If you knew Leroy White, you knew this fellow:
"Ladies and gentlemen, did anybody lose this?" The flight attendant was holding something aloft, but 30 rows back, I couldn't quite make out what it was.
"Now that I have your attention, ladies and gentleman, I'd like to direct it to the flight attendants demonstrating proper use of the safety equipment in the event of a ..." And as his two helpers acted out life preservers and breathing masks, he retreated unseen, but could still be heard chuckling at his little joke. (Hee, hee, hee)
Only an older black man, like Leroy, could pull this off. A white man doing the same would come off as a prankster or a wise-acre, and the essential good will of the man would be missed.
I mean, Leroy ... yes, I always joked with him that he should do my funeral talk, if he hadn't had gone and died first. "Hee, hee, hee - he was a good ol boy, that Tom Harley, but he's dead now. D-E-A-D. We won't be seein that boy till the 'raise ser rection, no sir!'
This is the same Leroy White who came
up from Louisiana and who the younger brothers, young enough to be grandchildren, would set in and jam with, for Leroy knew the blues. At his funeral it was related how he passed up the chance to tour with B.B. King for fear it would mess up his spiritual routine.
As for the flight attendant, who drawled only slightly less than Leroy, he was the only one who did not repeat the Southwest mantra about how they realize one has choices in travel and so 'thank you for choosing Southwest' and yet still came across as more genuine than any of them. Not that the others weren't. He was just more so. I hope he doesn't hear about it. Usually if you can improve on the company line they will let you run with it, but every so often there is some unimaginative anal manager that can picture only going by the book.
Meanwhile, it consistantly happens during the few emergencies there are that passengers misuse the safety equipment, so airlines strive to be innovative in getting them to pay attention to shows as to how to use it. This fellow did it the best of anyone.
(Hmm. Before I post this, I went searching for a photo. This seems to be a Southwest 'thing' to do flight entertainment )
photo: Huffington Post