09-26-2012, 02:37 PM
I had a few cameras and microphones shoved into my face for interviews. To me, it was an invasion of privacy, but I tried to be gracious about it. It would be good publicity for the charter-boat business, I reasoned.
I answered their questions as best I could. Yes, it was a pleasure having Criss Angel on board. No, the boat had always been the Angel of the Lakes; it was just coincidence. Yes, Criss did help rescue the Southern Cross victims. Yes, my niece did stow away, but she's home now. And on and on and on.
A news reporter located the family we rescued right there at St. Ignace. They all gushed about their "guardian angels" coming to their rescue. Little Chelsea showed them the lollipop, still uneaten, that Criss had given her. Harry once again made his promise to buy Criss a beer for his heroism.
I went back to the Angel. Criss was escorted to the base of the bridge to begin his "demonstration"--levitating himself across the entire length of the bridge--all five miles of it.
"ARE YOU READY?!" Criss shouted into the microphone given him. Everyone within earshot sanwered with an affirmative cheer. Criss began psyching himself for whatever was going to happen. Then, I swear Sweet Jesus, that man actually floated up to almost the first girder of the bridge! Up, and then forward, like he was literally walking on air, over the heads of the astonished crowds! On and on he floated, perfectly vertical, perfectly calm, as some in the crowd mounted shoulders to try to touch him, but he was out of reach. Slowly he progressed across the Mighty Mac with no signs of straining. I tell you now, this guy was amazing!
As he approached the end, the police cleared a spot for landing. Criss floated slowly down, down, down, and touched Terra Firma. And the crowd went wild! Criss collapsed in exhaustion; two assistants rushed to his side to help him on his feet. He wearily waved to the cameras in victory, then was practically carried to a waiting RV.
The media were all over it like a feeding frenzy of sharks, photographing, taping, filming, recording every incredible minute for posterity. At that moment I felt sorry for Andi, how much she wanted to see this, to be part of it. She would have loved all this, Criss' latest, greatest triumph. If she just hadn't stowed away like that, if her folks had let her go with me under my supervision, she would have. But no, it was better this way; her obsession got her in big trouble. Maybe she'll learn to reign it in from now on. Maybe.
Well, to wrap things up: Management paid me the fee agreed on (and then some). I posed for a few pictures with the Angel for some fans (Criss' fans, not mine), and made preparations for departure. Criss, bless him, bought me a pound of Mackinac Island fudge as a thank-you gift--he knew my weakness!--before he went on his way back to Las Vegas. Told you he was a nice guy.
The next day, we made not only the local papers, but the major dailies like the Detroit News and Free Press. Even the weekly news magazines carried articles about it. People made much of the rescue--"Angels of the Lakes" we were called--with big color photographs splashed all over the page. I paid it no mind. I had my fifteen minutes of fame, and I'm glad it's over and done with.
As for poor Andi, not only was she not mentioned in the press, she was grounded for a month: no TV, no phone, no computer, and all her Criss Angel memorabilia was confiscated. Homework and housework were all she was allowed. If I know Andi, she will be slipping some Web time on the sly. She still blames me for the Coast Guard picking her up and taking her home, though. Maybe someday she'll forgive me.
Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. By the way, if you happen to be in Michigan and you want to tour the Great Lakes, don't hesitate to give me a call. The Angel of the Lakes is at your service.