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Thread: STOP the WORLD!! I wanna' GET OFF!!

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    STOP the WORLD!! I wanna' GET OFF!!

    .....and other Random Musings by the CloudDancer.

    Such as......."Visualize Swirled Peas"......which I saw on a bumper sticker a few months back.

    FINALLY I GOT it and laughed hysterically about 20 minutes later...

    Visualize World Peace. The last moment of world peace HAD to be the moment when Adam was awakened and noticed he was missing a RIB, although admittedly he did (for a VERY SHORT while) get over the pain in his side (which would later become a pain in the neck.....the ass....etc.)
    upon noticing a naked girl emerging from the bushes!!

    Adam opened his mouth, but not knowing the name of this creature merely uttered the the words "hubba HUBBA!!", and then looked downward at his, the very FIRST woodwork ever know to man.

    Before he could ascertain the significance of this event he looked up.
    The GIRL began to SPEAK. Thus ENDETH the period known as "World Peace"!!

    It came to me in my sleep last night.

    The next story will be about Bush-nomics.

    Nooooo. Not THAT Bush. The have another FORUM for that!! No this will be about how the old time operators tried to scrape by in the "pre-pipeline" days.

    Ergo. Prepatory to commencing with the weaving of that tale you must first underSTAND a little more about what life in GENERAL was like in the "Old Days" of the 1970's (LOL) in my little corner of the world.

    But 1st., having just awakened, I am in DIRE need of coffee and my morning drugs (vitamins). Then I must complete all my mundane chores prior to returning to the keyboard here for your entertainment.
    Besides, it gives me a few hours to think of the really "important stuff" to tell you.

    C-Ya'll 2-nite, for a FEW minutes, at least.

    CloudDancer

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    CloudDancer's Chronicles...

    CloudDancer, you are a case. I too, Spent to many Long dark nights In Alaska, and Never at the time on Kodiak, Did I realize those were the GOOD OLE DAYS... Thanks for your humorous "Musings"...
    Champdriver

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya ChampDriver!! Welcome to our world of Alaska aviation funnies!

    It's great to share time with so many folks who have "been there, DONE that" along with all the nice folks who haven't yet had the good blessing of spreading their wings across Alaska YET.

    So often I tell my front office mates some of these stories to while away the monotonous hours when all 427 of my on-board computers are working in HARMONY, and they look at me with a slightly beMUSED look on their faces.

    I know they are thinking to themselves...."Yeah. SURE old man. I bet that's exACTly the way it happened."........TSK......KIDS!!

    I think they're JEALOUS of the Gold Medal accomplishments of that Olympic World Class Lover of Womens Everywhere.... (at least in MY warped little brain)

    CloudDancer

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    I was born in a log cabin.......

    No NO!!

    The future CloudDancer arrived on earth in the mid 1950s as one of the post-war baby boom munchkins and was raised in a pretty conservative house, even though folks in America WERE starting to "let their hair down a little".

    By the mid-1960's aLOT of people were REALLY lettin' their hair down, in the case of some guys, all the way to their BUTT!

    Aided, or possibly fueled by some newly and more openly POPULAR ways of "loosening up", from Playboy to pot, hallucinogenics to New Age conciousness; America was in the throes of change.

    AIDS was almost twenty years away from modifying the civilized world's sexual proclivity and "if it feels good, DO it!" was the rallying cry of most of the under 30 crowd. (Nobody CARED what the rallying cry of the OVER thirty crowd was.)

    From the extremes of rage over the government's behavior and the enduring national nausea from over a decade of losses and failed "interventions" in SE Asia; to the (newly) extreme lack of any self-discipline or responsibility in any area, be it free love or personal fiscal responsibility and accountability; it seemed to be MASSIVE rebellion against ALL things that could be defined as "traditional".

    We had walked on the moon, there were huMONGous airplanes flying hundreds and HUNDREDS of people at a time. And it seemed as though technology was progressing at some breakneck speed!! (Which, when compared to TODAY's pace of progress was REALLY SLOOOOOOW! )

    So from this absolute hurricane of change and protest and progress I headed to Kotzebue, Alaska in 1973. But, intrestingly enough, it seemed after sixteen hours of flying I had landed back where I started in the 1950s!! And I LIKED IT!


    Visualize a world without AIDS.

    No Federal Express, GoldStreaks or overnight delivery. Goods from "outside" would often take weeks to arrive.

    1 station on the television. on videotape. KOMO from SEA, six weeks after it showed in SEA.

    Sometimes NO station on TV when the guy who operated the "service" passed out in the middle of the day.

    1 radio station and....(gasp!) not even a "Walkman" as yet. I mean....you actually had to,...like....you know.....put a RECORD on a TURNTABLE to hear MUSIC!!

    You could carry your phone ONLY to the limit of the length of the CORD!! But on the plus side....you only had to dial 4 digits to get any number in town.

    Long Distance cost anywhere from 35 cents/minute to call ANC and...jeez...i can't remember....BIG BUCKS to call Outside. So when you needed parts....shopping by phone in the pre-internet days was as costly as the shipping charges (alMOSt).

    A copy of "Flying" or ANY pub less than six month old was considered to be "current".

    The Feds didn't come to OME, OTZ, BRW, or BET. We had to go to THEM.

    A current copy of the FAR's, IF one could be found, was GENERALLY ONLY consulted to settle disputes on which a large bet was riding, or for an early version of Trivial Pursuit if bored. Other than that, the familiar red, white, and blue covered book was most often used either as a doorstop or a coaster for your coffe cup. (See cup stains on cover.)

    As pipeline construction was just commencing, and hiring had not been done on quite a grand scale just yet, not much money flowed about Western Alaska.

    What little did was often funneled through the ONLY bank in rural Alaska at the time Alaska National Bank of the North.

    A personal check issued from person "A" to person "B" to buy a snowmachine was then taken by person "B" to person "C" who operated the grocery store to be placed against their outstanding bill.

    This same piece of paper, now containing at least three endorsing signatures on the back side would now be issued by the store to person "D", as part of their "change" for the hundred dollar bill they just dropped on the counter to pay for two loaves of bread and some pop.

    Person "D" now adds THEIR signature to the list on the back and this goes on and on and on until one of three things happens.

    1.There is no more room on the back for any more "endorsements"

    2. The ink on the front fades to beyond legibility

    or 3. The damn thing just wears out and tears from overuse.

    This would often result in SOMEbody losing out, kind of like a game of "musical checks" with the last person holding the now seven to ten month old check trying to cash it at the only bank in town, only to find out the account had been closed two days after the check was originally written ANyway!!

    People were SO friendly and trusting and HELPful to each other ALL the time. It didn't TAKE a 09/11 for us to understand the Golden Rule and that we all pretty much needed each other.

    So into this new (apparently) serene world falls our young CloudDancer.

    At first, initially absolutely THUNDERSTRUCK by the change of environment, I RAPIDLY fell in love with it and began to EMBRACE it and all who surrounded me.

    If often told people who contemplate going to rural Alaska, be it Nome or Kiana. Just fall in and don't fight ANYthing. Accept it. Within six months at the most you will come to one of two conclusions. You DETEST IT, and you will LEAVE at the earliest opportunity; or, like the young CloudDancer you will fall in love with Alaska, her peoples and her ways. If you DO; they will be apart of you forever. And if you ever HAVE to physically leave the State...like me.....you may find yourself emotionally unable to leave her and your friends ever behind, and all that comes subsequently shall be disappointing in comparison.

    So anyway. Most airplane operators in this environment were poor to broke ALOT of the time. But it had been that way for four decades by the time I got there. And for the most part, they did a good job of dealing with it, But had a tendency to 'squirrel away" some cash "for a rainy day" when we really needed some PARTS!

    The Gunderson brother were no slouches in keeping a creative cash flow.

    This, of course is my way of saying that we have now arrived at "Story Time" boys and girls.

    Our next story follows CloudDancer through a day of "Cash Flow" flying as I've come to call it.

    I think I shall title the story........."A Good Day's Work"

    As I am about to depart the pattern for my favorite watering hole
    Look for Chapter One on Monday afternoon everyone. And 'til then....

    Keep the Shiny Side up and the Oily Side down....unless 'o course yer doin' it the other way on PURPOSE!!

    CloudDancer

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