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Pamela Loxley Drake writes a travelogue of sorts from the airport in her latest column.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeLast week, I hopped onto a plane.

Er, last week I stood in line for a very long time waiting to get cleared by TSA for my flight.

The benefit of my ripe old age of 75 is that I can now leave my shoes on when checking through. I guess that it is assumed that I can no longer bend over, or perhaps feet smell worse after 75. Regardless of the reason, I was grateful to leave them on.

As I was saying before I got sidetracked, flying is an eye-opening experience.

I am an observer of people. I love to watch the little stories that play out in the airport. It is indeed a study of humankind. All nationalities, all ages, all personalities crammed together in a plane for a few hours before they leave the scene, and each go their merry way.

As I write this, I am sitting by the window in the row in front of the bathrooms. The seats do not recline, which will help my posture, and there will be many humans to study as they pass by. Luckily, I am by the window.

After I cleared TSA, I set out to find breakfast. I didn't pull out my book as I usually do. Instead my mind was focusing on the next few days and my sister's memorial.

My waiter brought me a coffee travel cup, as I prepared to leave the table.

"Your meal was paid for by a couple who left some time ago," the sweet waiter said.

Tears streamed down my cheeks. I could not stop them.

At the gate, a little scene played out in front of me. A little girl of about 2 had caught her finger in the walkway and sliced it down her little fingernail. Two airport medics came to her aid. Their tenderness and care were touching. I wanted to ask if they were daddies and wish them a happy Dad's Day.

Of course, the airport covered all bases by taking the necessary facts. "Just the facts, ma'am." The little one was tearless and well-bandaged when they all moved on.

Some of my sweetest memories have happened on air travel. The college professor writing music, a young man playing his violin, a sweet boy sleeping on my shoulder. Yes, a study in humanity.

Today I go to see my sister June. When you read this, I will have been there over a week.

I know that on my return flight, I will find more good people to outnumber the rude and cold ones who just don't get it. They are in fact, my favorite people. I find that humor and kindness can change not only them but perhaps, just maybe, change the world as well.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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