Above photo of Kansas highway courtesy of Erik Trautman.
The following Monday morning, I got up a little earlier than usual in my apartment in Yorkville, Manhattan. I put on a pair of jeans and my Timberland boots as this here urban cowboy was going to work on the oil field for the week. Well ok, maybe not exactly. I was really going to be a tag-along on the oil patch. To be on the heels of the world-famous Jewish cowboy and oil rustler, Bobby Edwards!
I grabbed a cab and directed the driver to Bobby’s place on East 86th Street. As we pulled up to the awning on Bobby’s building, he was, of course, nowhere to be seen. We waited as the doorman called up. “Mr. Edwards will be right down.” I wondered if everyone’s workweek on the oil patch started this way.
After a few moments, Bobby arrived at the car, huffing and puffing with his suitcase. “LaGuardia Airport for TWA Airlines, please,” he barked to the driver in his raspy voice as he staggered into the cab. We were on our way to an 8AM flight to Kansas City International Airport. “Wait ‘til you see Kansas, kid,” he laughed and coughed. “Looks just like 86th Street.”
Once at the Central Terminal (which, at LaGuardia, is Terminal B, not C: go figure), I followed Bobby to the check-in counter at our gate. He slouched up against it and whipped out a money clip. On one side were several Gold and Platinum ‘Elite’ TWA Frequent Flyer cards. On the other side were several Benjis ($100 bills). Bobby winked at me as he addressed the check-in agent while clicking the clip on the desk. “Hi Linda, how are you this morning,” he said as if he had played doctor with Linda in kindergarten.
“Fine, Mr. Edwards. How are you?” she said pleasantly if nonchalantly as the printer spat out two boarding passes. After handing him our seat assignments, we soon took our coach places towards the rear of the empty aircraft.