Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Fly the friendly…

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Fly the friendly…


LOTSA GREAT publicity for United Airlines lately, what with their habit of dragging people out of their seats so that airline employees could fly to their work location. I don’t know how disagreeable that passenger was, but he had paid for the seat.

And there were other United things, too. It just wasn’t a good week to Fly the Friendly Skies of United. Remember that advertising slogan?

My first commercial flight was on Delta Airlines out of Texarkana. I was headed to Key West to attend a Navy school. Going to and from boot camp I had ridden the rails, but getting to Miami was going to be by air.

I was obviously scared and the stewardess told me — in a voice too low for other passengers to hear, so that I wouldn’t be embarressed — that everything would be cool. The aircraft was a DC-3, twin engine prop job. It took forever to get off the ground.

I can’t remember every stop along the way. When I got to Miami I had to catch a cab to get to the bus station for the ride down the Florida Keys.

By the time I got out of the Navy, passenger jet flights from San Diego to Dallas took about three hours.

In the mid-90s I went on an Arkansas Press Association junket to Costa Rica. We spent one night in the capitol of San José. Next day we bussed to a resort on the Pacific side. The ride took 8 miserable hours. M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E!

By chance at the end of our stay, we found out that there was a man at the resort who would fly us back to San José for a mere $50 each. There would be room for eight aboard his twin-engine airplane. I wasn’t tempted to go until one member of our party — she was actually a stewardess and could speak Spanish — checked out the airplane and the pilot and said she thought it would be safe.

The clincher was that the flight back to San José would take 20 minutes instead of eight hours.

We crammed into the airplane. My seatbelt wouldn’t fit, and the pilot told me (through the interpreter) just to hang on. We scooted down the runway and managed to get airborne just before we ran out of asphalt. Where was my Delta stewardess when I needed her?

The last time I flew, my wife and I had to go through post 9-11 security at Dallas-Ft. Worth. The security agent was from a Middle Eastern country, and he couldn’t understand why I had two brass candlesticks in the shape of palm trees (souvenirs) in my carry-on bag. After questioning me for 15 minutes, he called for his supervisor. This guy could understand English, but I was slightly put off because he had ‘LOVE’ and ‘HATE’ tattoo’d on his knuckles.

And he smelled bad. His uniform was dirty.

Once aboard the aircraft, more security guys made three passengers on our flight to Texarkana take off their shoes for closer inspection. The three were me, my wife and an elderly lady — all Anglos.

My feeling was that the inspections were political correctness, and I swore off air transportation that day. Now, no matter where I’m going, I’ll just drive, thank you.

Oh yeah, did I mention the time the airline lost my bag on a flight to Washington, D.C.?

That’s another story and I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested.

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JUST IN TIME for Easter.  Well, maybe just a little late.

The Consumer Product Safety Division three days before Easter recalled more than a half-million Easter theme children’s toys that posed a health risk to the little darlings if they happened to swallow one. And, remember this: if a child CAN swallow a toy, somewhere there is a child that WILL swallow that toy.

The toys were sold at a well-known national chain store (six letter word beginning and ending with the letter ‘t’), and the toy names are: Hatch & Grow Easter Eggs, Easter Grow Toys and Hatch Your Own Dino.

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GET WELL CARD. Bobby Miller suffered back injuries in a tractor accident recently, and is looking at some surgery and recovery time. I’m not saying for sure that he’s a difficult patient, but I bet that Sheila has been nominated for sainthood.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. I’m pretty sure there was a pair of Mississippi kites circling my neighborhood, Sunday. Our own bird specialist John Balch says the kites have returned to the buffet table south of Narrows Dam.

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THE TWINS. The celebrated duo First and Foremost — having earned many blue ribbons, gold medals and gleaming trophies, but never having decided who was really #1.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.

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HE SAID: “Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.” George Carlin, comic

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SHE SAID: “Singing has always seemed to me the most perfect means of expression. It is so spontaneous. And after singing, I think the violin. Since I cannot sing, I paint.” Georgia O’Keeffe, painter

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