My brother and Bruce Jenner

My brother can sell anything.
It means he’s always made a lot of money.
It also means he’s always on an airplane.
The good part is he usually gets upgraded to first class.
The bad part is he’s always on an airplane.
Flying around the country was cooler before he had kids. Then, around 15 years ago, he became a dad … times four. He and his wife adopted four children from Russia.
All Bill wanted to do was spend time with those little ones. He still had to travel, but he started doing crazy things like popping to the West Coast and back in a day, early flight in the morning, red-eye return that night.
He also started bringing along one of the kids when he could. About eight years ago it was Masha’s turn. She’s the second youngest for the four, about 15 then but as innocent as a kindergartener.
Since they were headed to L.A., Masha was convinced she was going to run into movie stars so Bill bought her a little autograph book, just in case.
As Bill tells it, they had an early flight out of Philadelphia and got to the airport about 6 a.m. There was only one other passenger sitting at their gate waiting to board. Bruce Jenner. He was wearing a sweatsuit, Bill remembers.
“See that guy,” Bill whispered to Masha. “He’s a famous athlete.”
Bill brought her over by the hand, excused himself for the intrusion, introduced Masha and asked if it would be any trouble to get an autograph.
“Of course not,” was Jenner’s response, Billy says, and as he reached for the pad and pen, he commented that Masha is an unusual name.
Masha told him she was born in Russia and Bill explained about the other three at home. “You’re a special guy,” Jenner said.
Jenner looked exhausted, Bill said when he told me the story, but he was kind and compassionate toward Masha.
This was just after Keeping up with the Kardashians launched on television and Jenner asked Masha if she watched the show.
No, she said.
Did she follow his son Brody who also had a T.V. show?
No, she said.
“Do you have any idea who I am?” Jenner finally asked.
No, Masha said.
“She is precious,” Jenner said to Bill.
Bill said Jenner wound up sitting across the aisle from them and chatted casually for the entire six-hour flight.

Ed Ackerman