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Charles Rayner Kelly

Lovelace Superstar

What happened was that the time of Lovelace's arrival had been given to a radio station that offered concert tickets to the first fifteen people who came to the airport to greet him. Hordes of people came. The police estimated over ten thousand. As we circled overhead awaiting instructions, I could see people on the runways.

Then I looked again into the cabin. Although he wasn't asleep, Lovelace had his eyes closed. He often did that. I never knew if he was meditating, or thinking a deep thought, or coming up with lyrics for a new song. I got up and went in to tell him.

“Did you see what's going on down there?” I asked.

“No. What's going on?”

“Take a look out the window.”

He leaned forward and did as I requested.

“It looks like a traffic jam to me. I wonder what's happening.”

“You're what's happening.”

“What do you mean?”

“Those people down there have come out to see you. My guess is that they must have been told when you were going to arrive.”

Lovelace took another look out the window. Then he looked back at me.

“Are you sure?”

“That's what the airport tower told the pilot. We need police clearance to land.”

Lovelace didn't say anything more to me and again he closed his eyes. I wonder now if he was as surprised as I was. He seemed calm, although I was blown away.


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