Monday, October 11, 2010

Barney and Goober

While I have been doing a lot of traveling lately I am inspired to write about a recent trip to what I call Barney and Goober land. Yes, the same Barney and Goober of Andy of Mayberry fame from the old black and white television days. You know good ole boy sheriff Andy and his trusty side kick Barney Fife. Then later they had a guy that wore this simple looking little round beanie cap and his name was Goober. Between Barney and Goober you had the simplest form of everyday life that anyone could imagine. Goober must have had an IQ of somewhere between 10-98 and Barney was smart but real emotional and straight line in his thinking. His claim to fame was the two bullets that Sheriff Andy would allow him to carry in his front breast pocket. He was allowed to put the bullets in his pistol for fear he might accidentally shoot someone by mistake. Goober on the other hand had no real speciality except to do dumb things for no real reason. Between these two guys a big day for them was to get into an argument over who won the marbles contest or who could shoot pool without chalking their stick. What sparked my memory on all of this is I recently had to fly into Florence, South Carolina to make a connection to my ultimate destination, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While my flight into Florence didn’t render any real memories of Mayberry I could feel something different about this airport. While it was called a Regional Airport I wondered what Region really meant. This was prompted by my return to Florence for my trip back and as I entered the airport at 8:00 a.m. I noticed that there was no one in the airport. There was no agent at the American Airlines or Delta counter, no rental car agents, no TSA agents that like to frisk you to see what kind of bomb you are bringing in and no kind of vendor or food area. It was like I was in a time zone where everyone was taken from Mayberry, ooops I mean Florence, and sent off to the near by Florida swamps. But they did have a row of desks, plugs for computers, and reading lamps. It again reminded me of Mayberry where the town drunk use to lock himself in the jail cell when he got plastered. It was also like I was in charge of the airport since I was the only one there. After about an hour I noticed that the guard was changing a little bit and some employees were starting to arrive. When the airlines folks strolled in I ask them what I was supposed to do and they said, nothing right then, just be cool and we will contact you when you can check in. At this stage of the game I wondered if I was going to have to guide the plane into the gate area, unload the baggage, re-fuel, and just basically take charge of this situation. Turns out people started coming out of the wood work and finally at 12:40 noon the first flight would be leaving. Now I started to take my computer apart and place it in my brief case while feeling a little better about Florence. Since my first commercial flights date back to the early sixties I guess this is the first airport I have come into that was deserted upon my morning arrival. Moral to the story is if you fly into Florence, SC don’t expect a lot out of the airport but you will enjoy their business center since it is first class, and Barney & Goober will not bother you at all.

How is that SH? Remind you of the Mid-South travel days into Greenville, and Memphis?



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