Charleston, Humor, Travel

Jack Hanna Flies Coach


On a recent trip out of Charleston, I noticed a celebrity on my flight to Atlanta. None other than TV’s Jack Hanna was standing with his wife, waiting for his boarding zone to be called. I didn’t bother him. I like the man and I appreciate his work, but he’s not exactly the Crocodile Hunter. The odd thing about the encounter was that “Premium” was already boarding and I was next in “Sky” (because I foolishly paid more for the extra leg room and the free banana) and Jack and his wife weren’t in my boarding group. They were in coach with all the other people who weren’t international TV personalities or frequent Late Show with David Letterman guests. 

I understand that the man doesn’t have to fly first class just because he’s a Zoo-lebrity. It was a short flight to Atlanta and maybe they booked it last minute? I just thought it was odd. The flight attendants announced that there were a few “million milers” on the flight. Then, they said there was one person with “Four million frequent flier miles” on board. I assumed, like everyone, that it was Jack Hanna. For four million miles they should let you sit next to the pilot. I’m not trying to bash the man because I like him and all I got over him on the flight was a free banana. I just think maybe he needs a new travel agent.   

Anyway, I figured that the Hanna’s were in town discussing Jack’s upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE) appearance, which happens in the middle of February. But, in the very minimal research I did for this post, I discovered that he WON’T be appearing. No! Instead, this year at the South’s premier sporting and outdoors event, Jeff Corwin will be the celebrity animal presenter. No offense, but in terms of Saturday morning TV, getting Jeff Corwin is like getting a Shemp. Very talented in his own right and probably unfairly maligned, but he’s no Curly. I’m sure Mr. Corwin will do a great job at SEWE. 

SEWE is one of my favorite yearly events in Charleston, SC. Happening February 15th-17th 2019, 500 exhibitors will show off their wares to an average of 40,000 attendees. The event contributes $50 Million to the city and state of South Carolina. Maybe my favorite part about the event is it means I only have about a month of this winter garbage left to suffer through. 

Tickets to SEWE cost $50 for a three-day pass. This is not a sponsored post, but if anyone from SEWE would like to give up some scrilla, by all means, click the PayPal link in the post.

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The SEWE events that I particularly like are the birds of prey demonstrations in Marion Square and the Dock Dogs competition in Brittlebank Park. 

I’ve always been fascinated by birds of prey. The shows are put on by handlers from the Avian Conservation Center in Charleston. They exhibit various owls and hawks to the crowd and even do flight demonstrations with some of the birds. It’s for kids, but so are the rides outside of grocery stores and that doesn’t stop me. I remember someone telling me that one year, one of the birds flew away from its handler. It is a wild animal so that wouldn’t be too surprising. I tried to confirm this with Google but all I could find was a story about a parrot that was lost and told the people who found it where his address was. Too bad hawks can’t talk. 

Dock Dogs is another great event to watch during SEWE. Various dogs are entered into competition to see how far they can jump off a “dock” into a long pool of water. Usually they are enticed by a rubber toy that is thrown. One of my favorite dogs of all time, named “Jet,” entered one year. He was our college dog, owned by a friend of mine. He didn’t make it off the dock at all. Instead he decided to walk back down the doggy ramp so he could enjoy the rest of SEWE dry. What Jet lacked in speed, he made up for in common sense.      

The Southeastern Wildlife Expo is definitely an event you should attend at least once. It used to mark the beginning of tourist season in Charleston; we’ve become such a popular destination that “tourist season” is now year-round. It is a really fun event that includes something for all ages as the cliche goes. And, maybe if enough people complain, we’ll have Jack Hanna back next year with “First Class” in his Rider agreement.

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Dock Dogs

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