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The America files

TSA, bright blue happy and watching you

O'Hare International, May 2011

"You look really familiar," said the TSA agent, the first I'd seen in my life.

"No," I said. "I've never been here before."

He was at the bottom of the stairway, across the gangway to Terminal 1 from the inter-terminal train at Chicago's O'Hare airport.

"Maybe on TV," he said, "or sports."

It wasn't until later that I felt like he'd been placed there, happy in his bright-blue shirt, because he was able to speak to me and everybody that way.