I spent Thanksgiving Week 1996 in San Francisco.
I was traveling first class but had to change planes in Dallas. I had worked all night to get everything done so I was exhausted and feeling a little woozy. I settled into my second row window seat and immediately closed my eyes. We sat at the gate for a bit and I was drifting asleep when there was a small, quiet commotion at the front. I opened my eyes to see a young couple with a baby trying to fit a stroller into the storage compartment by the door. I went back to drifting just as the overhead compartment smashed open. I looked up to see the Dad of the young couple trying to stuff bags in while muttering something about finding the blanket. He finally found the blanket, slammed the compartment shut and looked down at me. I had already noticed how broad his shoulders were and that he had long muscled arms and huge hands. Now I was dazzled by the most amazing eyes. He looked right at me and smiled.
I could not break eye contact. My heart fluttered more than a bit.
"Hello Harry" I said.
The smile widened while he looked around at the other passengers and put his finger to his lips. I smiled again - maybe I never stopped smiling. Lordy Lordy the man is fine!
He settled into the aisle seat in front of me, his wife and baby next to him.
During the flight they were mostly quiet. Every now and then the baby - about 6 months old - peeked over the seat and giggled or tried to reach my hand. I played peek-a-boo with her and tickled her fingers.
When meals were served Harry's wife declined and he explained to the flight attendant that she had just finished a photo shoot in the freezing cold and wasn't feeling well. The wife went to sleep and Harry fed the baby. I noticed him trying to hold the baby and eat his own dinner so I offered to hold her. He hesitated for a moment but the baby had already wriggled over his shoulder into my outstretched arms.
She sat quietly with me playing peek-a-boo and cuddling her blanket. I was telling her a story about clouds and she was listening intently when she suddenly sat straight up and began to - I swear I can't call it anything else - sing. She sang at an almost operatic pitch. No words of course but the most lovely and boisterous melody of sounds. Her face was lit up, her eyes were closed and she was absolutely into her music.
Harry turned around and looked over at us laughing. "She's loud" he said. "She's actually singing" I replied, I was truly amazed at her performance. At this point she had noticed Dad and was reaching for him. As he took her back she touched my face with her hand. She was a complete bundle of utter joy.
The rest of the flight was quiet. Baby fell asleep and Dad cuddled her while Mom slept. Dad reached over and stroked Mom's face now and then or he'd make sure her blanket covered her.
At Dallas we were asked to wait a moment while the young couple left first. Three airport types were at the door acting very customer service like. Dad said it wasn't necessary and asked them not to make a scene. He got everything out of the compartments. He thanked me and I wished him a Happy Thanksgiving. His wife stood up at this point and smiled at me. Harry told her that I was "Georgia's new best friend" and she smiled wider. No makeup, hair askew - she was gorgeous. She thanked me and they left.
At the gate I watched them walk down the long wide airport corridor. He had all the bags on one shoulder and the folded stroller in his hand. He held the baby against his other shoulder while his wife held onto his arm. They turned heads as they walked by but no one stopped them.
They were just about to be out of sight when I saw them stop. Harry took his wife's over sized purse from her and slung it over his already over packed shoulder. He pulled her coat closed and kissed her forehead.
And then they were gone.
A woman at the gate said "wasn't that Harry Connick Jr?". Another woman shook her head and said "no way, if that was Harry Connick Jr there'd be 20 people carrying everything for him."
I smiled as I made my way to my connecting flight.
Harry was lovely. His wife, model Jill Goodacre, was clearly exhausted and ill yet she looked so pretty and her smile and thanks were so friendly and genuine. Baby Georgia was a delight.
Here's "Baby Georgia" today ...
Photos do nothing to show how really broad Harry's shoulders are ...
I loved meeting them, they were a delightful family ...
and "Baby Georgia" has two sisters now.