Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Hi, Everybody, and welcome back to my travelog. Yes, I know I never finished last year's trip, but I promise I will. I like writing. I'm not a bad writer. I'm not a prolific writer.

You never know who you'll see at an airport. I had almost three hours to put in at the Chicago O'Hare-port. If you've never been there, you haven't missed anything. It's congested and ugly. Nobody there is happy. But airports are good for people watching.

The first really interesting person I saw was this fellow:

I always hope to see a celebrity at an airport, even if they're just a celebrity to me. “Oh my goodness! It's Marcus Grodi!” or, “Hey, look! It's Father Benedict Groeschel!” Included in that list are especially cool-looking priests or religious brothers. And yes, most priests look cool to me.

He walked by me at close range, and the first thing I noticed was his tonsure. I did a double-take. I mean, who has a tonsure these days, friar or otherwise? As I looked again, I saw why he had it. He was wearing a friar's robe, all white. I've not encountered the white Franciscan cassock before, so I'm not sure what kind of Franciscan he would be. In any case, he pretty much looked exactly like all the paintings of Francis. Small-framed, quiet eyes, tonsure. Later, I walked by his gate and saw him praying, which is when I snapped the picture you see here.

Almost right after encountering the White Franciscan, I saw another short fellow. This one was talking to a couple that looked like they had stopped him to say hello. He looked familiar, and it only took me a moment to place him. I couldn't remember his name until Chris reminded me later, but it was Bob Balaban, from the Guffman movies. (As in, Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show and A Mighty Wind. Three of my favourite comedies) Later, I saw him waiting for his severely delayed flight to New York and surreptitiously snapped this celebrity. I realize only about three other people in the world know who he is, but it was cool for me.

I walked about the airport some more, and as I passed a crowded gate, a man rushed past me. Almost instantly I recognized the lead singer from Spinal Tap, David St. Hubbins. Of course, he is also known as Lenny from Lavern & Shirley, and as Michael McKeon, another star of the 'Guffman' films. Like an insane, crazy-obsessed stalker, I found him waiting at his gate and snapped this pic. That's him way back there in the green shirt. I'm wondering if the Guffman crew is filming something in Chicago.

I suppose if I was waiting at the same gate, I would have approached one of these guys. But I wasn't. So I just secretly took pictures of them while I pretended to be on my phone. Is that weird?