Ode to the Airliner

I was totally stoked when I thought of this idea.  It’s amazing how a passing question like ‘does pineapple belong on pizza?’ in a casual conversation could foster such incredible memories. If I could’ve I would’ve gone home that evening and penned this post.  At first, I intended to incorporate both pizza and the Airliner into one entry.   Then decided each topic deserved their own – pizza was the perfect MasterCard Moment and the Airliner… . Hell, the Airliner was an Ode if there ever was one.  To have a Moment and an Ode back to back is postally preposterous.

My pizza piece was quite tasty, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, every attempt to pen my Airliner Ode was thwarted with frustration.  I was blocked, man.  It was bad!  The thought of what I wanted to write, moreover, the feeling I needed to convey seemed like it would be effortless to put into words.   But, it wasn’t. What I wanted was that Stephen King Stand by Me type voice-over moment – a simple, yet eloquent ‘eulogy’ of sort, immortalizing days gone by.  Then I realized that my memories were just that – mine. Well, mine and the friends who shared said pizza with sausage, pineapple, and green peppers at the Airliner thirty years ago. Understanding this made my inadequacy a bit more tolerable.

Be this as it all may be, I found a suitable, rhetorical tribute.

It is Iowa City’s oldest and best-known bar. Mostly, it has been a student hangout for generations. In 65 years, it has changed, and not changed. It is still redolent with the smell of beer, which most of its patrons drink. The inside walls are still brick; the ceiling is the same pressed tin. There is still a popcorn machine in the corner. Opposite it is a semi-circular booth with a brass plate. The booth is dedicated to Tom Brokaw, the ex-NBC news anchor who was a student at the University of Iowa in 1958 and 1959. Brokaw left Iowa because he said he spent more time at the Airliner than in class.

On one wall are pictures of naval pre-flight aviation cadets, elbow to elbow at the bar in their whites. It was 1944, when the place became such a hangout for the cadets that it came to be called the Airliner

a ‘professional’ , appropriately cited Ode

This was written in 2009.  Thankfully the ‘Liner is still going strong now pushing 75.  By the way, this excerpt is a bit more postally appropriate than originally planned.  These cadets were ‘in their whites‘ – I could be wrong, but I’m thinkin’ that IS a Plain White T reference.

Everyone has their own Airliner Ode.  That metaphorical ‘pizza place’ filled with friends from childhood, high school or college. Am I disappointed with my writer’s  blogous interruptous?  Not really. I’m comforted. They are MY memories.

If I remember correctly,   this song was L 5 on  the Airliner jukebox back in 1989.

Yes, the jukebox is still there – with some Spotify downloadable enhancements, of course.

Pints on me!

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