A Sweet Moment of ROYAL-TEA

When my plane landed, in the land of Lincoln, I made my way to the transportation zone and looked for the Marriott bus.  In the middle of the terminal stood my driver; he was dressed head to toe in his Marriot finery. 

“STOP!” he said in a commanding voice.  “You were in a beauty pageant!”

Just like Pavlov’s dog, the queen in me kicked in. I stopped. Automatically, I pulled the heel of my left foot into the arch of my right foot.  I filled my lungs with air and gracefully aligned my body at an angle. Just like I was trained to do at Harris and Son Funeral home in Sumter, South Carolina, during many years of my pageant instruction, I was ON.

I tilted my head as a sign of coyness and said, “Yes, I was…  I was in the Miss America Pageant!”

A huge smile spread across his face.  “I know,” he said, raising his eyebrows. “I can spot royalty…..”

The ride on the Marriott bus was like being on a magic carpet ride.  I floated as my heart flittered; it had been many years since my pageant days. I was charmed.

I was even more charmed when the driver asked the front desk to “upgrade” my room to the Concierges.

Every morning, when I opened my hotel room door, there was an assortment of individually wrapped chocolates, bottles of specialty beverages and other thoughtful trinkets.

Then, the day arrived when it was time to return to reality.

On our way back to the airport, I said, “You are the best!  I am planning on writing your boss and everyone whose name I can locate with the Marriott Corporation.”

“This is awesome,” exclaimed my new friend.  “In fact, I wrote everyone’s name, email addresses and contact information for your convenience.”

This man had a plan…and I loved it!

As our driver maneuvered his Marriott bus into the parking area, he jumped out, grabbed my luggage and escorted me to the curve.

After my heart-felt last thank you, I wheeled my way into the terminal to check my luggage.  I passed another woman as she made her way to the transportation area.

Suddenly, I heard a familiar command.


“You were in a beauty pageant,” said my driver.

I came to a halt and looked behind me.

The magic began….again.

The woman I had just passed tilted her head as a sign of coyness and said, “No, I was never in a beauty pageant!”

A huge smile spread across my driver’s face.  “But you look like Miss Universe,” he said raising his eyebrows. “I can spot royalty…..”

What was my reaction?  This guy was a giver and he made everyone feel special, loved and valuable. God bless him!

This spoke volumes to me; do I make folks feel special? What is my secret for sweet moments of royal-tea? 

What is your secret?

Jane Jenkins Herlong is a Sirius XM Humorist, international best-selling/award-winning author, professional singer, recording artist and award-winning professional speaker.

Jane is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame and one of the 232 men and women to be awarded this honor including former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and the late General Colin L. Powell. 

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