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The Baron and the Bootlegger

Chapter Six - Lightning's Striking Again...and Again...and Again

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Hiya EverBODY - :howdy

Well I can see by the view count :eek: that a few of "the faithful" are dropping by to check out the new posts, and for that I am grateful. :wink: Hopefully the word will spread soon that I've laced up mah scribin' boots again after this long hay-I-tus :drinking: :bunny :pty: , an some more ol' friends will drop by.

BUT! fer' now..... well, I has to go back to my regular job [boring (what an appropriate word :-? ) holes in the ozone again] tamale.

On the UP side :up the 1st leg is to Anchor-ville for a 40 hour layover, so that'll get me a Sunday morning Gwennie's stopin.

I shall return to swattin' misquitoes :bad-words: (and other mayhem) here on the 19th, okay....

Cloud(tryin'togetthefeelin'again)Dancer :anon
I guess we will all be waiting for your return :angel: I sit here at the WAD this morning with a ton of chores but spent my time with this CD story from my Favorite scribe............With Christmas coming when should we expect volume 3 of the Chronicles?????? :p Hopefully volume 2 sold enough copies to keep you going on volume 3 and enjoying your favorite past time:drinking: :cheers and of course :morning:
PS for those of you that have not purchased Vol.1 and or Vol.2 please do so and hand them out as sets for Christmas to your pilot friends so we can all see Vol.3
Hiya F.M.D. - :howdy

S'wonderful tuh hear frum ya'! And I ah-PREE-she-ates your endorsment :up of the first two volumes of "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles" (TM) an' I shore hope people take your suggestion tuh HEART. Since books = entertainment and entertainment = discretionary spending; things have been pretty darn slow on the book-selling front for the last couple a' momths. I'm hoping a few folks WILL want them for holiday gifts.

Remember folks.

The "Chronicles" require NO ASSEMBLY :bang

The "Chronicles" require NO BATTERIES :oops: and..................

The "Chronicles" are ready to entertain :bunny :pty: you the moment you open them.

As fer Volume Three, "The Tragedies" ; it is in the works still planned for a May 2009 release. As a matter o' fact, when I next get done with "The Baron and the Bootlegger" I will be starting on one of the Vol. III stories here next.

CloudDancer :anon

Chapter Six - cont'd

Two hours later, bellies full of some of the best pot roast, gravy, and homemade sourdough biscuits I’d ever eaten :lick: , George and I are bouncing along in the Chevy truck back out to the airstrip. This, despite our plea to Crusty that we be allowed to walk back to the strip in an attempt to shake off our oncoming post feast lethargic food coma. :roll: Damn. That Luthor can cook. And over two huge plates of pot roast apiece, I and our hosts got better acquainted all around.

Pleased with what they learned of George, Crusty and Rhiney decided that not only was BLM welcome to work out of Candle for a few days, but that the bunkhouse (sleeping up to 10 persons comfortably) would be thrown in and they’d even provide a morning and evening meal service so the good government workers wouldn’t have to exist solely on C-rations. Although THAT almost caused a breakdown of the whole deal.

Typical of the two old codgers, (who I think now, were far RICHER than I might have ever imagined) they insisted on taking no recompense for their hospitality as George had indicated that the group would probably never grow beyond a dozen and would be around for no more than a week or two. Rhiney and Crusty wanted to “do something good for the country :usa that had been so kind and beneficial to them since their arrival from Sweden.”

Well even back in 1977, it had already become apparent that Americans, seemingly everywhere (even though not so much yet in rural Alaska) were hell bent on suing the crap out of each other for ANYthing! :agrue: Thus, when George insisted they had to be PAID by the Federal Government for their services, the two old miners were initially insulted :x and seemed about to withdraw their offer in total. Well, at THAT point I had to jump in and tell the old codgers it didn’t have to be much. Just something to make it all legal-schmegal since the government has to account and document for every little thing.

This led to the most interesting bargaining session I’d ever witnessed. Rhiney and Luthor said, “Okay Den. Ve’ll charge you a quarter for breakfast and 50 cents for dinner den.” to which George, responding in typical government pork barrel fashion stated “Oh no guys. I’d have to pay you at least what we pay for our meals at (Ft.) Wainwright in the chow hall. And that’s $2.50 for breakfast and four buck for dinner apiece.” Another sixty seconds of haggling, with George, in time honored D.C. fashion, doing his damndest to spend as much taxpayer money as possible :wink: , resulted in final prices of a buck twenty-five for breakfast and double that for dinner.

Only 23 at the time, I found myself shaking my head in bewilderment. It would NOT be the last time I would watch in shock and awe :bang as the Blimnites did their darndest to defy what little I knew at that age to be common sense economic rules.

After dropping us off back at the strip George and I, after refreshing our anti-mosquito defenses, proceeded to unload the sled and begin setting up camp. Two hours later, as the sun began to slide lower on the northwest horizon, we stood back to survey the fruits of our labors.

Two olive drab “M*A*S*H “- style tents were erected side by side. Our “swamp” was complete with a corner “radio shack” area where a sturdy wooden table holding no less than a half dozen various HF and FM radios and walkie-talkies sat ready and waiting to tie us into the Blimnite radio network. Two folding card tables and another (cafeteria-style, with fold-flat metal legs) table now supported the logistics of a BLM operation, being covered to capacity with typewriters and multiple boxes of forms.

A second, smaller sized (but still olive drab) tent was set up immediately to the side of “H.Q.”. Into this green canvas “supply room” went the two dozen boxes of C-rats along with batteries, boxes of bug dope, boxes of extra forms (gotta’ have LOTS of FORMS!) and all the miscellaneous dohickeys and what-nots it takes to run a field office for BLM.

Sweat oozes from every pore on both of us. :( Mixing with the dried oils of the bug spray in which we have literally bathed ourselves, I feel like I’ve been “slimed”. :splat: My hair is greasy and I’m already wishing for a shower. Instead, as we turn to survey the skies to the north, I reach for a roll of paper towels to wipe myself down with. And as I apply my third coating of Deep Woods Off for the evening I turn to see George now looking at the southeast horizon. He’s focused on a group of half a dozen relatively small cumulonimbus clouds in the distance. Almost muttering to himself I can barely hear him say over the buzz of half a million mosquitos wings “C’mon you little puppies....grow baby.....GROW!”

Mother Nature must’ve heard George’s softly muttered plea. For the next afternoon I was launched on my first recon flight to search for signs of smoke after three or four much larger cells blew through the area and scattered lightning strikes hither and yon.


Chapter Seven - All You Know WHAT Breaks Loose

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How 'bout I shoot for New Year's Eve or sooner. Gotta' pack the ol' rollerboard and head out for SLC around noon. Start of this weeks four day torture test.

The way the airports have been operating this week, I'm just hopin' I can stay in the MIDDLE of the concrete strips! :crazyeyes:

Ho, Ho, HO ! ya'll. :x-mas:

Cloud(nuttierthanaChristmasFRUITcake)Dancer :anon
CloudDancer said:
How 'bout I shoot for New Year's Eve or sooner. Gotta' pack the ol' rollerboard and head out for SLC around noon. Start of this weeks four day torture test.

The way the airports have been operating this week, I'm just hopin' I can stay in the MIDDLE of the concrete strips! :crazyeyes:

Ho, Ho, HO ! ya'll. :x-mas:

Cloud(nuttierthanaChristmasFRUITcake)Dancer :anon

Hope the flying is going SAFE and boring, so boring you're almost dreaming about typing up another chapter, the siren song of "write me. . . wriiitttteee meeeee" echoing in the background. . .

Once recovery has commenced, of course. :drinking: Happy New Year!
Hey Cloudy,
I am down here in sunny Playa, looking at all the senioritas in the smallest bikinis, and some have lost them, you have ever seen. Hard concentrating on CD2 when all the scenery abounds and the drinks are free. The entire family is here and your co-worker, my brother in law, says HI! Sure was funny seeing all the drunks laying on the beach from the big party last night. The local Policia were hauling them off by the truckloads.
Hiya Steve E. (and Jedi Nein, FMD, 'n everbody) - :howdy

SEE! :( Now this is per-ZACT-ly why I tol' the WorldWide Grand Poohbah :Gnose: of SuperCubbers EverWhere a couple o' years back.....

"DON'T! Give me my own forum. :onfire: Then I'll HAVE to work (write). I'll PANIC! :yikez: I'll FOLD like a cheap SUIT!"

None of which is true of course. 'Cept the part about HAVIN' to write. If we could like ....SKIP from Thanksgiving dinner to like...oh maybe... TODAY! It would work perfect for me.

I'm generally in a funk :Grain: for the holidays anyway and I had the cruds :Ggurn: for the first 20 days in December ( I wuz hackin' up crap that SCARED me :eek: !)

Bein' outta sick time at work I had to confront economic realities :( and resort to (shudder) WELL rum to try and get me through all the turmoil. :drinking: :drinking: :drinking:

NONE of which is at ALL conducive to quality writing. And I'm not just gonna' throw any old crap :splat: up here. You people deserve my best efforts. :tup: :up

But I do apologize. :-? You shouldn't have to wait this long and I APPRECIATE the graciousness of your gentle reminders :agrue: that there is a job to be finished.

Gotta' go fly for four more starting tamale. And when I get back Momma CloudDancer is coming for a two week visit. So I should be marching to the beat of a different drummer real shortly. :wink: Meaning most likely that we'll find out who our "bootlegger" is here shortly.......

CloudDancer :anon

Chapter Eight - Meanwhile....Back at the Ranch

Twenty-eight (28) days had passed since the Blimnites had descended on Candle and Kiana. Our “fire base” now boasted a population that varied anywhere from one hundred fifty to three hundred people depending on the comings and goings around the clock.

To the immediate west of our runway, actually about eight miles west, was the eastern border of a 360,000 acre fire :onfire: that had been burning for weeks. Ten miles to the east of our position was a 50 to 60 thousand acre burn. :onfire: I’m sure there was something to the south too, but I’ll be darned if I can remember where or how far. And visibility ranged from a couple of miles :D if we had a breeze down to..oh...a 1/16 of a mile if the breeze died and the fires were really cooking. :(

At times, once for three days, all inbound air traffic came to a halt which resulted in one of the sillier :stupid yet totally believable government absurd edicts.

If Crusty and Rhiney were beginning to regret their decision to help out on this project, I gotta’ give ‘em credit. They never let it show. The now had pretty much given up mining for the remainder of the war with the fire gods and were full time managers of what was now a pretty much 24 hour a day chow hall. I really believe that, even at the bargain prices the two old codgers were charging per meal, they were making more dough (literally AND figuratively) than they ever would have made mining that summer.

The government provided the food and within days of our arrival added the first kitchen “staff” member. On the BLM payroll of course! By this date the paid kitchen staff had itself swelled to almost a dozen workers, under the direction of the two former miners. Although they almost always had an apron on and a pot to stir much of the time; alot of their time was spent on “executive” functions such as ordering food, planning menus, and the ubiquitous Blimnite accounting paperwork. And much time was spent in the dining room glad-handing the “customers” :p and getting 1st hand critiques.

Well, all the potato skins, orange peels, watermelon rinds, and discarded steaks leftovers et.al. HAD to go somewhere. And so Candle had her first “dump” since the earliest days of the century. It was smack dab almost centerfield on the south side of the runway. The runway located about equidistant between a couplea’ HUGE fires.

And, on a daily basis, the C-46's and Piper Lances that flew our fuel in from Ft. Wainwright left Candle stuffed to the rim with...GARbage! Lots and LOTS of garbage. Except....when the planes couldn’t get IN. And then the pile built, all too rapidly it seemed. So. Here we sit in camp beside a humongous pile of non-edible trash, right? Well. Maybe to you and me, it’s non-edible.

BUT! To every flappin’ BEAR, fleeing from the fires, this is like hanging out an “All You Can Eat” buffet sign! Let me tell ya’. The walk from town to the airstrip down that narrow, brush surrounded road got pretty damn exciting for a while. I took to traveling the 3/4 mile distance with a flare OPENED and just READY to torch off!

Upon noting this new minor inconvenience to our Ft. Wainwright (no bears THERE) based Blimnite Headquarters folks, we were quite discouraged with their response to our request to bury the offending pile. This in hopes of reducing our little brown bear problem. The word from on high was that, to bury the refuse would risk polluting the ground water table or some such nonsense.

By Day Three of no airplanes, the trash pile had grown to better than twelve feet and a diameter of forty feet or so. Yogi and Bobo hadn’t had it this easy with the pic-a-nik baskets in Jellystone Park! And they wasted no time getting the word out to all their relatives. We had BEARS. Bears in pairs. It was bear Happy Hour. I know there were bears stopping by on their way to somewhere ELSE just because they heard about the great “twofer”. Get some free grub and scare the CRAP outta’ summa’ those two-legged thingies.

Again we petition Supreme Fire Headquarters at Ft. Wainwright. May we BURN the damn trash then???

Now. Here’s where once again we are just bowled over by the either intelligence or audacity of their reply. “Burning the trash will create MUCH SMOKE! That is AIR POLLUTION! Unacceptable. Maintain Trash Mountain until able transport to Fairbanks. Supreme Fire Headquarters...OUT!”

Well. All I can say is I hope the statute of limitations has expired. I confess. After getting that response I strode immediately across the runway and over to our refueling depot where I latched onto a 5 gallon jerry can of 115/145 octane. This I accidentally spilled all over the lower portion of the trash pile, merely moments before accidentally discarding the burning Fire Chief Kitchen size matchstick that I had used to light off my after dinner smoke.

Over 200 trained firefighters in the vicinity and not ONE lifted a finger to battle the blaze. We stood and watched as the smoke poured off the top of the pyre and rose to the dizzying height of 15 feet or so before disappearing completely. Into the REST of the smoke.

As for me. My BLM logs showed 207 hours in the last 28 days. No. That’s NOT a misprint. I meant two hundred seven flying hours in twenty-eight days. Don’t ask me how we did it legally. Something about the interpretation of “public use” aircraft or something. ‘Cause I KNOW there were some days where I did a good ten hours.

As I said, I was WHIPPED.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.....( I always wanted to be able to USE that line!) Back in Kotzebue things hadn’t been fairing so well for the home team.

Mr. Sir, You in the Paper Bag? Captain Dancer?

I sit here in Bend, OR with a fine Monday p.m slipping into history and could use some CD inspiration! :drinking:

Can't wait to here what happens next!

Hope all is well!

Accidentally setting a trash pile on fire, I can't believe someone would store gasoline so close to combustibles. Sometimes you do what you need to do.

Chapter Eight - The Victim of "Friendly Fire"

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Chapter Nine - The Baron is M.I.A.

As soon as the ADF needle hits the bottom of it’s dial my eyes snap up to the compass. Three hundred thirty-three degrees and I reach to reset my directional gyro. My right hand then drops to the throttle and begins pulling it very slowly aft as my left hand exerts gentle upward pressure on the left side of the control wheel. The right wing falls in response and I pull back slightly on the wheel to maintain level flight momentarily.

I watch the needle on the manifold pressure gauge settle on the 19 inch mark and look up to see close to my planned thirty degree bank. Just a couple of degrees short which I fix with the slightest additional adjustment of the control wheel. My right hand drops to the center pedestal mounted hard black plastic elevator trim wheel and I grab the uppermost portion where it emerges from the dark tan plastic pedestal and spin it downward twice eliminating the need to hold back pressure on the yoke as the plane slows.

I watch as the ADF needle as it first crawls slowly back up the right hand side of the of the face of the dial to about the two o’clock position before stopping momentarily. Then it begins it’s clockwise rotation yet again and as it passes the three o’clock position I punch the stopwatch button on the clock. A heading of 235 degrees I hold for a few seconds as I now trim one forward spin on the elevator trim. As we hit the 225 degree bearing I roll into a gentle left bank to hold the bearing while reaching for the microphone.

The airspeed now builds back up to 125 knots indicated as I allow the vertical speed needle to settle at 1500 FPM on the downside of the scale. Of course with passengers I would never come down this fast except in an emergency. But I am young and my eardrums are healthy and used to it. From eighty-five hundred feet to 1000 feet MSL will take me five minutes and on the 225 degree bearing I shall ensure that I am well clear of any (hopefully) traffic or terrain conflicts. Even if I have to get down to three or four hundred feet to find something to look at below me.

Most ALL Kotzebue traffic comes in from every direction EXCEPT southwest. I will be over water and well south of the extended centerline of the main runway by the time I reach 1000 feet where I plan to shallow out my descent to three hundred feet per minute while I fly in a gentle left circle until catching sight of the water below me. (No point in going WAY the hell out over the water if I don’t have to.) Once contact with the water is established with some decent slant range visibility it's wings level. Reset the DG and take an 80 degree heading or so into the beach.

For the last almost MONTH damn near it has been LEGAL VFR in Kotzebue. Skies obscured and THREE miles visibility in smoke. Up to about 300 feet MSL, that is. At three hundred and TEN friggin’ feet....the visibility drops INSTANTLY to all of a HALF MILE. :eek: And somewhere between there and 1000 feet usually, the forward visibility drops to NIL with vertical only if you’re lucky. :roll:

Being as how for most folks, even BUSH pilots, “pattern altitude” is at least generally a LITTLE higher than 300 AGL (on a routine basis at least) this makes for some really interesting ‘VFR” traffic sitchumashuns. Imagine if you will (all “VFR”), a Douglas DC-6 freighter :pirate: , a pair of local air-taxi Cessnas :p , a Lower 48 tourist-flown Piper Aztec :evil: who’s pilot will NOT answer anyone exCEPT the Flight Service guys, and an IFR cleared Wien Boeing 737 8) all in the smoke obscured “traffic pattern” for runway zero eight. I was more scared in the damn traffic pattern for about a MONTH :yikez: than I was anywhere else!

“Kotzebue radio...Cessna 1712 Uniform...inbound from Candle...airport advisories please.” Well. It’s TRUE isn’t it?! :wink:

“Uh Cessna 1712 Uniform, this is Kotzebue radio. Say your present position please.” To which I truthfully respond “Cessna 12 uniform is southwest of Kotzebue on the Hotham 225 degree bearing, I’m planning on coming in along the beach from Cape Blossom. I’ll call a position again between the Cape and the (Air Force) site” Which, of course IS also true.

“Roger 12 Uniform. Kotzebue currently VFR with skies obscured visibility three miles in smoke. Temperature is 54 degrees and the winds are two-four-zero degree at five. Your traffic is.....” And he proceeds to rattle off the last known position and stated intentions for five airplanes which I am already aware of as I have been listening to the advisory frequency for the last 15 minutes inbound. I have a mental picture in my mind of where everyone else is versus me.

I acknowledge radio with a “Thanks” and a promise to report back in when I am close in and then flip my transmit selector to the number two VHF and flip up the volume. It’s set to 122.8 and immediately I hear two of the other guys comparing positions and altitude. But I’m looking for my buddy Lionel flying Baker Aviation’s Cessna 207 inbound from Buckland who reported inbound at Riley Wreck, a geographical position not too terribly far from my own.

Quickly we exchange “Howdy’s” I advise him (and thereby all others listening) of my current ACTUAL position and plan and ask him if that is going to work for him. There is the OFF chance given the visibility that he may well be flying the beach all the way around from Riley Wreck himself. And, should this be the case, if the visibility is bad enough, I may need to stay out here a couple of extra minutes circling over the water ‘til he reports passing the Air Force site inbound. Only AFTER that report would I finally head in for the beach.
Chapter Nine - cont'd

Now, Rod is a guy who doesn’t sweat the “small stuff”. :-? And almost everything is small stuff to him, so ninety percent of his waking life is spent with a smile (or cat that ate the canary grin) :wink: on his face. I bring this up because as I watch Rod duck slightly to walk under my left wing toward the door I note his facial expression seems to be a rare one of worry. :Gwhyme:

As the door swings wide and I turn sideways to dismount Rod says “Hey Cloudy. You looking for some decent grub?” He assumes I have come for food from the store downstairs as BLM fuels the airplane as part of the contract. This has resulted in me only showing my face for the last few weeks for either food or maintenance on my bird.

But on my last drop-in I had told Rod I needed a few days off. I was one whipped puppy. :Ggurn: And at the time he indicated that he wasn’t sure but he’d see what he could do in a few days. And for me. NOW was “a few days”.

“Naw Boss. I’m done for a while” I said. “I just ca...” In an instant, the worried look on his face was replaced with a deep scowl :x and he (quite UNcharacteristically for Rod) snapped at me “Well, that’s too bad! But you’re just gonna’ have to fly a few more days ‘cause I can’t let you off now. We’re to damn busy and I have too many problems to deal with and I can’t replace you right now.. So get some food if you want and get BACK to work!”

Now it was MY turn to be uncharacteristic. I started to snap right back. :agrue: “Hey Rod! You told me....” When he interrupted with “I KNOW what I TOLD you but it CAN’T be now! You have to wait a little longer.”

But after logging over 200 hours in the last four weeks I was getting dangerous and I knew it. I said “Look Rod. LISTEN to me for a minute. Now you know how much I’ve flown, and I LOVE to fly. But man. I’m getting dangerous out there! I’ve fallen :sleeping: at the wheel TWICE in the last week. The damn STALL warning horn brought me out :crazyeyes: of it a couple of days ago when I fell asleep climbing out of Candle. Now I’ve had ENOUGH! Either gimme’ some time off or I’ll QUIT!” :bad-words:

At that exclamation Rod’s eyes widened perceptibly. :eek: His features relaxed a little bit and he said “C’mon in and let’s have some coffee.” :morning: This is Rod’s way of saying “okay, let’s see what we can work out.”

And as I trail him out from under the wing of my sled, I notice that the Beech-99 Airliner, is absent from the lot along with both the Baron and the DoorKnob (Dornier Skyservant). Last I knew only Rod, brother Dan and Jim from Aniak do the twin flying I ask Rod as I follow behind “Hey Boss. We got a plane broke down somewheres?”

“I’ll tell you all about it when we get inside Cloudy.” he replied with a heavy sigh I could make out over the airport noises. Boy. Something is NOT right here I remember thinking to myself. I figured I just stay shut up ‘til we settled in with our coffee.
Chapter Ten - cont'd

Addicted to the five weeks of big money revenue that the Beechcraft had produced in the way of passenger fares and excess baggage fees :D whizzing back and forth to Anchorage, Rod tried his hardest to hold onto his airline operation. Again extending to much credit to too many relatives was only part of the problem. The school district and some other bureaucracies tried to help by traveling on us some, but their fare payment was in the form of “travel vouchers” which often took weeks to turn into cash as well.

So as the cash flow crisis had mounted over the summer Rod and Mary took to doing what operators had always done in the old “shoestring” days; deciding who NOT to pay. :Gsillywink: And since we had to have GAS to keep the fleet going, they got their money first. Tim, and Ross, and I got our full pay, even for all the BLM flying next. Rod was adamant that WE not be shorted. But, he HAD “leaned” on his life-long friendship with Jim :cheers , who was flying the Beechcraft. And Jim had allowed Rod to short him some of his pay, also “betting on the come”. But, Jim was finding it wasn’t a good bet. Particularly after the leasing company in California had sent a pilot to spirit away :peeper the Beech 99 in the middle of the night one night last week for lack of lease payments. (Hey! They “drew” the short straw!) :bad-words:

As passenger traffic had dropped off so dramatically, now Rod would often send Jim to operate “the schedule” to Anchorage in the Beech Baron. Whenever we could scrape up five passengers each way, which still occurred (thanks to our “credit policy”) often, the Baron would spend the day away. Which brings us to our current difficulty.

Seems that Jim called from Anchorage on Monday evening late (three days ago). He said that he had a flat tire on the left main and would be back as soon as he could get the plane fixed. Rod didn’t think much of it, and just said “Okay. We’ll see you when you get back.” And that was the last he had heard from Jim.

Well. Rod’s no dummy, and figured Jim was just taking a little “friendship” advantage himself :wink: and taking a day off in the big village on Rod’s nickel, probably with the fare monies he had collected for the return trip. So, whiled PISSED to a major degree :x , he hadn’t gotten too out of kilter about it. Until yesterday afternoon. Seems a friend of Rod’s who worked as a center controller in Anchorage called.

Beechcraft Baron 966 Mike had filed and departed on an IFR clearance to....Bethel....yesterday afternoon! Only, the controller informed Ray, not too long after becoming airborne the pilot seemed to get....disORIENTED !! :nutz: His radio responses were sluggish and sometimes made no sense as he climbed out westbound. The controller concluded by saying that he had been able to talk the pilot into returning to Anchorage where he landed safely, but then FAILED to contact the controllers by phone as requested.

Now THAT set off ALOT of alarm bells for Rod. :crazyeyes: He wasn’t sure WHAT was going on with Jim and the Baron. He had wanted to go to town, but couldn’t get away there was so much flying to be done. And now, did I SEE why he couldn’t let me go??

Well, after listening in silence through two cups of coffee for twenty minutes (other than an occasional “You GOTTA’ be SHITTIN’ me!” :-? ) I finally got some thoughts collected as Rod wound down his summation of our plight.

First I offered to let Rod cut my BLM pay in half, although a little voice told me NOT to. :roll: Rod looked up at me appreciatively with the first small smile I’d seen this afternoon from him and thanked me, but declined my offer. I was lucky he did. For he had misplaced his confidence that “RIGHT” would prevail in the dispute with the Blimnites. He thought we would be paid in full shortly. It would be months yet before their fiscal maneuvering would shut down Rod’s operation for lack of cash flow.

But I had to tell him. “But boss, aside from that. No matter WHAT else. I’m DONE for at least 48 consecutive hours if not 72. I am still dangerous and I AIN’T gonna’ fly anymore.” And this statement brought the grim look back to his face. :-? He stood up from the table and paced back and forth across the length of the pilot lounge three times before stopping on the west end to stare out over Kotzebue Sound for a couple of minutes in silence.

Finally he turned and regarded me sitting slumped on the couch with my booted feet propped up high on a stack of flying magazines littering the end of the coffee table. He appeared to be trying to decide whether or not to push me any further. Or maybe he was gonna’ can my ass.

With the slightest shake of his head, and the expression on his face of a man asked to chose his own method of execution :boohoo he said quietly “Cloudy. I GOT to keep ALL these airplanes here flying.” And as I pondered whether to say ‘Well, then I gotta’ quit” before he tells me I’m fired, he continued. “Do you think you can handle the BARON?”
Chapter Eleven - All Points Bulletin

By the time I crawl off the Lockheed Electra I am positively GLOWING, and not just from the four cocktails consumed while enroute. One of Great Northern’s newly minted in-flight hostesses :bunny had been impressed with my boyish charm :p and bush pilot bravado 8) enough to bless me with her phone number and a promise that we would spend the following evening together getting better acquainted. :kiss: Already committed for this evening, she did however name one or two clubs where I might find her later. Although she doubted that she would be...um “free” this was another “first” date, and hence may well turn out other than planned. Never hurts to have a “back up”.

Since the two clubs she mentioned were NOT most likely on my schedule for this evening (being a little to upscale for my intended mission tonight), I assured her that I would call her about noon tamale to get driving directions to her apartment. Seeing her take a last look at me from the top of the airstairs :love: as the rest of the passengers exited the fuselage and I was walking into the terminal was JUST the boost I needed to add the bounce back to my step.

Oh-KAY! Here we are in the big village. Let’s hop a cab to the Holiday Inn, shower and shave, get out there and start RESTING! :drinking: :pty: :drinking: :bunny :drinking:
Hiya EverBODY - :howdy

ASK ! And ye shall RECIEVE FMD ! (Look below)

But it IS nice to know that I am missed. I am so sorry that I have been not around as much theses last few months. Aside from my full time job, "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles" has become, while still fun and a labor of love believe me, DARN near a part time job.

My ....ahem....AIRline future is on as shaky a ground as many others here and I'm grateful to still have my job. I don't know HOW long it will last into the future.

The WORST thing it could do is speed up my return to full-time Alaskan status though. Meanwhile Alaskan Chronicles Distribution, LLC (that's me) spends alot of my SPARE time now tring to figure out a way to maybe turn this into some sort of successful business enterprise.

I could've and would've NEVER imagined "Hey Pilot! I Gotta' PEE!" could beget such an endevour. Worst thing is, besides not getting to spend enough time with you folks, this is staring to cut into my :drinking: :bunny :pty: time. Although possibly my flight surgeon might well approve...

Hmmmmm...... "The Nation of CloudDancer" ! That has a NICE ring to it.

Naaaah. Let's keep my ego DOWNsized. I'm just glad some of you folks still care and miss me. "Cause the Chronicles are TRULY nothing but "memories" of an old man withou....YOU !!

Cloud(BenevolentLeader)Dancer :anon
Chapter 11 (All Points Bulletin) cont'd -


SOME pilot's of the female persuasion, and maybe some of you guys who have had some sensitivity training classes :roll: may well find fault with some portions of this installment. :bad-words:

I ask you to remember that I am recounting herein the behavior and actions of a 24 y.o. male with raging hormones :p that occured in a time when there was but just the first HINT of "political correctness".

All the same it was a time where women were burning their bras! :eek: A practice of which I was in complete support then. :up And for that matter, it would be fine NOW too. (Although I think NOT the same women should be participating.....) :-?


Now onto the continuation of Chapter 11....

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Chapter 11 - cont'd

But being as how it was still relatively early, around seven in the evening or so,. The bar was fairly well dead. The band didn’t start ‘til nine and the few early patrons were half businessmen along with the males arriving early to stake out a prime seat. The only two females in the joint were the bartender and one cocktail waitress. I dawdled over three expensive drinks for all of 15 minutes or so. I figured for the price I paid I oughta’ try and make ‘em last for longer than the two decent gulps each glass barely contained.

The bartender and cocktail waitress were both 8.5's or better on the Anchorage version of the “one to ten” scale. :tup: They were fully equipped with long, shapely, black fishnet stockinged legs that went all the way from the floor way up to what I’m sure was a “slice of heaven”. :Ginnocent: A black bustier-type upper garment barely restrained a bountiful set of bodacious breasticles on each of the two. And a large red bow along the upper center hem of the garment drew one’s attention even more closely to what appeared as though two HUGE scoops of vanilla ice cream. Oh! For some chocolate syrup and whipped cream! :Gbun: But I digress.

Time is a’wasting. I am a man on a mission. Several things I know for sure. These girls get offered all expense paid trips to every exotic destination on earth on the average of three times a night. Every night they work. I’m non-competitive here. Now, maybe if I catch one of them at Chilkoot’s on their night off, I’d stand a chance. But not here and not now. And the :drinking: are TOO damned expensive. All I can do here is daydream and go through my wad faster than need be. But most importantly, I know that Jim is not here, and most likely will not be found here at anytime, being the “village boy” that he is.

It is time to set about my primary objective. While taking a last, longing glance :-? at the bartender from her gorgeous green eyes down to the toes, I loudly suck the remaining thimbleful of barely rum flavored melted ice cubes down my throat. Dropping a couple of Washingtons on the bar I head out onto Fourth Avenue in the Big Village.

Now I’ll be honest. I can’t remember the names of ALL the bars on Fourth Avenue from the 1970's. And thanks to an influx of “do-gooders” :elf: :Gmonkey: :Ggeek: from the Lower 48 over the last few decades 4th Avenue in Anchorage now barely retains a hint of it’s former “glory days” as one of the world’s “Disneyland for Drunks”. In the three or four block range where once literally hundreds of rural (read “village”) Alaskans drank, caroused, and fell asleep on the sidewalks only a small handful of legendary drinking establishments remain.

The 515 Club :up and the Gaslight :up remain, as does the old Pioneer Bar. Although the old Pioneer has long since lost it’s “local flavor”. :( Having become a hangout for yuppies, college kids and downtown office workers :roll: it is all but a new bar. Only the facade out front remains unchanged to remind one of what a great “joint” full of old-time REAL Alaskans it used to be. And at the far east end of the street long gone is the legendary Montana Club :fig: :pirate: :yeow: , the birthplace of so many “LAST CALL!” romances. :luv2:

But this night in 1977, from the Montana Club all the way down to the Whale’s Tail at the Capt. Cook, with better than ANOTHER half dozen bars in between, I had my work cut out for me, so I’d best get to it!
Hiya EverBODY ! :howdy

‘Tis me agin. Yer’ humbly :oops: scribe.

Well. Ah’ll be SWITCHED. :-? I actually thought there might be a possibility that I might FINISH “The Baron and the Bootlegger” today. HAH! :D

Man. This scribin’ stuff is hard work! :bang It’s a lot easier when I am just thinking about what I want to write. :Geureka: But don’t worry. I will be getting it done soon. And there’s some good airplane stuff coming up here in the story before too long. Just so’s ya’ don’t forget why ya’ came. And I’ll try to be a liddle funnier. :lol:

BUT ! As for now. I gotta’ go pack my bags and head out to the aerodrome and fire up a pair of IAE TURbojets to take me to ......ANCHORAGE !!

YEEEEE- HAW !! :bunny Big village on the Cook Inlet. Iditarod starts tamale morning, and I will BE there. All kinds of “village people” from all over the state! I bet I get to see a BUNCHA’ folks tamale that I haven’t seen for a while!

An’ flapjacks and reindeer sausage at Gwennie’s to boot! Now. If ONLY the NORTHbound flight tamale night gets canx and I get to stay and extra day.....

Cloud(woofwoofwoof)Dancer :anon