What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane flight?
I have done a lot of flying over the years and there have been a lot of great — and awful — flights. For sheer terror, however, one stands head and shoulders above the rest.
I was catching the New York-Boston shuttle from La Guardia to Logan. It’s a very short flight … less than half an hour in the air. You spend more time waiting for a runway to clear for take off or landing than you spend on the flight.
The weather had been dicey all day and we were late taking off. A thunderstorm broke exactly as we were lifting off. A bolt of lightning hit one of the engines and the plane shook like a dog leaving a lake. The engine was howling as it strained to gain altitude. Those first minutes after leaving the runway are fragile. Too late to go back — and most modern airports are designed so as you rise into the air, you’re immediately over water.
An announcement from the pilot said we were requesting emergency landing at the nearest airport … but it turned out, Logan was the nearest airport.
We were next told Logan was clearing a runway for us. No cell phones then, so we couldn’t call anyone to say goodbye. All we could do was listen to the laboring engines, feel the plane shudder, and hope we were not about to become statistics.
Then, we were over Boston, on the ground, disembarked. Garry complained I was late. I think I just screamed.
How many bones, if any, have you broken?
I don’t think I’ve ever broken any bones except for a toe. I’ve cracked a vertebra. I’ve had both breasts and two heart valves replaced. Does that count?
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)
From deep in the past, I’d love to talk with Eleanor of Aquitaine. She had quite a life.
Add Dorothy Parker for the wit and humor.
Make a Currently List: What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating, needing, wanting, and missing right now?
Reading? Terry Pratchett’s “Moving Pictures” and Carolyn Gockel’s “Warriors.” I’m reading Terry by day and Carolyn by night. I know. I’m weird.
Eating? Cherries. They’re in season. I’m trying hard to not overdose, but I have limited control in the face of fruit I love.
Needing? Money. We need to fix things, spray trees, repair teeth, replace stuff. I should buy a lottery ticket. Then I could at least dream.
Missing? My big brother. I always miss Matthew this time of year, probably because his birthday would be coming up. He would have been 73 this year.