Mary Wells: Frequent Fliers Make Fast Friends

My husband ran airlines and created hotels around them. When we married he had taken control of Braniff and my agency had the joy of redoing the entire airline. It was one of the best jobs I ever had. But best of all, as Braniff was the air transport for the Dallas Cowboys, my daughters got to know each one of them and they were adorable with my girls. We were always on the same planes. One of my daughter’s friends’ father was the coach, so Katy, my daughter, developed a loyalty to the Cowboys that she has never lost. She takes her children from New Jersey to Dallas for the big games and even her children know all there is to know about each player.

My own cutest experience was on a flight to Ireland from London. The man seated next to me was curious about the books I was reading because I was in the process of furnishing my new home in Dublin. He told me the books were all wrong and I would be disappointed.

He took out a notepad and started with “Kitchen”: and then moved on to each area of the house making notes while talking to me in detail about each place he suggested as THE place for great dishes, a refrigerator, sheets, slipcovers, top quality furniture, dog accessories, wine and wine coolers – and as he gave me advice he also gave me wonderful funny gossipy stories about other houses in Dublin. He was absolutely enchanting and I would have followed him anywhere. As we were leaving and shaking hands and I was thanking him, he twinkled – yes twinkled – and said, “Tell your decorator you were advised on the plane by Bertie Ahern — and he really knows the best of Ireland.” I haven’t seen Bertie since that day. Bertie, wherever you are, hopefully someone will pull this up onto your screen. Thank you. You were 100 percent right.

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