The Right Purse Amendment

When I called Southwest Airlines to arrange travel from Dallas to Nebraska, the operator's first question was, "Do you know about the Wright Amendment?" Dang skippy, I know about the Wright Amendment. I've been hearing about it since I moved to Texas in 1990.

The Wright Amendment was created by congressional compromise when DFW Airport was built to allow a young whippersnap airline called Southwest to continue flying from the smaller, old Love Field in the city of Dallas. The Wright compromise permitted Southwest flights from Love to adjacent states only. It has been modified over the years to include Missouri destinations, but it will always be an issue in North Texas because Texans, even more than most populations, despise being limited in any manner.

Southwest is a successful airline now, partly because it uses lots of smaller city airfields. The enormous American Airlines is based at DFW. I'm pretty open to many solutions to continuing Wright issues, including closing Love completely and redeveloping the area with a new urbanism mix of uses. I'd like to see good light rail transportation to DFW in place, though, before Love is phased out.

At the moment, my air transportation concerns are more personal and pressing. I need a purse for my flights. A travel purse must meet size and security specifications. It MUST stay closed, so my groovy little green purse flunks out. It must be big enough to hold a camera, a water bottle, cellphone, snacks, a paperback book, a newspaper, and my prescriptions, in addition to the stuff I haul around in normal life. It must be age-appropriate, and hold its shape. That means no sequins, crochet, fringe, big-eyed puppy dogs, fraying edges, or Lawrence Welkish embroidered pastel flowers. It should sort of coordinate with both my green and my black sandals. And then there's the need for it to be at least 40% off. I don't want the TSA folks to wand me because my purse is just too aesthetically-challenged or full-price to be believed. Terrorists always carry ugly purses. They rarely wear green sandals or worry about paying their Kohl's charge card bill when they return from vacation.

And so, I have this purse that just demands an airplane ride. When it arrives at Eppley Airfield it will be expecting leis and alohas. Few things whisper swaying hips and gentle breezes like a Missouri River oxbow.

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