Out of the benevolence of his heart, he volunteered to stay with me and fly out the next day.
“August 1978 – I slept in a cold, empty DFW terminal while it was under construction and only handling a few flights a day. I had returned from Europe (after three days living at Gatwick) with no money to buy a ticket to Austin, my hometown. After thinking about hitch hiking, I came to my senses and called my father in Michigan to see if he would spring for a ticket to Austin. He was almost crying when he answered the phone, and I learned that his mother had passed away. He was very close to his mother, and begged my to fly to Detroit and spend some time with him. I agreed through my own tears, the only problem being that there was no flight out north until the next day. A young man who I had briefly chatted with on the plane saw me crying and asked me what was wrong. I told him, through my tears, that my grandmother had died and I was going to fly to Detroit the next day to join my father. We both looked around the empty, half-built terminal. There were no security staff, no stores or restaurants, nothing and nobody. The other passengers were lining up for their flights out and the few open gates were shutting down. It was clear that I would be completely alone (and frightened) in the terminal. The young man, about my own age, had a flight to catch in the next few minutes for Phoenix. Out of the benevolence of his heart, he volunteered to stay with me and fly out the next day. I gratefully accepted. We laid out our sleeping rolls next to each other in a corner. I cried all night long for my grandmother and he tried to both sleep and comfort me. The next morning he saw me off on my flight to Detroit. I don’t remember his name, but it was one of the kindest things anyone ever did for me in my lifetime.”