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"...and You're Snow White!"


Registered User
L. Ronstadt - J. Ingram Duet

Just blocking a thread space off for the next story.

Oh! You guys thought there wuz gonna' be something to READ here?? :???:

I sorry. Sometimes I jus' can't HELP mahsef!! :frog:

Gotta' put on my monkey suit and go do my best imitation of an "airline pilot" :cockpit: for the next four daze. Will :compute: upon my return.

WELL! if you're going to tease us like that may you have a nice monkey butt flight...:p
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Jeeez....ya' tries to provide folks with a liddle humor....:bunny

Man! This is a tough crowd!:splat:


from the business center of the Courtyard Marriott in Elizebethtown, N.J. @ 1:30 A.M. local....goodnig...:sleeping:
Chapter One - I’m Gonna’ be a BUSH Pilot!

So the three weeks after meeting Dan Gunderson in that Denny’s in Texas were hectic to say the least. I spent half my time trying to convince an unbelieving Momma CloudDancer that I wasn’t pulling her leg, and I really was going to someplace called Kotzebue, Alaska; and would she please hurry up and get me some passes on somebody. Whoever flies there. I don’t even know yet!

The other half of my time was spent pouring over the Airman’s Information Manual, the F.A.R.s, and anything else I could think find to study in preparation for my impending Instrument checkride, looming large in the near future as a real “make or break” moment in my embryonic career. For Dan had told me when he hired me he did not want me to come north, at my experience level (250 hours total time) without having first passed a checkride for my instrument rating.
Sooooo. On the morning of 31 July 1973, one very nervous and anxious young CloudDancer pulled up in front of the main terminal at Meacham Field in FT. Worth, Texas in a fairly new Cessna 172 Skyhawk. It was 6:55 A.M., and it was show time!

A very fine designee by the name of Sid Fisher, who had also done both my private and commercial checkrides, had agreed to meet me at the unholy hour of 7:00 A.M., bless his soul. This served me well for two reasons. It allowed me me to fly in the earlier morning, relatively cooler and definitely calmer air. This of course makes it much easier to (hopefully) demonstrate precision flying, if the dang airsheen ain’t a’wobblin’ and slamming around in convective heat thermals. Further, if I didn’t screw it up, I would get done in time to race out to the still pretty new Dallas-Ft. Worth Regional airport and catch a high noon Delta Airlines smoker to San Francisco; the first for four legs on my journey to a new world.

In a fit of optimism, I had already stowed my many suitcases in dad’s car before leaving the house to head out to Arlington Municipal airport in the early morning darkness to claim my mount for this most important flight.
Sid knew what was going on, and put me at ease right off the bat. We briefed the checkride over breakfast in the terminal coffee shop, I remember. Yet I remember very little about the flight. I know it went very well, and I think I only had to repeat one approach to meet Sid’s very exacting standards. And to me, that is a good thing. His exacting standards I mean.

He was always as fair as the day is long on June 21[SUP]st. [/SUP] He was a very good pilot, and a good friend. One damn good examiner-designee, and I was sorry to hear of his passing a few years back. When he signed off my temporary new license with the instrument endorsement, he shook my hand, and urged me to be cautious and conservative as I began my new flying life. Just under two hours later after that handshake, I was standing, somewhat unsettled, in the departure lounge at DFW with Momma and Papa CloudDancer.

Let the great adventure begin!

Hiya EverBody!:howdy

Well. Here we go AGAIN! I know that's not much to start with...but I'm in my monkey suit at the biz center of the Sacramento CA Doubletree and I gotta' go jump in the van to the aerodrome. Just wanted to get a liddle sumthin' up here to start it off.

Now it's :cockpit: to the desert for a short "gas 'n go" and then on to the land of the Grand PoohBah...KMCI for another hotel inspection. May scribe a liddle more tamale before I start day four of the torture test.

Okay. I start vacation today. Since I'm NOT headed for Hawaii, and since I AM headed for Alaska... :cockpit: I will be in the proper state of mind, and have some time over the next few days to carry on with this story. So you'll have something drop by for.

I think I can commit to getting some more of this up by Thursday nite, 9 P.M. eastern time.

There! I gave mahsef a :compute: DEADLINE!

CloudDancer :anon

At this time, management must regretfully inform you that the previously aforementioned
(ir)regularly scheduled update to "....and You're Snow White", slated for posting later
today has been cancelled.

In a semi-regular fit of irresponsibility, CloudDancer apparently has decided to goof around
all day at Chena Marina and the float pond at Fairbanks International, shooting the beans with
real pilots and wistfully gazing with longing and passion at real airplanes.

He did mention the possibility of some pictoral displays appearing later on his FaceBook page

We here at SuperCub.org sincerely apologize for this blatantly irresponsible behavior on the part
of one of our Forum operators, and hope that your Alaskan Chronicles withdrawal symptoms (for
those newer reader's among you, not yet accustomed to dealing with CD's loose interpretation of
the word "schedule") are mild at worst.

CloudDancer indicated that he wuz considering posting something tamale....but we're not exactly
holding our breath here.

That is all.

(Supercub.org is only loosely affiliated with CloudDancer and/or Alaskan Chronicles Dist., L.L.C. In actuality, we barely even know the guy. Hence we have no responsibility, nor bare any liability for any medical or mental health issues resulting from participating in this forum, or enny resulting intentional or accidental personal encounters with the sack-headed one.)
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Hiya EverBODY - :howdy

Ah must purely apologize profusely an' humbly beg yer' fergiveness.:oops:

I am really kinda' tardy in recommencin' :compute: on this story. And I certainly hadn't planned on it taken this long to get back in gear.

But when I came back from my R&R in Fairbanks last Monday, it seems my Chief Pilot felt the need to give SUMBUDDY a right good ass-whuppin' :onfire: out behind the woodshed. Personally...I figgered I wuz still a good two, if not three weeks short of bein' due for my every-other-month "carpet dance". :bad-words:

But liddle did I know....

Apparently....before I left for the Great Land...SOMEhow...I managed to land mahsef nipple-deep in kah-kah on my last flight in May. An' I didn't hardly DO ennything. :Ginnocent: But, as you KNOW...my "sense of humor" DOES seem to have the rare detractor.

I won't bore you with the details, but ever since I got back...it's been nuthin but ol' CloudDancer catchin' H**L :whis: from EVERbuddy! Chief Pilots! The COMPANY shrink...the aero-MEDICAL sawbones...the F.A.A. Approved SHRINK.... Jeeez!:help

It's time for my annual "Let's look under Cloudy's sack :nutz: an' see what's really going on" checks; a requirement through at least June 2015 if I wanna' keep my medical. (Ah'm actually starting to wonder if it's WORTH it?! But I felt that way LAST June too...)

Throw in a visit (AGAIN!....sigh) to the dadgum endodontist, and it's been a BITCH of a week! Fortunately...I was able to DE-stress a liddle bit with Speedo this weekend, an I had ever intention of carrying on with this story today.

But then....I got DISTRACTED!! An' now...I'm jus all...discomBOOBilated!!:love:


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Chapter Two - "...Someday You May Want to Write a BOOK"

So there we stood in the gate area. The last of the revenue passengers strode confidently through the doorway, disappearing into the darkness of the unlit and gently downward sloping jetway, headed for the forward entrance of the Delta Airlines Boeing 727-200 trijet.

Poppa CloudDancer stood motionless, his hands jammed into the pockets of his trousers. Half-turned away, he gazed sightlessly out the floor-to-ceiling terminal windows, feigning interest :Gooh: in the beehive of activity surrounding the belly of the sleek turbojet. Baggage carts and beltloaders, catering and refueling trucks all bustled about in their carefully choreographed dance of aircraft flight preparations. I suspect he may well have been remembering his own first huge step away from home and into a big world. He must have been feeling the very same feelings his father felt that day so long ago in 1940, when he and Gramma CloudDancer took him to the train station, a 19 year old, freshly inducted raw U.S. Army recruit, in a world marching inexorably toward war.

Shoulders almost touching…next to him Momma CD stood ramrod straight directly facing me. I found myself unable meet her steadfast gaze. But even with my head turned only slightly away, out of the corner of my eye, I could detect the oh-so-slight quivering of her lower lip as she raised her arm to reach across the small intervening space between us. Gently brushing the mop of hair off my forehead she muttered softly “You NEED a haircut. Is there even a barbershop in this Kotzebue place you’re going?” The word “Kotzebue” came out almost dripping with resentment. An undeserved and completely unearned prejudicial pre-dislike :cluck for this place and some man named Dan Gunderson, who had somehow brainwashed her only child into thinking he could become an Alaskan “bush pilot”.

Truth be known, for all of Dad’s concern, it was Mom who even more clearly understood the perils :Gnotsure: toward which I was rushing headlong, overflowing with both the invincibility and ubiquitous ignorance :stupid of youth. For it had only been a brief six years earlier that Momma CloudDancer had fought tooth-and-nail for a week with my father, to get him to cave in and finally sign the permission slip required by the Civil Air Patrol allowing me to take my first flying lessons right after my 13[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday. He had been deadset against it, having absolutely ZERO confidence in light aircraft at the time. This attitude was rooted in the 30+ year old memories of my mother’s own piloting experiences in World War II as a Civilian Air Patrol pilot and WASP trainee.

Coming back to Roosevelt Field in her J-3 Piper Cub after a U-boat hunting mission, a young Momma CloudDancer-to-be found a bit more crosswind than she could handle, but was out’a gas and darkness was fast approaching. She groundlooped ‘er purty bad, although both she and her swabbie (U.S.Navy seaman) observer walked away unscratched. And when word reached my Dad overseas he sent back a written ultimatum to his intended. It was (thankfully for Yer’s Trooly) the ONLY ultimatum my dear mother ever bowed to, issued by any man in her life including her father. He wrote “The future mother of my children will not be gadding about the sky in some flimsy kite! It’s either me or those damn airplanes.”

Yet while successful in deterring his spouse-to-be’s passion for flight, here he finds the same disease infecting the fruit of his loins now, decades later and ten times worse it seems. And apparently, there is no stopping this kid. So while Dad was seriously concerned about me…Momma CloudDancer was flat out scared for me. And me?

With 263 hours now in my logbook (counting this morning’s instrument checkride of course!) I was bursting with self-confidence in anticipation of officially launching my flying career just a few hours hence. Of the three of us, apparently I was the only one who wasn’t getting all emotionally wrapped up in what was to me simply a great exciting adventure.

At last…there were no other passengers left to board the plane. Possibly another dozen people milled about the departure lounge waiting to watch the pushback and taxi-out of the long aluminum tube now containing their cherished loved ones and friends. Turning finally to look Mom square in the eyes, I tried desperately to convey an air of nonchalance intended to disguise the bubbling cauldron of great excitement and slight UN-self-acknowledged fears that churned within. And a little too loudly I said “Well! Time for your son to go start his aviation career!”

I saw her lower lip begin to quiver even more. Oh LORD! “Please….PLEASE Dear God” I silently prayed, “DON’T let her lose it he….”. Aaahh CRAP! There she goes! The shoulders start heaving…the tear ducts spring open:cry:….and the sobbing starts. But…I gotta’ give her credit. She gave it hell trying not to! “You better be EXTRA CAREFUL! And if you don’t like it come HOME right away. I love you SO MUCH! I mean it! Fly careful! And call us every time you land.” This was followed instantly by a stern admonition from Poppa CloudDancer. “Don’t you ever forget how you were raised and what is important. Say your prayers. Go to church. And do what your mother said. Fly CAREFUL”.

Then came the hugging and :kiss: part. Okay. I admit it. I only just barely kept my **** together during that part. But somehow I held on, keeping my inner emotions in check as I beamed radiant smiles at both my parents. Hugging each of them tighter than I could ever remember having done so before, I said the same thing quietly to both. “I love you so very much. And don’t WORRY too much. I promise I’ll be careful.”

They walked with me toward the jetway door, one on each side of me, stopping together a couple of yards short of the doorframe. I took two more steps before stopping and turning to say “I love you. I’ll call you tonight.” I spun around quickly, stepped through the doorway, and started down the thirty yard long or so carpeted gentle slope. And the very moment I passed through that doorway… an overwhelming rush of emotions finally broke through.

My plan…yes…the PLAN I had come up with upon meeting Dan Gunderson a few weeks earlier was plain and simple. I would go to this Kotzebue, Alaska place for six months. JUST six months. I was doing this for only two reasons. Pilot-in-command flight time in my logbook and some BIG BUCKS in my bank account. That’s it. Just six months and I’ll be back!

I don’t know how it happened…but I know it did. And…even as I sit here and :compute:…I remember what it felt like as if it was yesterday. Having taken no more than two steps past the doorjamb…I was completely overwhelmed. The cauldron within bubbled over. I somehow knew that…plan or no plan…crossing that threshold had somehow changed my life…and my future forever. I’m truly mystified how I knew it in that very instant. But believe me…I did. And the realization of that thought so clearly…stunned me.:Gwhoa:

Jetways were still a pretty new-fangled contraption in 1973. Although carpeted…it was far from what you see at DFW today. It wasn’t even internally lit. I walked deeper into the darkness as the light entering the jetway behind me from the terminal faded. And somehow…thoughts of my plan were washed away in a sudden cascade of rushing thoughts from every corner of my brain. Crazy thoughts even. Who will FEED me? Who will wash my clothes for me? What kind of place will I live in? What if I get sick?! Who will take CARE of me for chrissakes? All these exploded into my consciousness in just the first five or ten steps into the growing darkness as I literally “aimed for the light at the end of the tunnel”. And then came the tears. Oh my God! I was starting to cry for chrissakes!

About two-thirds of the way down the jetway, just as the light from the ramp end was staring to pierce the inky blackness, I heard my father’s voice as he hollered “Hey SON!”

I stopped and spun on my heels. I will never…ever…forget the image that greeted my eyes for as long as I shall live. Mom an’ Pop CloudDancer stood side-by-side in the boarding door. They were standing each with an arm wrapped around the other. The light from behind them made them simply two completely black silhouettes. Not a feature was visible. Not a color. Only daylight in the doorframe, and this black silhouette. And I knew instantly that I appeared the same to them. Thank GOD they couldn’t see the tears rolling down my cheeks!

“Yeah Dad” I barely managed to croak this out past this HUGE lump in my throat that had appeared instantly out of nowhere! “What’s up?” I asked. It would be over thirty-five years before I would realize that my father’s response was in actuality a prophesy. His loud voice echoed down the jetway as he said “You ought to keep a diary. Someday you may want to write a BOOK.” This evoked a good laugh from Yer’s Trooly. It momentarily opened the “safety valve” on the pressure cooker of my internal turmoil. I chortled loudly in return. “Yeah Dad! As if THAT will ever happen….BYE!”

I turned back to take the final few steps to the entrance of the Boeing machine and with one hand I reached up as I walked and wiped away the few teardrops remaining on both cheeks and wipe the snot that was beginning to drip from my nose. Heaven forbid anyone should see THAT! ;-)

Shake an' howdy, Cloudy: Glad to see yer back, an' in good form. I await future installments with baited... um bait on my breath.

Thanks. cubscout
Hiya EverBUDDY!! :howdy

Yes. Ah'm back! Ah know it's been a SUPER-long hiatus :sleeping: here at "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles" forum at "The World's GREATEST Aviation Website". But after a rather eventful last 15 months...things are starting to somewhat settle down again in my life.

THAT bein' said howsumever....tryin' to get "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles, Vol. V" put together this year will still be somewhat of a challenge. I have a new employer:cockpit:, and that will bring with it a new and different CONTRACT than the one I have operated under for the last nine years. There is a whole BUNCH'a new things in the scheduling section that may make my new life more challenging since I moved back to Fairbanks last April. Unfortunately for me...while my life wuz absotively DUCKY under the existing contract with my OLD employer...the new company/contract will (eventually) bring a far...FAR more positive future for my fellow 1500 desert-based flying partners. So I, in the twilight of my career, will find happiness and comfort in the knowledge that for almost all my co-workers, especially those twenty, and even thirty years younger than I....have a much better career to look forward to.

An' THEN....we come to my PERSONAL life...which also took a totally unforecast...and in MY mind...highly improbable :Gwhoa: turn in 2013. After 15 years...I found myself being COMMITTED again!

NO you guyz. Not to the looney bin :nutz: or :drinking: rehab...but...I am in a monotonou....I am in a monogulous...uuuhhh...I started a malnumero....I have a SERIOUS GIRLFRIEND! :luv2: (pitcher attached) And it seems that if Ah want to KEEP her...which does have several benefits at this stage in my life...SHE requires some "maintenance" on a regular basis as well!!

Soooo....Ah'm going to be lacing up my scribin' shoes as much as I can with the goal of finishing not only this story but four or five others as soon as I can. My goal is to TRY and have Vol. V available for purchase this year. We'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to when I can quit this flyin' for A LIVING nonsense and just devote all'a my attention to "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles"!

Yer Humble Scriptural Servant



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Cloudy if ur now working for the desert based employer don't forget to fly past the water tower to read the town name on the way to the airport.

durn cloudy she's geeeorges and really pretty red hair,look forward to meeting her!!!

Hiya Ruffair - :howdy

And don't forget ya' can allus get the very BEST in OFFICIOUS "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles" logo merchandise too. There'z sweatshirts, coffee mugs, T-shirts, wall clocks, tote bags, throw pillows, doohickies, whoziwhatsises and thingamajigs of all sortz!! Just click on www.cafepress.com/cdgifts !!

CloudDancer :anon

Remember, 'progressive' annuals are the preferred method on the relationship. The once a year inspection usually leads to less than desirable results8)

I am scheduled to be racing in the "Tired Iron" up there a week from saturday... you going to be around? Maybe we could share a ?

Currently in the Doubletree bidness center in Kay-Smurf (KSMF - Sacramento, CA.)

I'll be back in the OFFICIOUS Alaskan Chronicles WorldWide Shipping & Logistics facilities (my Fairbanks condo) late Sunday nite. Will lace up my writin' boots :compute: by Tuesday afternoon and get some more of this story up for yuz.

Tamale....it's brunch with the WorldWide Grand PoohBah of SuperCubers EverWhere...our very own SJ...in Cans-ass City! So...I got THAT goin' for me!!

Yer Humble an' GRATEFUL Scribe.....