May 22, 2008

The other Sanders

Last night, on a flight to LA from Houston, I met the 'other' Sanders -- Ray Sanders, the virtuoso turkey-baster player.

That's right, he plays the turkey baster (like a flute).

He was on his way to LA to be on the Jay Leno show (this Friday, May 23). We quickly found out through conversation that we had a lot in common: both from Texas, both love music and he knew a few of my in-laws.

This guy is a hoot! You have to visit his website to appreciate his sense of humor, and how seriously he takes his turkey-baster playing. He loves to play The Flight Of The Bumblebee or the William Tell Overture. He was a sweet, interesting and entertaining conversation partner over the three hours we sat together.

Actually, I needed to do some email catchup work and finish some light editing on my new book. In retrospect, I’m glad I spent the entire flight talking to Ray Sanders. His attitude and energy invigorated me, and I’ll have a friend for life.

The experience reminded me of a few things:
1. The work we do on planes is of marginal quality, given the horrible environment of cramped corners and distractions – so invest plane time in something more rewarding – like conversation.

2. If you don’t start the conversation, it may never happen. Ours started when I asked him what was in his little music instrument case and he responded “My turkey-baster.”

Business travel is getting harder and harder each day, due to airline policy changes. But one thing never changes: There’s a lot of interesting people flying the friendly skies if you take the time to notice.

Posted at 1:32 PM in Travel Tips  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)



Regarding airplane conversation, I have adopted Deepak Chopra's philosophy on synchronicity. This basically supposes the "Universe" has seated me next to someone from whom I can learn or perhaps I can help them in some way. So I try to be open and explore the person next to me with that in mind. It makes for some wonderful introductions.

Of course, you do have to be open to the possibility that what the person next to you needs is peace and quiet. But I do agree, the quality of any work/reading done on an airplane is mediocre at best.

(The reference on Chopra is from the book "How to Know God.")

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