I was a sailor; I was born upon the tide; and with the sea I did abide. I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico. I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow. And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed, But I am living still.
Highwayman 1977 Jimmy Webb (#1 by The Highwaymen 1985)
Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. The Drivel rambles through this thing called life, stopping here and there for reflection, an enlightenment, some storytelling, and a touch of humor perhaps. All the while my brain reverberates with the best music in the world – The ‘60’s and early 70’s. Yep – Lost in The Sixties.
Just like in the service, hurry up and wait in line. Oh, it wasn’t really too bad. At 6:00 am on Tuesday last, the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight Volunteers began processing the vets and guardians in at the airport. Very well organized and went without a hitch. We had plenty of time for pictures, donuts, coffee, juice, and fruit before boarding the plane. Once on, Debby, the younger elder, and I were fortunate enough to have first class seats. I had opted for a wheel chair because I had been told there was a lot of walking, which was true, so Debby got tasked with pushing.
The flight went without a hitch. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!” Firetrucks on both sides of the plane sprayed the plane with their water cannons in a ceremonial salute to the Honor Flight. Once in the terminal, we got the real taste of what it meant to be a member of the Honor Flight. The airport was staffed with local volunteers to assist us to our busses but along the way we had a corridor of people clapping, shouting, whistling, and shaking our hands as we passed. There were also travelers along the way who shook our hands and waved. To me that was an emotional highlight.
Strangers honoring us, pretty darn cool. I had not experienced that outpouring in the purest sense in 50 years as I recall. The rest of our day was spent on buses and at various war memorials including the WWII, Vietnam, Iwo Jima, Arlington Cemetery & Tomb of Unknown Soldier, FDR, Air Force, and so forth. We were provided with an ample supply of bottled water everywhere we went. I drank between 10 and 15 bottles myself. The day turned out to be hot and humid.
The monument and memorial tours were great in and of themselves but for me the highlight was our police escort. There were several other honor flights in DC but as near as I could tell ours was the only one with the police escort. We had four busses. A motorcycle policeman named Homer and two police cars. Our bus driver was experienced in this activity as well plus each bus had a local tour guide. The motorcycle cop led the way. He had no respect for any law. He took us up the wrong way of one-way streets, into on-coming traffic, ran red lights, pounded on cars with his hand and feet to get them to move and even moved a secret service suburban out of the way to get us through. He literally did not stop for anything. That was really cool. They said that today we were right below POTUS as far as priority went. So way cool.
The return home was delayed a couple of hours because of bad weather in DC. Thankfully, it gave time for a couple of vets with oxygen generators to go into the terminal to get their equipment recharged which wasn’t working on the plane. They got fixed up just as we got clearance to take off. We arrived in Cedar Rapids at 12:30am. About 3 hours late. There was still a sizeable welcoming committee there to greet the vets as they got off the plane. During the return flight we were presented with a diddy bag full of letters etc. Very surprising and very humbling to think that there are that many people taking time to share some thoughts to me on this special day.
Wrapping up this Honor Flight deal, I was very happy to have invested the time and effort in going with daughter Debby. It was a great day with her. The people putting this on are spectacular. They know their stuff and have everything down pat. Very professional.
Having taken 32 flights so far, they know how to do it. It appeared seamless,mnj but I am sure behind the scenes they were adjusting all the time. A very worthy cause to donate to or volunteer your time. Couldn’t say enough good things about them. I will now officially stop blabbing about this and move forward.
An airline captain was helping a new blonde flight attendant prepare for her first overnight trip. Upon their arrival, the captain showed the flight attendant the best place for airline personnel to eat, shop, and stay overnight. The next morning as the pilot was preparing the crew for the day’s route, he noticed the new stewardess was missing. He knew which room she was in at the hotel and called her to ask what happened to her. She answered the phone, crying, and said, “I can’t get out of the room!” “You can’t get out of your room?”; the captain asked. “Why not?” She replied, “There are only three doors in here,” she sobbed, “one is the bathroom, one is the closet, and one has a sign on it that says, ‘Do Not Disturb’!”
First Class Seat
A blonde gets on an airplane and sits down in the first-class section of the plane. The stewardess rushes over to her and tells her she must move to coach because she doesn’t have a first-class ticket. The blonde replies, “I’m blonde, I’m smart, I have a good job, and I’m staying in first class until we reach Jamaica.”
The disgusted stewardess gets the head stewardess who asks the blonde to leave. The blonde yet again repeats “I’m blonde, I’m smart, I have a good job and I’m staying in first class until we reach Jamaica.” The head stewardess doesn’t even know what to do at this point because they still must get the rest of the passengers seated to take off; the blonde is causing a problem with boarding now, so the stewardess gets the copilot.
The copilot goes up to the blonde and whispers in her ear. She immediately gets up and goes to her seat in the coach section. The head stewardess asks the copilot in amazement what he said to get her to move to her correct seat. The copilot replies, “I told her the front half of the airplane wasn’t going to Jamaica.”
Controlled My Screams
In the early 1930’s, my Grandpa Dallas his wife, his brother Clarence and his wife went to the Iowa State Fair. All being farmers, they were fascinated by the airplanes and asked a pilot how much a ride would cost. “$10 for 3 minutes,” replied the pilot. “That’s too much,” said Clarence.
The pilot thought for a second and then said, “I’ll make you a deal. If you and your wife ride for 3 minutes without uttering a sound, the ride will be free. But if you make a sound, you’ll have to pay $10.” Clarence and his wife agreed and went for a wild ride. After they landed, the pilot said to Clarence, “I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave man.” “Maybe so,” said Clarence, “But I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my wife fell out.”
“This is Captain Sinclair speaking. On behalf of my crew I’d like to welcome you aboard British Airways flight 602 from New York to London. We are currently flying at a height of 35,000 feet midway across the Atlantic.
“If you look out of the windows on the starboard side of the aircraft, you will observe that both the starboard engines are on fire. “If you look out of the windows on the port side, you will observe that the port wing has fallen off.
“If you look down towards the Atlantic Ocean, you will see a little yellow life raft with three people in it waving at you. “That’s me your captain, the co-pilot, and one of the air stewardesses. This is a recorded message. Have a good flight!”
A photographer for a national news magazine was assigned to get photos of a big forest fire. Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots, so he frantically called his home office to hire a plane. “It will be waiting for you at the airport!” he was assured by his editor. As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure enough, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air. “Fly over the north side of the fire,” said the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.” “Why?” asked the pilot. “Because I’m going to take pictures! I’m a photographer, and photographers take pictures!” said the photographer with great exasperation and impatience. After a long pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not my instructor?”
Jerry Falwell reportedly was seated next to President Clinton on a flight many years ago. After the plane was airborne, the flight attendant came around for drink orders. The President asked for a whisky & soda, which was brought and placed before him. The attendant then asked the minister if he would also like drink. The minister replied in disgust, “Ma’am, I’d rather be savagely raped by a brazen whore than let liquor touch these lips!” The President then handed his drink back to the attendant and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know there was a choice…”
A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude the Captain made an announcement over the intercom, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to flight number 293, non-stop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax… OH, MY GOD! Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I Scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!” A passenger in Coach yelled, “That’s nothing. You should see the back of mine!”
A customer was really hassling an airline agent at the ticket counter, yelling and using foul language. However, the agent was polite, pleasant and smiled while the customer continued to abuse her. When the man finally left, the next person in line said to the agent, “Does that happen often? I can’t believe how nice you were to him.” The agent smiled and said, “No problem, I took care of it. He’s going to Detroit. His bags are going to Bangkok.”
I was flying between Toronto and Ottawa. It’s only a 9-minute flight and so, to save money, I flew with a small airline in a little, twin-engine plane. About two minutes into the flight the pilot announced that we were going to have to turn back due to some engine trouble.
The nervous passenger I was seated next to turned to me and said, “If we lose an engine, how far do you think the other one will take us?” I told him, “One engine? Oh, I’m sure it’ll take us all the way to the scene of the crash. We’ll probably make good time too. I bet we beat the paramedics there by at least a half hour.”
At the airport for a business trip, I settled down to wait for the boarding announcement at Gate 35. Then I heard the voice on the public-address system saying, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but Delta Flight 570 will board from Gate 41.”
So, my family picked up our luggage and carried it over to Gate 41. Not ten minutes later the public-address voice told us that Flight 570 would in fact be boarding from Gate 35. So, again, we gathered our carry-on luggage and returned to the original gate. Just as we were settling down, the public-address voice spoke again. “Thank you for participating in Delta’s physical fitness program.
…….. Well my friends, there you have it as told by yours truly to you’all. Thanks for allowing me back into your day, if only for a brief time. It is always an honor. If I can make at least one-person smile, laugh till they leak, or maybe spit out a drink, my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!”
Drivel Over Coffee is available on the internet at www.drivelovercoffee.com or if you prefer to receive it via email, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.