26 June 2000

"From Burkesville to Charlotte"

Day 1

I finally finished packing the car and left Burkesville, Kentucky, on the South Central edge of the Kentucky-Tennessee border, on Monday, June 26th, about 10:45 a.m. (ET). I pulled up at my daughter Laura’s and her husband Jeremy Thomas’s house in Wilmore about 1:00 p.m. Since our flight was supposed to leave Blue Grass Field in Lexington at 2:50 p.m., both of them were a little concerned about me arriving on time and had already called to check on me at home about 10:00 a.m.. Laura had gone on to work earlier that morning; but when I arrived, I found Jeremy talking on the phone with his father, Timothy Thomas, discussing what time we would need to leave for him to drive us to the airport in time to check in by 2:00 p.m.

Timothy arrived about 15 minutes later and promptly delivered us in plenty of time to the U.S. Airways check-in counter at Blue Grass Field. We learned from the airline clerk that our U.S. Express turbo-prop connection to Charlotte would be leaving from Gate C-5; so after we checked in, we took our carry-on backpacks with us over to the Gate C-5 waiting area.

After taking some pictures of one another in the waiting area and of the plane out on the tarmac, I then left my backpack with Jeremy and walked back to the entrance to take some more pictures, trying to retrace our actual entrance into the building. When I reached Jeremy again, I noticed that the number counter for my camera was not changing when I took a picture. Just before we left the terminal to board the plane, we had a brief prayer together, giving our families, ourselves and our trip to the Lord, asking Him to use it in our lives however He wills.

Sitting here in the plane about 3:15 p.m. writing in my journal, I am trying not to panic about my camera. I estimate that I have already taken about twenty pictures. So when I reach the film’s designed limit of twenty-four, I will rewind the film, put another roll in and see if the counter resets itself. Even though the number was not changing, each time I took a picture, the motor inside of the camera sounded as if it actually was still moving the film. Anyway, I will check it when we land in Charlotte.

We finally boarded the plane at 2:40 p.m. and left on time at 2:50 p.m. The information card on the back of the seat in front of me describes our twin propeller plane as a British Aerospace Jetstream Super 31. Jeremy and I were supposed to be sitting next to each other, but the seating in these small planes is so tight and the number of people on this trip is so few that the flight attendant let him move into the seat behind me and next to the window. He is now in seat 3A, and I am in 2D. Both of us are right next to the engines.

After our flight lifted into the air, the pilot announced that our trip to Charlotte should take us about seventy-five minutes. The actual schedule allows for eighty-five minutes. So that gives them about a ten minute fudge factor. Right now, at 3:25 p.m., we have just hit some turbulence; in fact, it feels as if we are riding on a roller coaster. I even had to stop writing in my journal because I could not read my own writing. Everything seems okay now as the pilot took us up above the turbulence.

Our flight from Lexington arrived in Charlotte at 4:05 p.m., about ten minutes early, and we deplaned into Concourse D. Our flight to London would leave from Gate C6 in Concourse C; so, now we must find our way there. Once we had found our new waiting area and since neither of us had brought any British money with us on the plane from Lexington, we felt that our next task was to find a bank in the terminal which would sell us some. We found just what we needed downstairs next to the British Airways ticket office. I exchanged 376 US dollars for 235 British pounds. When I did the math on this exchange, it turned out to be that each pound cost me $1.60. Jeremy decided that he wanted to test out an ATM machine to buy his pounds. His 200 British pounds cost him 324 US dollars or about $1.62 per pound.

Once we had found our waiting area and had bought some British money, we hunted for a place to eat. When we went back to the center of Concourse C, we found a food court and decided to eat supper at Burger King. I had a fish sandwich and Jeremy bought a Junior Whopper combo. When we finished our meals, both of us went back to the waiting area where Jeremy spent some time reading George Sayer’s Jack. We are hoping we might be able to meet Mr. Sayer in Malvern although there is no guarantee, since I have not received a response from him as I did from James O’Fee, Tony Wilson, Dorothy Rogers, David Bleakley, and Walter Hooper. While Jeremy was reading I decided to walk around and take some pictures at the airport in order to finish up my roll of film that had been stuck on number 6. I took my 24th picture and then rewound the spent film and put in a new roll. Hopefully the counter will work the whole time on this roll. I then went back and sat down with Jeremy and read some more of Perry Bramlett’s tour guide of the C.S. Lewis sites (Touring C.S. Lewis’ Ireland & England). It had been very helpful to me as I made our itinerary for the trip. I had started reading it again when we had run into turbulence on the plane earlier today and I was unable to write clearly in my journal. 

 

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Last Updated: Sunday, September 02, 2001