A narrow escape

By Brad Dison On June 29, 1994, a 45-year-old pilot took over the controls of a BAe 146 jet airliner as he often did from the senior pilot, Flight Captain Graham Laurie.  The pilot had been flying for about 30 years.  In the mid-1960s, he began taking private pilot lessons and earned his pilot’s license.  He soon joined the Air … Continue reading A narrow escape

Junior’s Run for Mayor 

 By Brad Dison  Carmel-by-the-Sea was, and remains, a picturesque oceanside one-square-mile town 120 miles south of San Francisco.  At the time of the 1986 mayoral election, the town consisted of 4,825 residents.  Carmel had “rigid preservation and development rules,” which frustrated many of the residents, including Junior.  For example, the town council refused to grant a permit for … Continue reading Junior’s Run for Mayor 

Frank’s flight 

 By Brad Dison  Lieutenant Frank Wead was one of the best-known “fliers” in the early years of the United States naval aviation service.  In 1912, Frank, then sixteen years old, entered the U.S. Naval Academy.  Two years later, much of the world was engaged in “the war to end all wars,” World War I.  United States President Woodrow … Continue reading Frank’s flight 

Cab tab

By Brad Dison On the morning of November 10, 1980, Daniel Irvin Jr.’s plane landed at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois.  With no one to pick him up from the airport, Daniel hailed a cab driven by 38-year-old Gene Phillips.  Daniel asked Gene if he was familiar with Castlewood Terrace.  Although Gene had been a taxi driver … Continue reading Cab tab

Robert’s Run 

By Brad Dison  In the Fall of 1861, Robert Smalls became the pilot of the CSS Planter, “the most valuable war vessel the Confederates had at Charleston.”  Robert, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, had been piloting vessels in Charleston harbor for several years and knew it well.  The Planter was “a high-pressure, side-wheel steamer, 140 feet in length, … Continue reading Robert’s Run 

Driftwood’s Battle

By Brad Dison In 1936, 29-year-old James “Driftwood” Morris began his career as a teacher and struggled to connect with his students, especially on the subject of history.  He used every technique he had learned while earning his teaching degree at Arkansas State Teachers College, but he was unable to keep his students interested.  At first, he … Continue reading Driftwood’s Battle

Erik eyes Everest 

By Brad Dison  Erik Weihenmayer liked to test his limits.  He was an angry, rebellious kid who eventually turned his fury into competitiveness and personal achievement.  He joined his high school’s wrestling team and, to everyone’s amazement including his own, he became a champion.  He became a skydiver, skier, long-distance biker, marathon runner, kayaker, and … Continue reading Erik eyes Everest 

A flight of fancy

By Brad Dison Mary and her husband, George, attended a dinner party at Anna’s home.  Anna’s husband was away on business so she convinced her brother, Hall, to be her escort at the formal affair.  It was a big to-do.  All of the men wore dress suits or tuxedos.  The women wore “dinner dresses,” which differed from evening party … Continue reading A flight of fancy

Paul’s payload 

By Brad Dison Paul was born in Quincy, Illinois, in 1915.  Five years later, Paul and his family moved to Davenport, Iowa, where Paul’s father became a candy wholesaler.  In 1924, Paul and his family moved to Hialeah, Florida, a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area.  By this time, Paul’s father was a partner in the Tibbets … Continue reading Paul’s payload