Sentinel-Echo.com

Opinion

September 26, 2013

Publisher's Notebook: Desert trip is an experience

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Desert heat is drier than Kentucky heat due to lower humidity levels. If it wasn’t, people in Arizona, where it’s 105 degrees routinely in the summer, would melt into a wet blob like the wicked witch of the North.

I was under the impression desert heat would be more bearable. But folks, 105 degrees is still pretty darn hot, low humidity or not, especially when an endless sun beats down on your head. I saw one cloud the whole week in the desert.

That’s the overall impression I came away with after spending five days in Phoenix recently during the National Newspaper Association annual convention, as part of my duties as president of the Kentucky Press Association.

Boy, is the desert beautiful. Crystal-clear days with turquoise blue skies and no hint of haze. No mold or mildewy smells, just the aroma of sweet desert flowers. No bugs or mosquitoes at night. I’d love to have a winter home in Phoenix. I’ll go buy one right now.

My wife had a little trepidation about flying on September 11, but I figured the TSA would be even more vigilant on the anniversary. There were no problems to speak of in flights out of Louisville, Denver and Phoenix.

But there’s a chance a TSA employee or a homeless person in Louisville is enjoying an expensive bottle of hairspray. Mary tried hard to convince the luggage checkers the bottle of Paul Mitchell in her bag wasn’t a bomb, but they confiscated it anyway.

 I told Mary her mug shot would be on terrorist list because of her Paul Mitchell bomb. She didn’t appreciate my joke though, and exacted her revenge by making me sit in the middle seat on the cramped airplane.

I love flying Southwest because they don’t charge any extra fees for checked bags like other airlines do. Others must have liked that too, because all the flights were full. We felt like sardines in a can. There’s plenty of leg room on the Southwest 737’s, but not much arm room. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with my arms and elbows.

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