It has been a long time since I watched a baggage carousel go round and round and then grind to a halt and my bags not be there.
It is an unsettling feeling.
That happened yesterday when I landed in Jacksonville, Fla., the point of entry and departure for the South Carolina and Florida games.
The last time I remember it happening was in New Orleans in the 1980s. I had gone to New York for the NIT Final Four with UALR and then flew to the Big Easy for the NCAA Final Four.
Only my bag didn’t make it.
Didn’t make it the next day, or the next or the next.
On day three the airline finally told me to buy some jeans, a shirt, jacket and underwear.
Later they reimbursed me most of it, but not all. Sachs on Fifth Avenue was all I could find that was open when I went shopping.
Every day I talked to a baggage agent somewhere, and every day I got a different report.
It was in Los Angeles. Dallas. Chicago. Even Little Rock, but when I said leave it there they changed their minds and said it was in Albuquerque.
About an hour before check-out to come home there was a knock on my door, and a man had my bag.
It had been in New Orleans the whole time. It fell off the baggage belt in the back and no one noticed for five days.
As I write this I have been promised my bag will be delivered to me at my hotel around 5 p.m.
This time I’m not as concerned about some dirty clothes and a souvenir watch as I am about my medications.
All my meds are in the suitcase, and the nice lady at the baggage claim area — who assured me my back was still in Atlanta — typed that in on the request.
It could have been worse. There were three of us who didn’t get our bags; all of us started in Little Rock.
The one lady, for whatever reason, had packed her car keys in her baggage.
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