Not A Termination, A Liberation.#252a (the 90’s)

Grand Hotel Mackinac Island almost realized

Again the 97 Buick Skylark was traversing the road north to Wichita ,  Mid Continent Airport his point of embarkation,  a United Airlines 737 flight to Chicago O’Hare, then a  flight northeast to Lake Huron and the Tri City (MBS) Airport servicing Midland, Bay City, and his destination Saginaw Michigan.    The traveler journeying to affront an ICQ internet acquaintance whom he had visited with for many months,  a lady of standard whom had recently suffered a major physical difficulty.   Debbie’s occupation,  a transcriber of  recorded court proceedings,   typing the audio transcript  on a computer word processor as a written document,  returning the results to the subscribing court appointed attorneys and other parties.   For some unbeknownst reason her  vision having literally overnight diminished to the point she could no longer decipher the printing on her computer screen,  her circumscribed vision problem now a concern that she would lose her livelihood and source of income.   During her correspondence she related that she had corresponded with her son whom she hadn’t spoken with in years,  the son traveling from Texas arriving, concerned about her health but only accomplished adjusting the resolution of her computer before whisking back to Texas.

Terminal 3 walkway at O’Hare

Tri-City (MBS) Airport – Midland – Bay City – Saginaw


The arrival in Chicago,  O’Hare terminal #3  always enjoyable to Gary,  the underground walkway with the tantalizing chiming stereo sound and the psychedelic lighting giving a presence of entering another world.   He could envisioning the artisans of this production,  unprecedented in their fortitude for this artistic endeavor,  the structure providing a remembrance to all that passed thru it.   His travels continuing,  boarding a 737 for, the Michigan Tri-city Airport and for some reason the lyrics and accompanying memories of the band stopping after playing at a truck stop to eat, a jukebox and the refrain of Lefty Frizzell singing about Saginaw Michigan came to mind.   Disembarking finally meeting Debbie who was accompanied by her friend Vicki who had provided the transportation considering Deb’s recent disability.  Gary was pleased that unlike other inaugural meetings with a new internet acquaintance discovering that their appearance didn’t exactly correspond to a self description or photo was pleasantly surprised that Deb justified the photo she had posted.

Debbie and a Saginaw Michigan Thanksgiving Dinner

The Michigan Thanksgiving was celebrated with a snow covered laden upon the ground,  a norm  for Michigan this time of the year.   The person from Kansas finding the unheralded hostess providing a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and all the trimmings,  her sight not being impaired enough to distract from a kitchen performance.   The following morning the two traversing to the hospital for a scheduled MRI,  hopefully to discover if there were any neurological reasons for her demise vision aspects.  The preliminary results reflecting no neurological problems, but a waiting period for the doctors official reading remained.   Gary having contemplated taking advantage of his Michigan journey to explore the tri-city area and lake front but having never experience the non forecast snowfall from what was called The Lake Effect, when cold air moves over warmer water taking up moisture that later precipitates as snow when the air moves over land, wasn’t too enthused to brave the weather.  Giving it some thought there was inquiring a destination that always intrigued him, one influenced by the movie “Somewhere In Time“  starring Christopher Reeves  and Jane Seymour, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island,  the departure site for the alluring destination on Lake Huron was about a three-hour drive,  but there was a resurgent,  the season for charting an accommodation having just closed.   Further adjustments prevailed as Deb’s car developed a difficulty and would no longer start,  Gary suggesting that they call and have it repaired but Debbie insisted that she knew a mechanic that would take care of it but he wouldn’t be back until after the holiday weekend.  Gary somewhat distressed finding himself stranded in his new acquaintance home, although in good company,  not wanting to be sequestered.

Wichita’s Mid Continent Airport from the air

His return flight date having arrived, his experience was somewhat enlightening, confirming that life provides different meanings to different people, arriving with no expectations and leaving with no expectations,  nothing ventured nothing gained except sharing cordial friendship.   A late arrival by Vicki to transport them to the airport garnished some concern,  the three of them arriving as a final call for departure for Gary’s flight was being announced,  approaching the empty departure gate areas, thankful the ticket agent was still there but discovering his reservation had already been given to a standby.   A hasty conference with the agent, the departure was halted, Gary watched as the stand-by person exited.  Once aboard the 737 remained on the Tri-City taxi way for almost an hour, the Kansas bound traveler convinced the providence had conspired to keep him in Michigan, questioning a stewardess to the reason for the delay, her reply,  the problem wasn’t Tri-City but O’Hare,  traffic was back-up because of the snow developing weather.  Because of the delay Gary thought he would miss his connecting flight, but apparently it too was running late, finally airborne on his final leg to Wichita, from the air Mid-Continent would be a welcome sight.  The 90 mile drive, the newborn winter wheat just starting to flourish,  he couldn’t help but notice it’s green a flourishing contrast to stark naked brown of the Michigan winter.   Gary’s visit to Saginaw Michigan somewhat enjoyable,  his acquaintance with a friend acceptable in many regards,  but realizing a person to person confrontation trumps the written and spoken word.

Manor storage structure

A premonition of Gary’s employment termination was forthcoming with the hiring of Rory Reed for what was thought to be for a special project to install a door and park the manor van in an old facility storage structure behind and across the alley from the Manor that Gary had recommended to be replaced.  Rory a long time employee of the OK Coop managed by his father Jim,  informing Gary that he had given notice at the Coop and would be available to assist in the upcoming projects for the Manor.   It was  the last week of December 1998 and payday when Gary was summoned to the manors administrator’s office, the administrator handing him a check and without an explanation given notice that his employment status was terminated effective immediately.  With all the changes in his life in the last year Gary had already come to a decision if this day should come he wouldn’t question or contest his termination,  not because of a lack valor or justification,  but acknowledging it would be better for all not to add to the reflected heresy of aspersions.  Gary wasn’t surprised that the word of his termination at the hospital had spread among the members of the Apostolic Church and that Ron Allenbach and Tom Farney had already made inquiries on Gary’s behalf for employment elsewhere.   The days following his release were spent waiting on the monetary funds from his  closed 403 hospital retirement account, his termination not a dismissal but a liberation, now able to give thoughts to opening other doors of opportunity, recognizing the world knows no bounds.

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