We flew the A model of the ’53s there for over fifteen years. So one day while flying together somehow the subject turned to flying in in Viet Nam. It was one of those, ‘you were there when I was there?’ Sure enough there was his picture in the Cruise book. The pictures of Ted show he was truly a trained communist killer. Check out his personal side arm.
On our way to summer camp in a ’53 I’d put two Cubans in a humidifier with Jack Daniels and sliced apples. Ted walked up into the cockpit. I made a big production about the stogies, I gave Ted his and we both light up. The copilot kept saying, “Where’s mine?”
Truly enjoying the cigars, we teased him, “If you weren’t in country with us—you don’t get one.” To this day we both say best cigars ever.
Then there was the trip to Dallas…
In Tustin picked up a pilot who was on his way to Yuma, but we broke down in San Diego. This pilot stretched our patience—a lot. Ted went to maintenance supply looking for parts, so I sent the hitchhiker with Ted.
After about four hours of babysitting, Ted and his shadow returned. I told them to meet me at station weather. Hopeful about leaving, I expected Ted to have obtained the needed part.
His shadow, a major mind you, occupied the outside steps, below the second story windows to weather.
Ted said, “Richard, if you ever stick (redacted name) with me again, I promise I’ll kill you.”
“Why?” I asked.
“I almost killed him. I had them talked into giving me the part and (redacted name) informed them that we didn’t have all the correct paperwork,” Ted pointed out the window, “And look at this…”
I shook my head and looked out the window. I’m not kidding, there the was two weeks of laundry spread out on the steps, metal hand rails, and whatever else he could find. I mean underwear, socks… the whole nine yards on display out in front of the building. He’d washed the clothes and didn’t have time to dry them. He was using the San Diego sunshine instead of going back over to the Laundromat. Ted told him we were going to leave him and he’d miss the ride to Yuma.
We would’ve left him, but we didn’t have the part we needed.
Ted’s wife Dale graciously sent the pictures. Ted, I promised you I wouldn’t tell anyone you aren’t allowed on the computer anymore. Dale, thanks for the pictures.