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IRWIN: Two hours well spent
Andy Irwin

Two hours well spent in the line under a large open-sided shade tent. Good conversation with my son Liam and his dear friend Alex. As with waiting for the TSA at the Airport, or creeping in line for a rollercoaster at Six Flags, faces in the serpentine cue become familiar.  

A cheerful family in the switchback row beside us surrounding a toddler leisurely enjoying fries in a fold-away Radio Flyer wagon. I looked at the child and said, “Good livin’.” 

They smiled, “I know, right?”

At one point, Liam and Alex were discussing a video-game-flight-joystick-interface thingy, which led to talking about real airplanes. Which led to Liam talking about his grandpop who had been in the Air Force. Which led to Alex telling us of family members who were in World War II, one of whom landed in Normandy. A lady beside us chimed in, “Oh, was he part of the 101st Airborne?” She told us of her father who was in the Marines in the South Pacific. Her brother who was in Vietnam. Her son who was wounded in Afghanistan.

A citizen standing at the door-stoop and wearing a yellow high-viability vest was charged with telling us to have our phones off and our licenses out. She, who let us into the building one at a time, performed stand-up. She had us do some stretching. She led us in a raucous game of “Simon Says.” She was exuberant and hilarious. I have come to learn that she is affectionately known as Ms. Larry.  

As we participated in the game, Liam said, “I love our town.”

Right before entering the building, I glanced back. The toddler in the wagon was asleep. The child’s family, cheerfully chatting. 

It was a good day in America. 

Andy Irwin is a native of Covington and a natural storyteller. He can be reached at