When I graduated from high school, my parents marked that momentous event by presenting me with a three piece set of Airway luggage. My best friend got the same set for the same occasion . Hers was blue. Inside each case was sheet of alphabet letters so that you could monogram them in the indented squares next to the handle that were built in for this purpose.
I carried the luggage for the entire three years of nursing school. I was launched onto the road to adulthood and it was a big boost to my vision of myself as almost independent that I was already living in another state but I came back to my home every weekend. The big suitcase came with me, filled with laundry on Friday and then with fresh and neatly folded clothes on Sunday.
These things are so sturdy, so well made that I would have the same level of confidence in their hard-sided protection power and their sturdy locks today as I did then. I never had one moment where I imagined that the handle would detach. I used these cases for every vacation and every legit non-laundry bearing weekend trip during my single years in Manhattan. The big one was with me during a two-month long hospitalization for hepatitis and then back home again for a summer-long recuperation. I clearly remember sitting on one in the hallway of my apartment building while the super banged on my apartment doorknob when the lock pins slipped or something. They flew with us to the other side of the world when we went on our honeymoon, although for that trip we went to Egypt and they went to Greece. I can’t remember when or why I stopped using them – maybe it was the advent of the small black bags on wheels that did it. Maybe it was that although the middle bag is technically a carry-on, it’s unaccommodating size and shape was an overhead bin hassle and the bins themselves became smaller. They spent the last years of their time here as off-season clothing storage containers.
The interiors are perfect. The mirror in the lid of the little train case is a like new although the pearly fitted tray has yellowed a bit. The pockets are intact, the quilting is perfect and there are no stains or even loose threads. Even the little harvest gold feet on the bottoms are intact and as tight as they were on the day they were purchased. I really hate to see these go but the time has come. When Sami started the massive undertaking of de-cluttering his big closet, the first things he emerged with were these suitcases. I was highly irritated by that but over the next week or two, I came to see that it was fitting and right that these had to go.
So they’re out on the stoop now among boxes of clothing and books awaiting pickup by a local charity. It’s all I can do to hold myself back from running out there and snatching them back. I already went out three different times to take pictures so I can look and remember.
I hope someone sees them on a thrift shop shelf and goes crazy for them.