RUMLEY, OH After weeks of planning and preparation and eager anticipation, Charles
Hyland made it to the airport last Monday, ready to leave on his week-long vacation in
San Diego. Upon arriving at the airport, he checked in at the ticket counter and left
his luggage in the able hands of the airline representatives. Then he sat down to some
Pizza Hut pizza, a cup of Starbucks coffee, and a Cinnabon cinnamon roll as he waited to
board the plane.
Finally, it was time to board. He handed his boarding
pass to the flight attendant and took his seat next to a talkative young man and his
young wife, who were traveling with a screaming child.
And, as Hyland and
his flight companions departed on a long and noisy flight to San Diego, Hyland’s luggage
headed off on a vacation of its own.
When Hyland landed in San Diego, he
waited at the baggage claim. He waited patiently by the carousel as he watched golf
clubs and baby seats and small farm animals in cardboard boxes pass by him. He waited
for his luggage, wanting nothing more than to be able to pick up his rental car and head
to his hotel. But there was no luggage to be found.
After hours of
chatting with the friendly young woman at the airline counter, Hyland discovered that his
luggage was headed for somewhere in the Hawaiian Islands. And Hyland was headed for the
local Wal-Mart to buy enough clothing to get by until his luggage arrived in San
Little did he know that it was going to be a long wait.
Every few hours, Hyland called the airport. And every few hours, he was
informed that his luggage was nowhere to be found.
A week later, on this
past Monday, Hyland boarded the plane back to Ohio, still without his luggage. His
vacation had been an endless string of phone calls and rainy days, and he still had no
idea where his clothes were.
Upon returning home, Hyland checked his mail.
In his mailbox were several post cards from a number of locations around the world,
including Hawaii, Cancun, Costa Rica, and Paris. Each of them included a type-written
note, saying something like, “Having a great time—hope you’re enjoying San
Hyland still hasn’t been reunited with his luggage. He does,
however, continue to receive postcards on a regular basis. And he’s beginning to suspect
that his luggage has no intention of returning to Ohio.