When I joined the Marines, I had to spend the night at a hotel on Michigan Avenue near Roosevelt Road the night before we went to AFEES (Armed Forces Entrance and Examination Station) on Michigan and Balbo. I was so nervous about joining the Marines that I didn’t sleep much the night before. The next day, we had to take intelligence tests and physical exams all day long. From there, we went to O’Hare Airport where we flew to San Diego for boot camp. An interesting thing happened to me while boarding the plane. As I waited in line to get on the plane, I joked about being afraid to fly with a female whom I thought was part of the flight crew. She laughed and we talked a little. When I sat down, I noticed that she had followed me to my seat and had sat down next to me. She was very pretty in a plain sort of way. She had long, light-brown hair and hazel eyes. And she had such perfect teeth. Very white, but not unnaturally white, and all perfectly aligned. We were probably about the same age. “You don’t mind if I sit with you, do you?” she asked, even though she was already sitting next to me. She caught me off guard, so I took a moment to respond. “N-Not at all.” She held my hand and said, “This is to comfort you since you’re afraid of flying.” I couldn’t believe this was happening to me! Oh, yes, and she had this–I couldn’t quite place it–sexy, non-Chicago accent. I loved listening to her speak! Well, I told her that I was on my way to Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego and she told me that her father was a colonel in the Marines. What a coincidence! And I was afraid that she would stop liking me if she discovered that I would soon be a jarhead. She actually took a liking to me and we talked and talked. We had quite a few things in common. This was a three-and-a-half hour flight and I was tired from not sleeping well the night before. Well, I nodded off while I was looking out the window. I had forgotten all about Amy. When I later woke up. not only was Amy still holding my hand, but she had also fallen asleep with her head on my shoulder. I guess she was very comfortable with me as a person and also as a pillow. I liked watching her sleep like that. She eventually even got more comfortable as she turned her body towards me and put her free arm around my waist. Later, she actually drooled on my shoulder a little. When she finally woke up, I felt as if I we had known each other for ages. She gave me her address in Quantico, Virginia, and told me to write to her. Her full name was Amy Trostle Barnes. She was so interesting and I had met her at exactly the right moment when I needed a shoulder to lean on. Well, I wrote to her while I was in boot camp and for about a year after that. But we never met in person again.

Hi! I'm Amy! Don't be afraid of the flight! I'll take care of you.

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