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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » Deconstruction of a landmark (a landmark) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Deconstruction of a landmark (a landmark)
JonnyNotSoBravo
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Landmark writing can be a tricky business. What do I write about? What if I'm boring? Or it's too long? Or what if no one responds? These things are archived! It's not like I can just delete the thread after a while if it bombs. So I decided to do some research and see what other people liked and commented about in previous landmark threads. Here's what I found:
  • The best landmarks have a dramatic story from the person's past that not many people know about.

    When I was maybe a year old, something happened that was to change the course of my life radically. I was living in the Philippines, having been born there at Clark Air Force Base, where my father was stationed as a doctor. My father and mother were flying back there, returning from a vacation in Hawaii. The plane was a small, single engine aircraft like a Cessna, and my father was piloting it, having learned how to fly at the Air Force Academy. They were the only two people on board. Suddenly, the engine started having trouble. My father went through normal procedures, trying to figure out what was happening. The engine then stopped. At the time, they happened to be over the ocean and they plummeted down, slamming into the water. There were no parachutes on board. There were no life jackets, either. They both got out of the plane before it sank and started trying to keep afloat. My mother was frantic. She was not a good swimmer and kept clutching desperately at my father to keep herself above the surface. He tried for a while but could not tread water with her panicked hold on him. Eventually he had to push her away. And she did not make it.
    .
    As he was telling me this story 14 years later, the first time I had ever asked about her death, tears were streaming down his cheeks. I couldn't bring myself to ask if she screamed at him, begged him to help her. I couldn't ask if he watched while she sank beneath the waves. I couldn't ask how he swam all those miles to land. But I wondered, and I wondered how such a thing might affect a man and haunt his dreams.

    My dad remarried a couple years after my mother's death. She was the sister of one his medical school buddies, and apparently she was very good looking. Dad was finding it difficult to look after two small children (my older brother and me) alone and I don't think the courtship took very long. She was Mom to me - I had known no other that I could remember. She treated us a little weirdly, but I didn't really know that at the time. My father was busy working most of the time, the life of a surgeon. The housekeepers they hired took care of us most of the time. About the only time I interacted with her was when the family went out to eat or to visit someone. I learned to be seen and not heard at the dinner table and around the house. I learned to make my own breakfast quietly in the morning, knowing that my noise in the morning woke her up. I learned to avoid being around when she came home, or I'd be lectured or told to go do a chore. There was not a whole lot of physical contact, except when she wanted to grab me by the arm, or poke me in the chest.
    .
    Years later as a teenager, realizing that it was strange not to have physical contact with your parents, I asked her to give me a hug. She looked at me askance, as if I had asked her to do something inconceivable. For some reason, I never wondered what would have happened if my biological mother had lived. Would I have been changed by the difference in affection? Would I have been so introverted? For someone with a rich imagination, my mind was remarkably silent on this subject.
    .
    I lived in my world of books, learning morality, compassion and the way of the world from them. I passive aggressively didn't do my chores. I had my brother to provide human company and I got surrogate affection from the dogs we had while growing up. I never hated her, though, only wanting affection from her and good attention, maybe even a real conversation where I wasn't afraid she'd yell at me.

    The news of her death came while I was finishing up boot camp. I was 19 years old. I was called into the Company Commanders' office and they asked me to sit down. She had died of a heart attack. I cried when they told me. I wasn't sure if that was something that was allowed in uniform but I was unable to stop myself. Later, walking into the shower in a surreal stupor, it dawned on me that she was dead. I could go home without worrying about her yelling at me. I didn't have to be afraid anymore. Laughter started bubbling out of me because I felt so relieved.

    Another guy who was in the shower said, "You're standing there laughing? Your mom just died, man!"

    "She was my stepmother," I corrected.

    I have made the distinction clear in my mind ever since.
    .
  • A secret is often revealed..
    Long ago, in the time of Baldar, when Lalo was using the screen name Eddie Whiteshoes, before Papa Moose had become a character in a book, when people still knew how to make dobies and the funny was plentiful, there was a young man who went by the name Cedrios. He spoke fervently of music, particularly Rush (the band) and Joe Satriani, spun tales of who he was and what he did and made people loathe the word "dichotomy". One thing was for sure - he had screen names. Lots of 'em. After pretending they were not all the same person for a while, he got bored and revealed his trickery. People were a little upset. They asked him why he would do such a thing. He said he was a psychology student and that he'd been studying them. That really made them upset. Turns out he was just a pre-law student going to PLU and he had made the whole psychology thing up. Hatrack recovered, but never really trusted screen names they way they had.

    Why am I bringing this up now? Cedrios happens to be my younger brother, Kevin. I don't really have an explanation for what he did. I didn't know it was going on before he broke the news to everyone, though I was on the board at the time under the SN Amontillado and sensed that the multiple SNs were all written similarly and seemed familiar to me. I have already mentioned that he's my brother to several people, mostly at Kamacon, and the reaction was pretty gracious. The only reaction I'm still worried about is Leto II's (aka GreNME). He seemed kind of...emotional...about Cedrios.
    .
  • Shamelessly dropping the names of other members, especially popular ones, ensures responses.

    I'm sorry, Ralphie, just like in Lalo's landmark, you already knew the big secret. So did TomDavidson, BannaOJ, Frisco, Ndra, T_Smith (and thus I assume mack knew) and evil celia60. I don't think I mentioned it to Narnia, Shan or Zotto!, though I'm not sure it affected them much. For the record, it's my influence that started Kevin listening to Rush (the band) and Joe Satriani.
    .
  • The connection with Hatrack is emphasized.

    I share a lot of similarities with the people here. I was really into books when I was younger like Shigosei and others here, I don't hold grudges just like Zevlag doesn't, I was in honors and AP classes, like most of the people on Kama's gifted thread, I'm somewhat of a Grammar Nazi like Jon Boy, I really enjoy sandwiches like saxon75, I like to argue semantics and exactness like Dagonee, I enjoy talking about science like rivka and aka, I love Rush (the band) and The Princess Bride like Jim-Me, and I really love Calvin and Hobbes like, well, Hobbes. [Smile] I'm sure there are many more connections to many of you and I hope to discover new ones along the way. For now, just accept my thanks for the entertainment, hospitality and community you have shown me.
Edit: to add "(the band)" to all references to Rush (the band) so as not to confuse Rush (the band) with some other Rush (not the band).

[ March 06, 2005, 05:22 AM: Message edited by: JonnyNotSoBravo ]

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Zeugma
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[Eek!]

That's the most shocking revealed secret I've ever seen in a landmark!!

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Dagonee
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Ced predated me by a LOT, but even I realize how shocking this is. See: [Eek!] ? Shocking!
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adam613
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I wasn't around during the Cedrios incident, so I probably wasn't as shocked as some, but this was a great landmark anyway [Smile]
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Farmgirl
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JNSB -- That was great! I really enjoyed meeting you at KamaCon too -- although you were pretty quiet and hard to get to know.

quote:
I love Rush
I had to decide if you meant Rush the band, or Rush Limbaugh, but finally decided on the former....
[Big Grin]

FG

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mothertree
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I'm sorry to hear about your father and mother. But I guess if he hadn't done that you wouldn't have had any parents at all.
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Anna
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Wow, that's what I call a revelation... Thank you for sharing your history with us, and always be welcome here, JNSB.
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Amka
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Wow, JNSB. That is all I can say. Just wow.
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ketchupqueen
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Wow. One question, though:

Do you like ketchup? [Wink]

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saxon75
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Let me just say that you're one of my favorites, both here and at sakeriver. If I ever make it up to Seattle, I'm totally buying you a sandwich.
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TomDavidson
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Yeah, guy. Meeting you was actually one of the best surprises of KamaCon.
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Ela
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Wow, that was some story. [Smile]

You left out one hallmark of a landmark though. [Wink]

You mentioned: "Shamelessly dropping the names of other members, especially popular ones, ensures responses."

The corollary is, "Less popular people you don't mention are sure to remark on the fact that they were left out." [Razz]

And, for the record, I already knew you were the brother of Kevin /Cedrios. Some people were very upset about what he did, at the time it happened, but it's past history, now. [Smile]

All the best to you. Glad you are around to share in the forum. [Smile]

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Bob the Lawyer
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*Official BtL seal of approval*

"A captivating thrill ride from start to finish. Wow."

-Bob the Lawyer

Congrats on the landmark, JNSB.

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Ralphie
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You can sleep on my couch any time, Jon.

Thank you for your landmark. [Smile]

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beverly
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Very sobering, Johnny. It made me think of the book "Phantom" by Susan Kay, a "renovelization" of Phantom of the Opera. In the book, Eric's mother never gave him affection. The day he asked for a kiss for his birthday, she became very angry with him. His only affection came from their dog. When the dog died, and the priest said it had no soul, he just broke inside--since the dog was his only source of love, affection, and compassion. He denied God that day.

Anyway, didn't know about Cedrios either. I wasn't here for that whole thing. I hope your brother is doing well.

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BannaOj
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*hugs JNSB*
You're cool, man.

One thing that he doesn't mention about himself in his landmark, is that he is Tall, very Tall. I think he was the tallest person at KamaCon.

AJ

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Farmgirl
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Yeah - he stands out in the back row of this photo.

Most women are very attracted to tall guys [Wink]

FG

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Zotto!
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Wow. Dude. Great & informative landmark, Jonny. I'm really glad I got the chance to meet you when I was on the mainland. I dug our conversation about the inherent trust involved with the highway system. *grin*

[Smile]

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breyerchic04
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good landmark. You would have to be really tall to be the tallest at kama con, that's impressive.
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Shigosei
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Wow, that's an amazing story. I like your commentary on landmarks too! And I'm very surprised to know that a Jatraquero knows Cedrios in real life. A very shocking revelation indeed.

It was great fun to meet you at the OSC signing. And I actually got mentioned in a landmark post! Cool! [Smile]

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ClaudiaTherese
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JNSB, what a pleasure to get to know you better. [Smile] And what a great idea for a landmark. You set a bar with the deconstruction -- fascinating. I was just bipping through and wasn't really in the frame of mind for a landmark, but you hooked me right up.

I'm sorry about the tough times. It certainly seems that you have made something quite magnificent of yourself, regardless. Glad you are here.

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rivka
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Yep, very tall and very good looking. [Big Grin] And very quiet -- both IRL and often here. But very insightful when he does speak, so it's well worth the wait.

Congrats on the landmark, JNSB. [Smile]

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twinky
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I always wondered if you'd had another screenname before this one... now my questions are answered! [Smile]
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Shan
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My word - that story about your dad and mom was heartwrenching to read, Jon. It must been exponentially worse to write.

(((Jon)))

Still waters run deep -

Thanks for sharing - including the deep, dark Cedrios secret.

My word.

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ElJay
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Like so many others have said, wow. [Smile] I love the format you chose for your landmark, and the content is also quite impressive. Thanks for sharing. [Smile]
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Space Opera
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Hey, I've missed you JNSB! I was very happy to see a post by you, and a landmark one to boot.

I'm glad you're here, and I'm honored that you've shared such private moments in your life with all of us. Your landmark reminds me why I love landmarks so much - through them, people become something other than a screen name and a few witty remarks to me - they become members of my tribe. [Smile]

space opera

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alluvion
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cute!!!
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MyrddinFyre
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Wonderful landmark.

Congrats on 1000!

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Corwin
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Awesome landmark. Glad you decided to share all that with us. [Smile]
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Derrell
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Thanks for sharing that part of yourself with us. That was a well written landmark.
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JonnyNotSoBravo
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Okay, FarmGirl, the Rush (the band) references are fixed. [Smile]

Ela, you're right, I didn't mention you. Probably because we're at opposite corners of the US. I'm in Washington State, and you're like in Florida or something, right? Notice that I also didn't mention Icky, as well (no, not on purpose, I'm just noticing it [Razz] ).

Yes, kq, I like ketchup. Especially on rice.

beverly, I think I'll check out that "renovelization" you mentioned.

rivka and Shan, yeah, it's kind of funny about me being quiet. In the house where I currently live with 13 other people, I actually talk quite a lot, make a lot of jokes and seem incredibly normal. However, I naturally revert to being quiet. It's a side effect from my childhood and having to be quiet so much when I was young. One evening, years after my first stepmother's death (my father has remarried again) I had invited some friends over to my dad's house for dinner. At the dinner table, I was so well-trained not to talk that I forgot to entertain my friends and they wondered if something was wrong. I didn't even realize I was being quiet until they mentioned it. Conditioning is very powerful stuff.

It was fun to meet so many of you at Kamacon. I told my housemates that I might not come back alive from Kamacon because you're all internet people and therefore, by stereotype, bloodthirsty predators. Thankfully, I was wrong (well, except for the baby eaters).

Thanks for everyone's responses! I tried to choose interesting pictures for the links - they're all work safe. Zotto!'s and celia's are my faves. Oh, wait - Frisco's is not work safe, but the rest are.

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imogen
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Thanks, Jonny.

[Smile]

Not having been around for the Cedrios times, I wasn't so shocked.

I still think that was very brave thing to do though.

I'd like to get to know you better - great landmark.

(Oh, and you are *tall*! Looking at that photo makes me wish I had been able to get to KamaCon [Frown] . Stupid halfway around the world plane fares - you must have all had a great time. )

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Raia
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The story about your mother is so sad. That shocked me far more than the secret about Cedrios. What a traumatic experience for everyone involved.

I started crying, reading that.

Jonny, you're an amazing person. Thank you for sharing that with us.

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Cedrios
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[Removed at request of author. --PJ]

[ January 10, 2009, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: Papa Janitor ]

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alluvion
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*waiting for Maude*
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KarlEd
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I just have to say that JNSB and Frisco should never be allowed in the same room at the same time. It totally upsets the balance of hotness, creating cold spots across the rest of the country. [Big Grin]
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Ralphie
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People are clearly studiously ignoring Kevin's post, which is probably the course of wisdom. However, my claim to wisdom is the ability to discern when and when not to eat paste. Therefore, I say: while the events of this landmark are certainly far more compelling than those in Slash's and my landmarks, it illustrates once again that family life is about as subjective as an institution becomes. Nor is it static - it changes constantly with the dynamics of new players, and even within the dynamics between old ones.

I'm sorry you guys have had such a tough time in your family. It sounds like no one came away without their share of scars. I can sympathize with your fear that the damage isn't over and that new ones will be appearing in your father's new family, Kevin. Knowing how families are, though, I can only hope that at some point the gambit of misunderstandings, as well as any deliberate acts of aggression and subterfuge (whatever they may be), can be worked out and both of you can have some semblance of filial affection for each other.

Besides, Kevin, it's REALLY hard to demonize anyone else on a public forum. Most people - those with any sense - reserve judgement before they cast aspersions on people written about, especially if those people can't defend themselves. You pretty much have to demonize yourself.

[ March 15, 2005, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: Ralphie ]

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KarlEd
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Ralphie, I think you're missing a "to" or a "d" in your last sentence. It makes a bit of difference which one it is, so you might want to correct it for clarity.
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BannaOj
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Says 20 [Hail] Ralphies

AJ

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Ralphie
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Thanks, Karl. [Smile]

I type faster than I think. I actually do most things faster than I think.

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Kama
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Jonny, Leto says you have nothing to worry about from him.

"I don't like Kevin, but I don't hold it against someone who is related by circumstance. I don't hate lightly."

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Kama
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oh, Karl, that same room also saw some pretty hot Richard Berg action.
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KarlEd
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Which one is he?
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Kama
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Richard. Berg.

celia was undressing him just as we entered.

[ March 15, 2005, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Kama ]

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Farmgirl
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:: wonders what it would be like if my half-sister (whom I dearly love) and I were to get on a public forum and argue about the character of my step-mother. Decides that is a very unpleasant thought and I won't think it again ::
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Cedrios
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[Removed at request of author. --PJ]

[ January 10, 2009, 08:10 PM: Message edited by: Papa Janitor ]

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skillery
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quote:
having learned how to fly at the Air Force Academy...at the time, they happened to be over the ocean...there were no life jackets, either.
Floating seat cussions would have been nice.

Don't know anything about the survivability of ditching a small plane at sea...

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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
for him to betray her memory now in order to make you feel sorry for him or make you think he is so brave or wise is absolutely unacceptable.
There is nothing you can do about it except keep posting your venom on a board where you said you would "never post here again." All you can do is either walk away or turn it into a flame match. By posting the self-rightous venom after saying you were done with this place shows a pretty unreliable or self-centered sense of morality, and your claims of not checking the site while now on your second reply when your name comes up catches you in a bit of a lie, unless you have a machine set to do continuous internet searches for possible matches for mentions of you or your family.
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skillery
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quote:
returning from a vacation in Hawaii. The plane was a small, single engine aircraft like a Cessna
That would have been quite a feat if they had actually pulled it off. More open water than a trans-Atlantic crossing anyway.

Maybe they refueled in Guam, but that's still 3000 miles from Hawaii. With an average airspeed of 128 knots that would have kept them in the air for 20 hours. No wonder they had engine trouble!

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BannaOj
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I figured they were island hopping in the Philipines.

AJ

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