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What Could POSSIBLY Go Wrong?

CloudDancer said:
Sad really. The one night a year I can get lot'sa hugs 'n kissin' (even get in a little tongue wrasslin' too :lick: ) and I will be trying to sleep THROUGH the revelry in some hotel somewhere.

No need to apologize, just wishful thinking on my part that you'd get :drinking: 'stead of :morning: on the holidays.

Ahhh, Airport Appreciation Duty, little things you were never told about in flight school . . .

Jedi Nein
Cloudy, how about making a deal with S.J. to make the books available through the SC.ORG store? I'll forgo my 25% discount and let it go the SC.ORG. Takes the shipping monkey off your back and makes it easier for us to pay via Paypal.
Hiya RMEBOB - :howdy

I am exploring all payment options including PAYPAL, which will MOST LIKELY be available on the www.clouddancer.org website.

Steve WILL be offering personalized autographed copies of "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles"(TM) as part of SC.org's annual Calander membership/donor drive. :up Watch for the info from Grand Poobah himself. In addition, we are lookinig at how to add the book to the offerings available through the SC.org store as well.

Also - AFTER THE FIRST OF THE NEW YEAR, January 1st 2008, the book should be available through both the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.

CloudDancer :anon
Hey Cloudy, check this out. It may influence your decision regarding how to price the book

"Brian Shul's Sled Driver, his memoir of flying the SR-71, features
exclusive photos taken by the author. The signed, limited edition
book, available for $427, can be purchased by calling 888.777.8383
or visiting Welcome To The World Of The Sled Driver."
The signed, limited edition
At $427.00 per copy, I can understand why this is a limited edition.
I'm sure that Cloudy has flown a sled also (a.k.a. C-207). Maybe they can combine marketing operations.
I'm gonna' let you guys off ALOT cheaper than $427 bucks a copy.

Just back in from ANC this morning. Had an SC.org member from Sterling on my J/S on the way back to America. Had a GREAT layover even though I didn't see much of the sun.

Working feverishly to get everything ready before Turkey Day to start filling your orders.

More later and best to everybody.

CD :howdy
Hiya' EverBODY -

'Tis I...your vocabularily impaired, vice-relapsed, and still breasticularly bewitched crafter of comic-crammed flying capers communicating from a computer in Columbus (Ohio).

Well....the holidays are over. And with the exception of "dropped thru the cracks" errors now being audited by the WorldWide Grand Poohbah of SuperCubbers, the book sales have dropped to a pretty slow pace. However, THANKS to YOU GUYS....the Chronicle "addiction" continues to spead like a slow but steady growing vine.

So, other than HEAVY editing on the forthcoming Volume II, (scheduled to debut at the Alaska Airman's Show in May)....I'm pretty much out of excuses to further delay the remainder of this story.

So I am pleased to announce that, barring any catachism....catalimti.....
any EARTH-SHATTERING STUFFS happening in the next couple of days....
it is my intention to finish this fine story.....this being the last one that will complete Volume II. IF you guys are still INterested??

Or I COULD make you just wait and read it in Vol. II

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU......ALL! For ALL your patience....SUPPORT......and kind communiques since we STARTED.

CloudDancer :anon
Wheeee! :angel:
Can't wait to hear the rest of the story and stories. LOVED the book! :D
Chapter Three - A Day about...NOTHING

By the end of August my “self-grounding” had lasted over five months. Probably the longest I’d ever been bound to Mother Earth since I was 15 years old. I was getting cranky :bad-words: and generally unpleasant to be around a lot of the time. :Gparp:

Trips to the airport during the day for the dry goods store were actually becoming painful. :cry: The occasional smell of burnt Jet-A as the Weinie bird taxied in or out was accompanied by the deep, bellowing growl of a Pratt & Whitney radial dragging ol’ Bart Mason’s red and white single engine deHavilland Otter into the 24 hour sunlit skies. Or I’d wind up stopping in mid-hoist on some packing crate, to try and catch a glimpse of a landing 185 or 206 that I had flown in my “previous” life. Of course, this resulted in the guy on the other end cussing :agrue: at me and telling me to pay attention to what I was supPOSED to be doing!

The nights at the bar weren’t much better given that all the local “drivers”, some of whom I’d TRAINED initially, now regarded me primarily as their booze or beer “gofer”. :drinking: “Yo, CLOUDDancer!....Gettin’ purdy DRY down on this end, ya’ KNOW!” And while almost all of them were decent if not outright VERY kind to me....every now and then.....would come the thin little RAZOR cut comment. :-? “HEY. You remember that little strip into Utica Creek...” or “Point Hope wuz a foggy BITCH today.....” And then they’d let me listen in as they told the pilot on the barstool next to them about the day’s adventure. And as someone would holler from across the bar for another Oly and I was turning away would come the razor cut. “We-e-ell at least ya’ don’t have to worry about bustin’ YER’ sorry ol’ ass everyday, eh, Cloudy?”

It wasn’t hardly ever spoken with meanness or contempt. Just as a sort of closing comment. I mean, after all. Other than wrasslin’ the often overly drunk patrons and minor cuts on my hand or finger from fishing the occasional broken glass out of the ice bin, I guess it’s fair to say I wasn’t too often exposed to any element of danger. Nor were my formerly quick wits and lightning reflexes put to much use. In general, I was becoming pretty DISsatisfied with the direction my life was going. :boohoo And I was thinking more and more. Wondering if and when I would ever get back on the horse that bucked me off. I was having a hard time visualizing myself doing this for much longer. And then came the day.

The Sunday morning trade was slow in the bar. It was about 11 A.M. when a group of four tourists came through the open front door doubling the size of the “crowd”. After a brief pause just inside the door to gawk at a couple who, by all rights, really SHOULD’ve been “getting a ROOM already” :luv2: , they strode over quickly to the far end of the bar. I guessed that their seat selection was based mostly on my ongoing debate with on VERY drunk and slightly LOUD
Vincent Tooliak at the other (and closer) end of the bar.

I’d flown Vincent down and back from his home in Noatak many, many times over the years. Drunk and sober both. And although sober was easier, at least he’d always been one of the GOOD drunk passengers when going home. Always mellow and co-operative. Totally UNlike today. Vincent was belligerent and wanted to fight today. Hell, for the last THREE days.

Seems he’d come home early from a hunting trip upriver due to mechanical problems with his outboard. Finding the love of his life :love: giving HER love to Vincent’s 1st cousin had sent him in a rage back OUT the door after demolishing the interior of his cabin . Noticing a 207 roaring across the top of town Vincent headed to the village’s airstrip. And upon arriving in Kotzebue he proceeded straight to the town’s one bank from which he withdrew a substantial amount of cash.

For the last seventy-two hours or so Vincent had bounced back and forth between the town’s two bars, the beer and wine joint on Front Street and the hotel. Now, even the town’s half-a-dozen cab drivers had had enough. Having agreed finally to “go take a NAP” (somewhere OTHER than on the end of my BAR please....) I was now unable to get ANY one of the town’s three working cab drivers to come and pick Vincent up. Lord it was going to be a LONG day.

Back with more later............

Cloud(backinthesaddle)Dancer :anon
Disgustedly, :x I turned away from Vincent’s angry and mostly unintelligible ranting about his love life. My sympathy had been just about completely exhausted YESTERday at this time whilst listening to the story for the tenth or twelfth time already. :-? With no little effort I tried to plaster a welcoming smile on my face and greet my new customers with SOME amount of genuine warmth and hospitality. :howdy

-- delete --
Chapter Four - An Offer I Couldn't Refuse

Thirty minutes later the bar is for the moment empty. Vincent has been taken to the hotel to :sleeping: it off yet again. The boss called the owner of the cab company and convinced him it would be in his and his driver’s best interests to transport Vincent. Elsewise if we couldn’t rely on HIS company we’d have to start one of our OWN tomorrow. :evil: Given that my boss wasn’t known to make IDLE threats a cab arrived within 90 seconds of the conversation’s end. Likewise the two lovers in the corner both were “encouraged” to find more secluded surroundings to continue pursuing their passions as their rate of beer consumption was no longer deemed to be economically suitable for us to ignore their increasingly brazen exhibition. :p

The boss comes back in and sits on the end of the bar. He and I both drink coffee at the rate of two or more gallons a day so I pour him and I a fresh cup. :morning: And then, as he has so often in the past, he floors me with a one sentence statement out of the blue. This time it was “Find out where Hood River, Oregon is and figure out how soon you can get there if you catch the morning Wein jet tomorrow.”

Equally as deadpan :-? I return with “And WHY would I be wanting to go to Hood River, Oregon tomorrow, if I might ask.” Brantley (the boss) responds with “I’m buying a plane down there.”
With a little too much enthusiasm I come back with “Whoa! Al-l-lRIGHT! Whatcha’ GETtin’?” :D He tells me “A cub.” “Wow! You’re gettin’ a SuperCub?!?! How many horses?”

He then explains he’s got his eye on a straight Cub. A-80-8 65h.p. Continental engine and no electrical system. About as basic as it gets. Wrapped up in his detailed description about how he found it (Trade-a-Plane) and his phone conversations with the owner, it takes me a few minutes to get to the obvious question. He’s buying the plane. He’s a private pilot. What am I going to go there for, to inspect it first?

Brant then tells me it’s all but a done deal, but he wants me, with my far greater experience with small aircraft to go inspect it. :cluck Buy it if it’s good :up and then FLY IT HOME! :angel:

WHOOPS! Did you say FLY the damn thing back HERE from Hood River Oregon! “In CASE you hadn’t NOticed my friend....I recently gave UP flying” I reminded him.

In essence my friend/employer Brantley had decided FOR me that it was time for me to get back on the bronc that had throwed me. :fig: :yeow: He knew (I guess) better than I, that the time was right. If it wasn’t done soon I might truly never be able to overcome my apprehensions. :Ggurn: He WANTED to buy a plane anyway and had been thinking about it. He was interested in becoming a more accomplished and capable pilot, even to the point of getting his instrument rating. 8)

As a very low-time private pilot only at this point, he felt the Cub would be a good time builder and could maybe well be modified in the future to be more capable. In the meantime, buying it would enable him to force me back in the air where he was fairly sure I belonged. It wasn’t the first time he had pushed me in a direction he had FORESEEN I needed to go :rock: , nor would it be the last. He was usually right too, which made him even that much MORE irritating to me :Girk: from time to time.

Nonetheless I continued feeble arguments. What about my OTHER job. Oh. He had already talked to the store owners (also pilots, remember?) and they thought it was a great idea so they would grant me the time off until I got back. Well....I allow as how I’m STILL not too sure about my flying again. :( Brantley then tells me if I wish to remain in his employ....THIS was the deal. The money was XXX dollars a day cash plus expenses ‘til I rolled back into town with his new toy. Still I told him...and I WAS....genuinely unsure.

“Okay.....” he sez, and I watch the wheels turning in his head. “How about I let you take Selena along?” “Say WHAT!” :eek: I respond incredulously. Now, KNOWing he’s finally hooked me, he reels me in with “Yeah. Oh-KAY! I’ll let you take Selena along and pay her ticket and expenses too and you GO!”. DAMN! “No WAY I can turn THAT down. You got a DEAL!” Be on the plane in the morning was all he said to close the deal.

Think of the greatest torrid and tempestuous love affairs of history. Tony and Cleo, Liz and Dick, Ike and Tina....then there was CloudDancer and Selena!

Selena was....a BABE. Our first meeting set the stage for the entire relationship for life. Seeing her walk into the room unexpectedly our eyes met and the EARTH MOVED. Va-VA-VOOOM! :crazyeyes:
At that precise moment I KNEW this female was going to be among the MOST significant in my life. Immediately out of my mouth sprang a typical sway-vee and de-boner CloudDancer “line”. These usually guarantee to overwhelm and smitten ANY female :love: within hearing distance. Rather than the expected blush and swooning in response I was told I’d stand a FAR better chance of performing an act I assumed was anatomically impossible. :Gsnide: E-E-E-YOUCH!! I DO admire a girl with some sass. But this girl was SO-O-O fine I couldn’t see nuthin’. Including the freight train that was about to run me down.

For the last four years....our relationship had been.... well it alternated back and forth between a Kotzebue version of “I Love Lucy” :luv2: and a fire in a munitions factory :yikez: . I often described it as an amusement park carousel. Where you just go round and round.....and round....and the horses they go up ‘n down ‘n up ‘n down but NEVER together side by side. If one’s UP the other is DOWN! Selena and CloudDancer. Boy. Did we deFINE a love-hate relationship!


We-e-ell. Thas' about eNUFF for my first day back at the scribin' board.
Hope you good folks are gettin' re-warmed up to the story line. Hopefully i'll get to some AIRplane stuff tamale...afore i gotta' go and churn up the skies for four-and-a-half days.

CloudDancer :anon
Man that is good stuff! I can't wait to hear about the trip to Hood River, Or! Some of my old stomping grounds!

I'll be ordering books!

Hiya' Matt - :howdy

And THANX for the vote of encouragement! :up Not having done any OH-ficcial scribin' since last August; it was kinda' hard to get this keyboard firing on all cylinders again. :bang

Still feel like she's runnin' a little rough, :-? but I 'spect she'll smooth out here purdy quick after I burn somea' the carbon deposits offa' the plugs. :onfire: I'm leanin' for peak EGT as we speak.

Stay tuned for more. MAYbe today....but most likely not 'til the 23rd since I have to go burn some kerryseen for about four-and-a-half days starting with heading to Motor City (DTW) 2-nite.

CloudDancer :anon
Hiya' EverBOdy - :howdy

Just a breif note. Don't want ya'll to go a'thinkin' that I've decided to take another hiation....uh....hyasis.....hi-ATIS!! :sleeping:

I jes' been busier than a one legged hooker in a room fulla' confessionals.

'Spect soon I'll have a neat announcement that will make ya'll happy. But in the meantime I'll return to scribin' on this story tamale morning. Uh...
wait a minnit. Better make that tamale AFTERnoon. :morning:

I'm scheduled to conduct interviews for prospective cocktail waitresses at mah favorite waterin' hole :drinking: :drinking: this evening. Not in any real oh-FICcial capacity ya' unnerstand. :wink: I just volunteer my time as sort of a "quality control" professional. It's GOOD to volunteer. :roll:

CloudDancer :anon
Chapter Six - Going to America

A brief two hour layover at Anchorage International before boarding our Western Airlines 727 flight to Portland allowed for the continued :drinking: consumption of adult beverages. We chatted with friends from Kotzebue awaiting their flight north. Their envy of our “great fortune” was obvious :evil: and we tried to appear non-gloating, :p while Brantley’s “expense” money disappeared at the rate of $10 (including tip) per round for the two of us. I do remember being outraged :bad-words: that a Bacardi and Coke ($4.75 ) and a Budweiser ($3.50) were priced HIGHER than at our bars in Kotzebue. And this was in 1981! But Alaska was still flowing with oil pipeline money...and prices!

Fortunately for our trips sponsor, we were delighted to find drinks far more reasonably priced :wink: once on board the flight to Portland. At $2.50 apiece or five bucks a round with no tip allowed or required it was indeed a bargain! Selena and I worked our way through another forty bucks before the airborne “last call”.

Given Selena’s propensity for the outrageous :eek: ; of course, I had hoped that this would be an opportunity for us to join the SIX Mile High Club. :D Much to my surprise (not to mention frustration :x ) she failed to share my enthusiasm for that proposal. :boohoo Worse yet, under some newly erupted outbreak of apparent prudishness :chill: , she informed me that my alternative proposal to “just mess around a little bit in our seats under the blankets” :peeper , marked me as some kind of “sex maniac”. :lick: Well.....harrumph! :cluck Like that’s a ...BAD thing! “Oh stewardess! Two more, please!” :drinking:

Giggling and stumbling out the forward exit of the trusty Boeing three-holer we bade our Western hostesses a warm good-bye and thank you. Despite their best attempts at maintaining the Stewardess Academy practiced smiles :Gfrog: and goodbye waves :howdy I couldn’t help but notice the barely disguised sighs of relief as we passed :Ggurn: , along with a clear failure to invite us to “Come back and Fly with us again.” No sweat. I got my own way home. :wink:

Much to my surprise our arrival at the Hertz counter was NOT like it shows in the T.V. commercials. Nobody was smiling at us.

-- delete --
Chapter Six - cont'd

Well, two things I know. If I have any hope of engaging in sex tonight with anyone other than myself :wink: , the path to fulfillment leads through the hotel lounge. If I don’t go she’ll go without me and this is NOT an option. Should additional alcohol consumption and dancing “do the trick” (i.e. get her in “the mood”) it would be prudent if I were nearby at the moment. Being from Alaska, one thing I know is there ain’t enough good lookin’ womens to go around. It is ALWAYS a good idea to keep close tabs. There always a “claim jumper” :pirate: around somewheres who’ll be only too happy to take advantage of the slightest (even perceived on the girl’s part) lack of attentiveness :kiss: (in her eyes).

The oh-eight-hundred wake-up call from the front desk just a few hours later seems to literally impact my ear drum. :splat: My hand shoots quickly out from under the covers and bounces once, twice three times at the end of my up and down flailing arm. I blindly (my eyes are closed in pain) feel my wrist collide with what feels like a glass, knocking it off the nightstand before my right hand smacks down on one end of the phone receiver. As if the cradle were a fulcrum the receiver is launched enthusiastically upward where it collides with the lampshade and gravity takes over bringing it down on top of (eyes open now....barely) the edge of the furniture from whence it falls off. It disappears going downward and falls out of my line of sight as it passes below mattress level. This is instantly followed by the sound of breaking (cheap) glass indicating the final and complete resting stop of the receiver. I pull my head sideways off the bed to get a look. The receiver lays on it’s side amidst broken glass shards and about a good 8 inch circular area of the cheap shag carpet now soaked in stale Bacardi ‘n Coke.

Through the jungle of green and aqua and blue carpet fibers I can hear, as if far far away, a perky female recorded voice is inviting me to sample “our every day fresh twenty-two item breakfast buffet”. Oh......GOD.

In an instant my brain spools up as I remember where I am and that I am on a mission. I have a one P.M. meeting with a Mr. Jeremy Rogers in Hood River, Oregon. ....(Pause.) CAR! Dammit! I still have to go get a CAR too! Okay. I find my watch and see it is seven-thirty in the morning! No. Wait. I’m in Portland. Did I reset my watch? WHAT the hell time IS it?? What time did I leave a wake-up call for? Carefully I reach down and extract the phone receiver from the mess on the floor. I eye it carefully to assure there are no glass shards present before wiping it back and forth a few time on the bedsheet to sorta’ dry it off.

I dial “zero” and wait it seems for EVER for an answer. Must’ve been a good ninety seconds. After ascertaining the correct time (eight-thirty) I ask the nice perky girl on the phone (could this be the same one from the wake-up recording?) if she knows how long it takes to drive to Hood River, Oregon. She said “I’m not sure. Do you know how far away it is?” I thanked her politely and said goodbye. Still grasping the phone in my left hand, I reach behind me under the covers and grab Selena firmly by the uppermost (she’s sleeping on her side) naked (did we HAVE sex?) buttcheek. She is snoring and I shake her gently at first and then continually harder until the snoring stops.

As I’m doing this I move my left hand (holding the phone receiver) over the cradle and release my grip. The receiver remains firmly pasted to my open left palm by the now tried sticky Coke. I shake my left hand gently while still shaking Selena even more insistently. Her snoring has stopped and been replaced by a moaning that sounds eerily reminiscent of some werewolf movie soundtrack.

As the phone receiver finally separates from my left hand, Selena’s moaning abruptly ceases. See, she’s not really much of a morning person. Sober OR hung over. I feel her left hand grasping mine and her nails grip the outside of my right hand brutally. JEEEEZUS! “What the.....” As she throws it as hard as she can off her body she offers her morning greeting. “KEEP your ****ing hands OFF me you son-of-a-bitch!”

Okay. I’m guessing the was no sex last nite. I sit up carefully in bed watching the placement of my feet to ensure I don’t lacerate the bottom of either one. My head hurts. I think my EYElashes are actually THROBBING. Is that even possible. I have four and a half hours to rouse my “sleeping beauty” (without getting hurt in the process) and get some desperately needed breakfast. Then I need to rent a car. Figure out where the hell other than “east of here” Hood River Oregon actually is, and then find the house of one Mister Jeremy Rogers. I shake my head a little to clear it. Bad idea. I rise slowly and carefully to my feet noting that I have a morning woodie. Briefly I toy with the idea of sliding back under the covers and trying to awaken Selena by poking her in a different manner. Still not to clear on the events of the latter part of the evening, and given the ferocity of her morning “greeting” (two small droplets of blood are leaking out of the top of my right hand) I choose to retreat to the bathroom. I turn the shower on full cold.
Chapter Seven -

Three hours later (the majority of which was spent motivating Selena to face the day :roll: ) I am cruising eastward on I-84 in my rented Chrysler LeBaron. What. You think I’d rent a Chevy Geo on somebody else’s tab? :p

After enduring the 20 minute long ordeal of first rousting my traveling companion I then suffered through :Gurgh: the agonizingly drawn out period required for her to “get ready” (1:10). The productive portion of the day started off with a great breakfast at Elmers. :lick: Following that I dropped Selena (who had absolutely NO interest in airplanes :Gnotsure: ) at the largest closeby shopping mall. My initial offer of two hundred dollars to “shop with” was met by a lukewarm and tepid response :( , with no indication of even a forthcoming :kiss: I immediately kicked in another C-note. After all, I still had hopes that we might overcome last night’s disagreement :agrue: (whatever it might have been :roll: ) and resume our normal “can’t keep our hands OFF each other” :luv2: relationship sometime soon. Very soon. That produced a nice smile, a kiss (no tongue though), and a caution to drive carefully.

Now with the cruise control set, and my seat slightly reclined, I gaze to the left and enjoy the view of beauty and splendor that is the Columbia Gorge. Once east (upwind) of Camas, Wa. and the putrid smell of the papermill a sweet scent of clean air roars through the cabin of the LeBaron as I choose 4-60 fresh air conditioning over the manufactured breeze of the car’s system. And for the first time in many month’s I cast my gaze upward with a real genuine interest.

The sky cover is scattered to broken at what I guess to be three to four thousand feet above the ground. I feel my airman senses trying to awaken. What are the trees beside the road saying about the winds close to the ground. I try to judge the movement of a cloud nearby the sun to compare to what the trees are telling me. There is the possibility I may actually fly a plane again today. Am I UP to it? :Gpurplex:
Chapter Seven - cont'd

The miles roll by effortlessly under the big Chrysler’s chassis and I revel in the feel of being in command of the big machine on such a pleasant stretch of road. The feeling is a surreal and mostly unattainable one where I come from. If you added all the gravel “roads” end to end in Kotzebue, inCLUDing the one out to the old Air Force site, they MIGHT total ten miles. I doubt it. The only chance to experience such a feeling in Kotzebue would be to take a new car straight off the airplane from Anchorage. And for about 15 seconds after reaching 65 miles per hour you could set the cruise control and enjoy the ride. It would then be necessary to quickly apply the brakes so as not to run off the other end....of the RUNWAY! I know. We’ve been known to do it many a time in both our cars and with our dirt bikes in days gone by.

Bridal Veil passes by and then the town of Dodson. A cautious “position check” on the Texaco map and I come to a quick agreement with the sign ahead to the right. Hood River - 25 miles.

I will be well early. My plan. In the days before “MapQuest” and Google Earth I always allowed extra time to “temporarily misPLACE myself”. This, even though Mr. Rogers had supplied me with explicit and very clear directions to his house, which I had copied as carefully as any airborne clearance. We (Jeremy and I) had engaged in a most enjoyable “get acquainted” conversation over the phone earlier whilst my darling had conducted her morning rituals.

Jeremy’s accurate directions brought me a couple of miles south of I-84 and directly to a mailbox marked “Rogers” at the end on a long gravel drive where I stopped and consulted my watch to find I was 20 minutes early. A glance up the long and curved gravel drive revealed just a glimpse of the corner of one building that appeared from this distance (about 200 yards) to be a house.

Not wishing to be too early I decided to cruise a little down the road and drink in the rare and enjoyable wooded scenery. I let the car idle along at six or seven miles an hour and looked ahead where the redwood pole fence bordering his property seemed to stretch for miles ahead into the distance. Brief partial flashes of buildings and a tractor and a couple of horses peep in and out of view for the first 100 yards or so. Then it seemed that a cleared area was just thirty or forty yards on the other side of the trees for quite some time.

The odometer said I’d rolled closed to three/tenths of a mile when a larger gap in the trees revealed a cleared area and...a WINDsock! I looked ahead and still the fence ran on at LEAST as far as I had idled along so far. Wow! His own AIRstrip! This dude must be RICH! The fence ended another 4/10th's of a mile down the road. Ni-i-ice JOINT. Reversing course I idled back to the driveway to find my watch now reading about 11 ‘til the hour so I turned in. I figured if I hit the front porch at nine ‘til that would be pretty respectable.

The slam of my car door must have been heard inside since before I could cover the ten yards to the front door of the sprawling ranch house the screen door opened. A nice stoutly built fella’ emerged with a welcoming smile and said "Mr. CloudDancer, I presume” sticking out a right hand in friendly greeting. ‘’Jus’ call me Cloudy” was my reply as I stuck my hand into a calloused and working man’s firm grip. I liked his handshake. Firm with a look straight in my eye and a smile in his.

Refusing his offer of lunch leftovers, I accepted a glass of homemade lemonade from his wife as we sat for a few minutes inside his cavernous living room making our acquaintance. I explained my relationship with Brantley and how I’d come to be here while omitting the details of what had led to my flying hiatus. And Jeremy told me a little bit about himself and the history of the J-3.

Seems Mr. Rogers, among a few other business interests, operated an aerial photography service. The J-3 had been the initial platform for his photographic missions but had since been replaced by a Cessna 185. What with the J-3 not getting the use needed to pay it’s own way anymore it was deemed to be “surplus” so to speak. It was apparent from the way he spoke of it that he truly loved it and was going to miss it. He loved to fly, and there was no purer flight than in the J-3. But I could tell Jeremy Rogers was also a practical sort who insisted that things be useful as well.

Fifteen minutes into the conversation, wherein I’m quite sure he was evaluating ME as well, he extended the invitation. “Well, whaddaya’ think? Shall we go have a look a ‘er?” I took a last sip from my lemonade and jumped up excitedly. “You BET!”

Heading out the back kitchen door revealed a view of two buildings. A separate two car garage and a much larger structure, obviously a hangar. We walked the ten intervening yards on a dirt and gravel pathway. Stopping on the concrete pad outside the entry door, as he wiped his feet, he turned to me and said ‘’Preciate you doin’ the same if you don’t mind. I try to keep it neat in here. And as he swung the white aluminum sided door inward and stepped in I looked down to do same.

Then I looked up as I stepped inside. Whoa. At probably thirty by fifty and a good ten feet tall inside, this was SOME spread. Sunlight streaming through the many windows reflected off a gleaming dull very light grey concrete hangar floor. It was immaculate. There wasn’t even an OIL stain that I could see. Coiled yellow electric extension cords hung in formation on pegboards along with air hose lines and garden hoses. On another wall hung tools, equally symmetrically placed. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Only the wooden work tables under the tool pegboards showed signs of actual use. Everything else was pristine.

Including the two airplanes in the center of the arena.
Chapter Eight - Back in the Saddle....Almost

A J-3 and a 185. Does life GET any better? 8) The two air machines sat tail by tail. Both were at first glance spotless (“and I’ll bet close to FLAWless, as well”) I think to myself. Obviously this Rogers fella’ has the dough. Obviously he has attention to detail. I expect I am going to be impressed with a closer inspection as well.

Jeremy walks over to the nose of the J-3 and pulls the two copper cotter keys holding the cowling bottom secure and gently and gingerly opens the left side of the cowling. “Come have a close looks at ‘er” he invites.

Ten minutes later I have poked and peered :eek: in every available orifice and portal of the airplane. There is not a spot of grease or grime anywhere. Not on the mag wiring. Not on the wheel assemblies. Not even on the floorboards in the airplane. They gleam in freshly painted glossy black paint. You can SEE yourself in the polished wooden propellor. As I lay under the tail of the airplane inspecting the underside of the tailfeathers I hear a metallic rattling sound begin and sunlight begins to pour in the hangar as Jeremy pushes first one then the second rolling hangar door to it’s open limits.

He opines that I ought to hear the engine run to which I agree, hoping he’ll offer more. And of course he does. Telling me he never runs his engines indoors we’ll have to roll her out. And since we’re gonna’ go to all that trouble (as a slight smile begins to crease his weathered features) he continues with “after we listen to her run, since it’s so nice and all today, maybe we should take her up.” My grin goes ear to ear at this point, as I slowly and very gently resecure the open cowling. :p
Hiya Pokette - :howdy

Why....THANK ya' DARLin'. Thank ya' ver-r-r-ry mush...

Glad to see you're enjoying this, the last of the comedy "Chronicles" which shall compose Volume II.

Besides...... yore written'...um....enTHUsiam.....is the next best thing tuh gettin' in onea' them fancy new fangled computerized elevators that has that sultry (automated) female voice and pushing the button for a LOWER floor. Just like you keep askin' me for "more"...I almost never hear those two words.

But. Alas and alack. It appears that my well of creative juices has run dry yet again. :wink: All this writin' agin' all sudden-like...well...I plumb ferGOT
proper per-SEE-dure. :bang

Hence I have called a cab. I need to lubercate :drinking: my typin' digits some an' see if'n I can settle that liddle quiver :eek: in my liver.

So. I'll see ya'll back here tamale.

Same :anon time.

Same :anon channel !!
so cloudy i have a question for you.
do you have to write and re-write? maybe put some words in and then take some out, and repeat that process? or do you get it all out with one shot? Just curious about how the creative juices flow.
Hiya Pokette -

(Is there ennybuddy else OUT there??)

In answer to yer' question.

Yes. SUMtimes. MAYbe.

As I've stated minnie times. "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles"(TM)....
are TRUE stories....so help me Bacardi.

Summa' the names have been changed to pertect the imminent.....

Summa' the chanes have been maned to pertect the indigence.....

%$^# !! SUMtimes I make UP names...OKAY?? I gotta' good reason!!

Other than THAT....YES....occasionally I have two rewrite something once 'er twiced...sumtimes even THREE times before I think it is suitable for youse guys to READ.

I am are a PILOT!. All this writing &*^% came outta'....I dunno' WHERE.
I jus' know it makes some folks laugh and forget their cares for awhile. If by some small chance I should be blessed enough to even lighten someone else's load a smidge....for a while....

it's a GOOD thing!

By the way speakin of smokin did you ever quit ? Oh I thinks I know the answer since that subject died long ago. Just gotta have a smoke with that liquid refreshment. That's what I always say.
Were still out here looking for the escape that keeps given us hope.
Thanks for your writings
Chapter Eight - cont'd

Rolling the Cub out the hangar door gives me my first clear view of Jeremy’s home airstrip. My guess of 3,000 feet was off by only 200 as the strip measured 2600 by 60 feet bordered on all sides by trees ranging as high as 30 feet. We brought the Cub to a halt alongside an old but gleaming green and yellow John Deere tractor with a towing mower latched onto it’s rear. Jeremy said it was the one with which he had cleared the strip and uprooted the over 250 tree trunks necessary to provide the clearing.

Standing forward of the struts as he prepared to help me fold my 6' 3" frame into the front seat we both suddenly realized that we were still one control stick short of a full set of controls! Mr. Rogers, like so many other aerial photographers had removed the extra stick as a safety
precaution long ago. Unfortunately after searching for 20 minutes or so, of all things, this was ONE item which seemed to be MISplaced. And a somewhat chagrined Jeremy asked me if I still wanted to go up. I said yes immediately. I liked the man. My gut told me he knew what he was doing. But mostly, it was a perfect day, and I wanted to FLY again. Besides, if I was gonna’ BUY the thing I needed to see her put through her paces in SOME form or another.

Strapping in to the front seat, I manned the brakes and the mag switch and throttle. Jeremy had assured me however that I would not need to move it. With his left hand grasping the inner cockpit window frame he reached forward with his right hand and smoothly pulled downward on the propellor. Instantly the little Continental caught and burst into life. I watched the skinny black needle rise on the oil pressure gauge as Jeremy turned to me with a big grin saying “First time, EVERY time!”

I hunched forward as he climbed in the aft seat and secured himself. Feeling his feet join mine on the brakes I heard him say ‘I got ‘er’ and slid my booted feet backwards off the small brake pedals. Jeremy let her idle for another two or three minutes, using the time to check the controls and get the door buttoned up. Like everything else on this airplane the door mechanism worked smoothly without any sign of friction or binding. A small burst of throttle and we pulled away from the buildings. The runup produced exactly the expected results and shortly we were lined up facing the far end of the strip.

The flight was...inCREdible. Thirty minutes flew by as if five. We opened the door and flew with the breeze for a while blasting into the plane. No surprise the engine purred like a Singer sewing machine. She was “equipped” with the bare essentials of flight. Just a needle-ball, an altimeter, vertical speed indicator, and oil pressure and temperature gauges peered back from the dark black face of the instrument panel two feet ahead of my face. A whiskey compass hung overhead. A visual “instrument sweep” was accomplished in one glance. Your eyes needn’t hardly move to take them all in at once.
Even with no control stick of my own I felt fully ALIVE for the first time in MONTHS. I marveled at the precision of Jeremy’s flying as the sideslip on short final slowly and smoothly transitioned to straight as an arrow and perfectly level just as the wee black tires with the Cub yellow "hub caps" again rolled onto the grass.

Spinning around he taxied back to the hangar slowly. Very slowly I thought. And I suspect he was thinking about his relationship with this inanimate object which he obviously loved, and how it may be coming to an end.
I’m sure there is many of us lurking in the back ground, like me.

Waiting and wanting more… 8)