What was our name before it was Miami Springs? Glenn Curtiss, founded the city of Miami Springs during the land rush of the 1920’s but it wasn’t called Miami Springs at first. We were called Country Club Estates. With the discovery of potable spring water underneath us in the aquifer we decided to change the name. In those early years, there were 60 voters and the name change passed by 6 votes. You can see how just a few involved people could make a difference. We don’t know what the residents of Boca Raton were thinking (Or drinking) when they named their town after a rat’s mouth.

Curtiss NC-4

Who made the first trans-Atlantic flight? Was it Charles Lindbergh? No! The first transatlantic flight was made in the NC-4, one of the four Glenn Curtiss flying boats commanded by Lt. Comdr. Albert C. Read. It reached Lisbon, Portugal. Unfortunately, the luggage wound up in Cincinnati! Remember, I’m a humorist.

Photo of a painting at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum of the Curtiss NC-4 Crossing
Photo of a painting at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum of the Curtiss NC-4 Crossing

Since the dawn of flight when the very first passenger’s luggage flew to a different destination than them, we have tried to be as close to our luggage as canned sardines. It’s as if we were traveling across the Gobi Desert by camel with all our precious belongings hanging from a hump. If our belongings were still secure by Wednesday, travelers celebrated and called it Hump Day. The cost of checking a bag became as expensive as the winner in the “Starbucks Most Expensive Drink Challenge”. (A super venti flat white. The drink contained 11,200 mg of caffeine and 170 espresso shots at $148.99) That’s why overhead bins were bulging like Arnold’s biceps in 1982.

We flew. Everyone had so much carry-on that the plane was top heavy. We each had stuffed at least 85 cubic feet of luggage in our section of the overhead bin and if that weren’t enough, we all shoved an additional bag under the seat in front. We filled the seat pocket with food and bottled water and our pockets, handbags and computer cases were filled with food and reading material. We were set for the 3-hour flight to our destination, never afraid of that moment when we had nothing to do. Fearing a cold snap, we each had enough clothing and supplies to mount a full-scale assault on Mt Everest. If the Swiss Family Robinson had our provisions, they would have never left the island.

Some airlines are enlarging the overhead bins but even when you add an extra lane to the exit ramp, there’s always some yahoo who cuts in at the last moment.These are the same people who want to start grabbing their stuff even as the plane touches down. I say let the passengers decide who gets off first. Touch-pads at each seat will keep a running total of all transgressions from smelly feet to hair draped over the seat back. These over-packers will find their seat-belts electronically locked until everyone else has de-planed.

Not only are the seats narrower, but our entertainment options have changed. Instead of a larger screen for videos, we must rely on uploading an app on our smart phone so we can squint all the way to our destination. Yes, air travel has changed since the days told in the old Greek tale when Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wings of feathers and wax melted. He should have flown first class.


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