I must say that I am impressed with my old friend Kent. He showed me his ticket to Beijing, it’s in seat number 2a, a flatbed in Business Class on American for the 19-hour flight over the North Pole from New York to China around Christmastime. He’s been invited by Ritz Carlton with a group of highly esteemed writers for Gadling, Peter Greenberg Worldwide and a few others. It’s a high-level group and they picked him because he’s a gentleman and a man of generous spirit.
The people at Ritz know Kent well, having flown him over several other times before to blog and to enjoy some of their newest properties in resurgent China. They love him, like I do, because he always works hard to write, report and share his stories with readers.
He’s been to hell and back with a terrible diagnosis of throat cancer about six months ago, and endured a tough regimen of chemo, radiation and now, a lot of bed rest to get over a lack of red blood cells. It’s a nightmare and I know the worst part for him was not being able to make it down to New York City for our tourism meetings and to Mexico for an assignment made long ago. When he showed me the mask he wore during radiation treatments, it hit me how hard it must have been.
He welcomed Devorah and I with his usual graciousness….fed us pasta with lobster, bestowed more wonderful books on us, and was as chipper and as upbeat as ever. I admire him for his strength, and I love him for his friendship. Thanks Kent, I can’t wait to see you on a plane and writing your articles from the road again very soon.