The Student News Site of West Delaware High School


The Student News Site of West Delaware High School


The Student News Site of West Delaware High School


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Flying Solo

Traveling to visit a parent can have its obstacles, but for Elio Grieson it’s never too much to handle.
Audrey Jolley

In high school, it is uncommon to travel alone. 

However, senior Elio Grieson has been flying from Iowa to North Dakota to visit Grieson’s mom for over a year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and summer visits are just a few occasions when Grieson has made trips through the air.

“Last year for Thanksgiving was the first time I did it,” Grieson said. 

Grieson’s grandparents used to drive Grieson to North Dakota to visit Grieson’s mother. This visit was different from the others as Grieson had to be back in Iowa early.

The flight Grieson takes is not a straight shot. Starting in Iowa, Greison takes off on an hour-and-a-half flight arriving at the Chicago airport. After a two-hour layover, Greison takes another hour-and-a-half flight to North Dakota.

“I flew back all by myself,” Grieson said. “My first time flying alone made me nervous. I had flown before, but never alone.”

Strangers have always been something on Grieson’s radar. “I have spent my entire life being warned about other people,” Grieson said. “My fear of strangers has changed as I have spent more time with people.”

Classes at school like Public Speaking and Journalism have allowed Grieson to take that step out of Grieson’s comfort zone. “My mom has friends that over the past two years have told me I am more social,” Grieson said. “I talk more and can hold a conversation, which helps me when I go on flights surrounded by strangers.”

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Flying is now something that has become a staple in Grieson’s life.

“I have a to-do list that I follow,” Grieson said. “I find my gate as soon as I get there, which is a different place each time, get some food, and then wander the airport until it’s boarding time.”

While waiting to board the second flight, Grieson, a book lover, often explores the bookstore at the airport. 

“My mom told me not to spend all my money there, but I usually leave with two to three books,” Grieson said.

Grieson has experienced only one close call when it comes to boarding the plane. 

“The last flight I was on, the layover was an hour, instead of two,” Grieson said. “I lost track of time and went to get a drink from Starbucks. The line was taking a long time so I arrived at my gate just as they were boarding.”

Grieson made that flight and plans to continue these long-distance visits, courtesy of the friendly skies. 

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About the Contributor
Audrey Jolley, Staff
Hi all! My name is Audrey Jolley and I am a senior at West Delaware. I am extremely involved here at school being a part of cross country, student council, musical, the Vocal All-State process, speech, All-State Speech, play, NHS, and show choir. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my friends and family. I have jobs at Fareway, Lori French Travel/La Beach Bum Tanning, and I lifeguard during the summer. After school, I plan to go into secondary education for high school English teaching.

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