.
How he likes them, knows them and is really their friend.
But, what made the Traveler such a friend with airliners?
Well, it is very simple.
It’s simply because he always lived with them, since he was a little boy.
His father was an executive in an airline and the Traveler remembers very well when the family was in Lomé, Togo.
Every Sunday afternoon, after the family lunch, his father would take him, his brother and his sister to the beach where they would enjoy water sports and fun.
At 4 pm, direct from the beach, their father would drive them to the airport where he would attend to the Air France DC-4 that was operating the coastal commuter route from Abidjan to Brazzaville.
They would arrive at the airport half an hour before the landing of the DC-4, the time for the father to dress on with his nice white uniform and prepare all the stuff to welcome the aircraft, his crew and his passengers.
In the meantime the three kids would be kidding and playing with the luggage handling attendants, joyfully running and shouting on the tarmac. In those days, safety regulations in airports were not as they are nowadays.
Then, they would watch the beautiful silver bird landing, taxiing and then gently parking just in front of the small airport house. And as soon as the four engines stopped, the propeller blades still, they would rush to the aircraft, helping the attendants, continuing their plays and even sometimes climbing up the stairs after the last passenger disembarked, invited by a kind flight attendant to have a look inside.
The Traveler was 4 at the time. He remembers all the details but what is the most acute in his memory is the delicious smelling of the high octane grade gasoline that was used to fuel these engines.
But the true encounter of the Traveler with the aircrafts, the true revelation of his love for the beautiful mighty gentle silver bird