Though she didn’t know him, Nancee Lingg bonded with Packer running back Aaron Jones as the two of them rolled down the Appleton International Airport hallway and into Twitter fame.
In fact, by the time a fellow passenger tweeted a photo of them, the two Texas natives had chatted amiably about their shared love for El Paso, their admiration for patrol dogs, and their former affiliations with the Dallas Cowboys.
“I told him we used to be Dallas Cowboy fans, but now we’re hooked on the Packers and he said, ‘As a little boy growing up I was a Cowboy fan, but now I’m a Packer,'” Nancee said.
Jones sat near Lingg on an American Airlines flight from Chicago and the two of them traded sympathetic glances over a particularly obnoxious passenger, according to Lingg, an 82-year old retired school teacher.
“Then, the obnoxious guy got up as soon as the plane landed and pushed his way through,” Lingg said. “I was struggling to get my bags and nobody was helping me. Then, Aaron came up behind me and said, ‘Can I help you?’ and I said, ‘Sure, can you get my cane and my coat?’ He got a hold of my arm and helped me all the way out.”
When the two got to the gate, they saw three wheelchairs lined up, but no airline personnel in the vicinity to push them.
“So, he grabbed me and said, ‘Can you get in there?’ and I said, ‘Yes!’ so he said, ‘Well, I can drive,'” Lingg said. “I had no idea who he was.”
Lingg, who stands just under five-feet tall, made herself comfortable and the two zoomed off toward baggage claim, where they were met by her daughter in-law Jackie Lingg.
“I said, ‘You’re not an American Airline employee, are you?’ And he said, “No Ma’am.” I said, ‘How’d you end up with Nannie?” Jackie said. “He was all yes ma’am and no ma’am. Just a really nice man.”
“As he left, Nancee told him he’d better not get hurt this season. She said, ‘You be good!’ and he said, ‘Yes ma’am.”
By lunchtime, the picture had more than 10,000 likes and various media outlets were running the story.
“He was a super guy,” Nancee said. “Just a really beautiful person.”
“He clearly was a nice guy and raised to be respectful of older people,” Jackie said. “I think he should be commended for that, regardless of what his job is.”