JOCELYN REINA, flight attendant on Pan Am 103
written by King Kaufman

Here's the column I wrote about Jocelyn Reina. It ran in the Berkeley
Voice, a small biweekly paper in Berkeley, Calif., on Jan. 26, 1989. The
column was called Right Here and that was it's standing headline. The piece
strikes me now as a bit of juvenile writing, but what the hell. I was only
25, and we all have to come from someplace, and it does contain some
biographical background about one of the 103 flight attendants. The high
school mentioned is John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, Calif., which
is a suburb of Los Angeles. The junior college mentioned is Cypress
College, which is in the neighboring town of Cypress.

Here it is:

At first it was just another story. Tom Brokaw and lots of tape. Big
headlines in the morning paper. Another plane crash.

I watched. We watch, don't we? We see the wreckage and we hear the
witnessess. We always get to see the "see agent" notice on the arrivals
board, the relatives being hurried into VIP lounges.

There are always the stories brimming with terrible irony. The man who
missed the plane. The crew member who was going to retire.

And we heard the speculation about sabotage. It could have been structural
failure, the experts said, but it could have been a bomb.

And we knew all along, I think. We weren't surprised, were we, when they
finally said yes, it was a bomb.

The first time I met Kim she came walking up to me with her hand extended.

"How do you do," she said. "I'm Warner Erhard."

We were in high school. I was working on the school paper and she was in
the student council. The two groups were rivals but we shared the same
room. I had been writing pseudo-mystical rantings on the chalkboard,
addressed to our student governors and signed, "the Maharishi."

She liked them and found out who I was and introduced herself and we became
friends.

Not good friends, just friends. Part of a group. There was Mike and Walt
and Stacey and Kim and Kevin and me and Kevin and Eric. Just names, just
kids.

We hung out and listened to records and went to school and drank and
watched TV and went to the movies and to see bands and we worked jobs
sometimes and loitered in the park and smoked pot. And sometimes she was
there and sometimes she wasn't.

She was going to be an actress then, and partly because she wanted a stage
name and partly because she was tired of being called Kimberly, she changed
her name to Jocelyn.

We went to see her act in some plays at the junior college and she wasn't
bad, I guess. I don't know, really. She was just Kim. She was just Jocelyn.

And I went away to college and she got married, and slowly the acting
career faded away and she did other things. She just worked. She was a hair
stylist for a while. I didn't see her for years. She got divorced.

And now I only keep in touch with Mike from the old group, and a few months
ago he saw her again.

She was working as a flight attendant and she was on a quick stopover in
San Francisco. She was living in England and having such a good time and
she liked her job. But she was so tired. Well, maybe next time I'm in town
we'll have more time. I won't be so exhausted. Yes, next time you're in
town.

And Mike went to visit his family for the holidays and his sister showed
him a line in the newspaper and changed Christmas for him this year and
probably next year too.

And he called me  and left a cryptic message on the machine, so I called
his parents and they told me why he'd called. And I put a picture of
Jocelyn in my mind. There she was.

And I tried to picture what it must have been like. What she went through,
what she thought, what she felt. And of course I couldn't. I couldn't begin
to imagine.

And I dug up that newspaper from the other day and looked at the list of
victims. And there she was, one of 258 names. Hers was under "Flight
Attendants (London-based)."

Jocelyn Reina, 26, Middlesex, England.

Nobody important, nothing ironic. Not anybody Tom Brokaw might single out.
Just a name. Just another victim.

Just somebody's old friend.