Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic

A ladybug shuttle took us to Terminal Z at JFK, where the Lepidopter was wreathed in steam and slowly test-flapping its golden wings.

But at the last minute Delta’s service rep barked out the announcement that there would be a service change. They switched to a Mayfly 4000. That meant an hour more standing around and sipping coffee, and it was a much more primitive ornithopter.

Liftoff was after sunset. We hit heavy turbulence, much to the displeasure of a school of guppy girls, who insisted on being dropped out the back so they could swim the rest of the way. The service carts kept banging my knees as I tried to sleep.


LandPainter said...

Mr. Gurney, you are AWESOME sir! Inspiring work.

Andrew said...

I'm surprised they still keep Mayflys around, considering how often they're victims of steam pressure dropping in the engine, especially at high altitudes.

Steve said...

Love the Heinrich Kley-ish frog in the waiting line, a picture of elegant nonchalance.

Glad you landed safely and your pilots were not distracted by their laptops...although something about the name Mayfly doesn't inspire aerial confidence. It May Fly, or.. it May Not.

Must have been saltwater guppies!

CCG Coordinator said...


Have a great time in France! This seems like a big month for you - showing up in lots of print sources - IFX #50 and International Art (ongoing installment, even!). Both look like excellent articles - hope to get them read in the next few days.

Will you being doing a book tour for Imaginative Realism? Still hoping to get you down to KY!

Happy travels to you and Jeanette!

Unknown said...

You meet such interesting people when you travel! Thanks for show your sketches/watercolors.

And out of curiosity, why the apple (banana?) label?

Erik Bongers said...

In post of a year ago or so JG said that glueing labels or stapling boarding passes to a travel sketchbook provided a sort of alternative date/time stamping.

Not a bad idea, is it? Stuff as much little papers into your journal and it helps you situate the drawing in time and space.
Might even bring back nice (or not so nice) memories.

James Gurney said...

Bookish, when I bought a cup of coffee at Peet's, they didn't have the right change, so the lady offered me a banana (in real life!)--first time I've dealt with barter in an airport.

Jonathan, I'm not doing a concentrated book tour, really, just a few scattered appearances. They're all listed on the lefthand blogroll. Hope to make it back to Kentucky someday soon! Glad to hear the IFX made it with the UK postal strike.

Steve and Drew, yeah, those old Mayfly pilots still navigate by sextant and pocketwatch, and they often overfly airports because fierce arguments.

M.M.E. said...

Hahah. Such a creative way to look at airline problems. As a graduating undergrad art student, your blog is very inspiring. I'm currently pursuing graduate education to combine my two ba majors of creative writing and drawing. Can't wait to see what you add next!

Ginger*:) said...

Ahhhhhhh the Mayfly 4000. Is that anything like the Dragonfly 2? Have you ever seen one of those? They are the most brilliant iridescent blue! With two sets of wings, they can fly faster than the Mayfly 1300, but I am not sure if they could beat out the 4000.