I have wanted to drive a race car, fly in a hot air balloon and ride a rocket to the moon but flying a plane was never one of my top dreams. Now my buddy Tucker has always wanted to fly and does have his license. Also My friend Fred Alton is a pilot, but flying was never in my future.
I was stationed in Key West Sherry and the Mark had already move back to North Carolina, in anticipation of my next transfer to ‘where ever’.
I was berthed in the Chief’s Quarters at Boca Chica Air Station. My room mate had a small plane and was going flying and asked it I had ever been to the Dry Tortugas? No but I have wanted to go.
If you are familiar with mid 1800’s history you know that Dr. Samuel Mudd was sent here to serve his prison term. It is little known nor cared that Booth had planned to kidnap Lincoln, and hold him for ransom to release Confederate soldiers. He could not get that together and decided just to Kill President Lincoln.
(Dr Samuel Mudd, library of congress photo)
Mudd had been trying to sell his farm and Booth was a prospective buyer, that is how they knew each other. But the fact remains that Mudd did set a broken left leg, and was sent to prison at Ft. Jefferson in the Dry Tortuga's. He was pardoned by President Johnson in 1865.
Know the saying: “Your name is mud”?
So I flew with Chief Jones to the Dry Tortugas. We circled a few times and returned. On the way back he said you want to fly it? Sure why not. I am going along happy as a lark this is fun looking down at the Gulf’s aqua water.
You doing okay jack?
Yeah, this is all right.
No you aren’t, we are going to hit the water in about three minutes It I don’t take us back up!
I humbly handed the controls back to him, I didn’t want Sherry flying down to Key West and taking a boat out to find my fish eaten remains!!
So if I am ever asked have I ever flown a Plane? I can honestly answer “SURE for about five minutes”.
Sherry has always been afraid to leave me alone without adult supervision, she was right.
Thanks for coming this way.
Jumping is easy, it is the sudden stop that is hard. So “LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP”, IS REALLY GOOD ADVICE.
(If this is an emergency, someone is in trouble!)