April 14, 2005

Making Connections in San Juan

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOn the way to St. Thomas we had a short layover in San Juan, where we caught our connecting flight to the airport in St. Thomas. We were surprised when we looked at our tickets and saw that our flight was moved back three hours, but we were determined to make the best of it. We had a chance to walk around the airport, pick up a few San Juan specific souvenirs and gather ourselves for the rest of our journey. Finally, we got bored and decided to just wait by the gate for our flight.

I started working on a crossword puzzle. It was while we were sitting there that I noticed a man dressed like a Guardian Angel. I thought it odd that an Angel was patrolling the San Juan airport so I looked closer and realized that this particular Guardian Angel looked remarkably similar to Curtis Sliwa but I couldn't be sure because he looked exactly the same as I remember him looking 20 or so years ago. So I asked Jon and he wasn't entirely convinced either but saw a resemblance. We were both unsure and kept going back and forth in our conviction that it was indeed him. Jon went over to him and started to talking. From the distance I could see that we were correct. They were a having a good discussion. Jon pointed to me and I waved and Curtis Sliwa waved back. Good enough for me.

I went back to my crossword puzzle. Jon hadn't come back yet so I looked up to see what he was doing. He was walking back and following him was Curtis Sliwa who came over to say hello and kindly posed for a picture. I had a chance to fawn over him a little bit and tell him I was a fan and he spoke with us and another couple nearby for a few minutes. It was a great moment.

Turns out, Curtis Sliwa was headed to St. Croix to graduate a class of new Guardian Angels. He told us that there was a growing crime problem on that island and sure enough. Three days later, there was an article in the St. Thomas paper about the ceremony. There really is a bad crime problem there.

It was a great experience and a good way to kill half an hour.

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