- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 18, 2001

When Rudolph Porter of Hyattsville, Md., boarded Continental Airlines Flight CO29 bound for Newark, N.J., from London last Tuesday, he had no idea he and his wife and niece would spend the night aboard the plane, parked on a runway in Newfoundland.

They didn't find out America had closed its borders because of terrorist attacks until they landed, or how big the hearts of Canadians are.

Mr. Porter, 74, and his family were taken in by Maddy and Dave McKaine, a middle-aged couple who owned a home in nearby Gambo, a small town of 7,500.

That Wednesday night, the stranded passengers ate together with the McKaine family, glued to the TV for further developments. On their flight home from London the Porters suspected something was up back home. Now they were getting the full story with all its terrible details.

The Porters ended up staying at the McKaine home for four days, until airliners were allowed back into American skies.

"We were like family," Mr. Porter said. "Maddy was amazing she'd make you laugh. She gave you a lot of jokes."

Because the McKaine children were grown and moved away, the couple had room enough to take in seven stranded passengers in all, including Mr. Porter, his wife, Joan, 55, and her niece, Beverly Adams. "We used the basement, and another family was upstairs," Mr. Porter said. "It was like a family get-together," he said, describing the Canadian hospitality.

This good-heartedness poured fourth on Wednesday, as soon as word got out in Gambo that planeloads of hungry, uncomfortable people were stranded. Families, like the McKaines, were waiting at the local community center to open up their hearts and homes.

When asked who would be willing to house passengers, "People would say 'I can take two, I can take three,'" Mr. Porter said. "I've never seen such kindness before."

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