Travelers who inspired me the last few weeks...part III

By Jonathan Alford // 12.12.08

III)  Terry the waiter in LA and his outright joy in meeting a hero (hint - not me)...

Having dinner with a few travel industry colleagues in Hollywood - Kelly of AdventureLink, Bill of Escapia, Siew Hoon of WebinTravel and the TheTransitCafe, and Richard Bangs, the iconic adventure traveler, I was quite enthralled myself by being in this company.

Sharing stories on our favorite places and experiences.  Richard showing the new Mountain Travel Sobek catalog, a splendid work of art.  Talking business.

But the evening hit the high note when Terry, our perfectly friendly but professionally non-intrusive waiter, came alive.  Richard’s new book was coming out, and he had brought a copy.  Terry noticed it on the table and asked if it was Richard Bangs’ book.  We said sure, and by the way Richard happens to be sitting here at the end of the table!

Terry’s jaw dropped, his eyes got big, and he then proceeded to express such sheer – and sincere - exuberance and admiration for a childhood adventure hero that we couldn’t help being drawn back ourselves to what traveling is all about – in different ways – to everyone.  Forget the business – this was fun and inspiring.

I suspect Terry knew already Richard was at the table, but his method of inquiry and emotion hit just the right note. I’m going to invite him on here to write.