Thursday, February 9, 2006

Lois Swanee
Museum Curator

Witnessing Con Air in real life

Let me share a recent adventure with you. I was flying and I was the only one on the plane except the pilot, so I sat in the co-pilot’s seat. We were preparing to land in Memphis. The pilot said, “Do you know who is landing right after we do?” I had not the vaguest idea. Then he asked if I had seen the movie “Con Air” with Nicholas Cage? I had not. Then he said, “The 747 plane behind us is full of Federal prisoners like the plane in ‘Con Air.’”

Then he told me to look down at the field where we were going to land. “See those red buses parked down there? Those buses are waiting for the plane to land and they will pick up the prisoners and take them to prison.” Then he asked, “Do you see those eight vans beside the buses? They are full of G-men with long guns and they will surround the plane.”

At this point we landed and I waited to see what happened with the 747. It landed and immediately the buses pulled over to the plane. The G-man vans pulled over to surround the plane. The G-men guards got our of the vans and with their long guns, they, too, surrounded the plane.

Then the door to the plane opened and the prisoners began to come off. Their hands and their feet were shackled. I wondered how you walked down steps with your feet cuffed, but it was possible because they were doing it.

I wondered, “What heinous crime have you committed to make the world treat you like this?” What a waste of a person’s life to be so wicked that you must be treated like a bad animal. Understand, I was standing behind some bulletproof glass just in case.

It was hard to imagine anyone messing up their lives when you just have one (short) life to live on earth. I haven’t seen “Con Air” at the movies but I have witness it in real life.

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