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Old 06-30-2008, 06:40 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kingwood
Default Flyin' Ain't For Me

John Shelley

I’m as scared of an airplane as I am a grizzly bear! I there ain’t a LOT of water between me and where I’m going – I drive!

It all started on April 10, 1979. I was new in the insurance business and used to get all hyped up over the company contests and qualified for a “convention” in Hawaii. Neither I nor my wife had ever flown. I learned that I had won the trip in January that year and the trip didn’t take place until April. Well, it took me those 4 months to convince my wife to come along. “Aw baby – don’t sweat it. We’ll be on a 747 and it’ll be just like sittin’ right here in the living room. You’ll like it!”

So the day finally arrives and although she was still very apprehensive, wifey and I head out to the airport. We found our way to the gate and unloaded the luggage and took off for the ticket counter. We were half-way to California when I realized that in my rush to get our baggage checked and get our boarding passes, I had left the van sitting right where we unloaded it – doors open and motor running! But that’s another story.

So, we boarded the plane and headed down the runway. Good gosh – what a rush! Man oh man what an awesome feeling when that thing went screaming down the runway 200 mph pushing you back against the seat! I’m thinking – whoa baby; I gotta have one of these! It was great! Until – the wheels came off the ground! Right there is where I quit liking it!

Now some of you may not be old enough to remember this, but April 10, 1979 is the day that Wichita Falls blew away in a huge tornado! Yep – you guessed it – we flew right through that storm front! Holy Cow – that plane went to pitchin’ and buckin’ and doin’ all kinds of crazy stuff! The wings were flappin’ like a bird! I got scared! Real bad! You couldn’t have drove a needle up my *** with a sledge hammer!

My manager was sitting about 4 or 5 rows ahead of us. Now this guy was a pilot in the Air Force in his younger days, so I looked up toward him hoping to get some reassurance that all this was gonna be okay. About the time I looked up, he looked back and just shook his head. Oh My God – we’re all gonna die!

And all this time – wifey is sitting there like she doesn’t’ have a care in the world. She’s eatin’ her lunch, eatin’ my lunch, and what ever she can snatch off the serving cart as it rolls up and down the aisle!

Folks, I’m here to tell ya – Billy Graham ain’t got nuthin’ on me! He ain’t never prayed for 8 hours straight!

When we finally landed in Hawaii – the first thing I did was try to find out how I could catch a boat back to Texas! My wife thought I was crazy, but I was serious! “What in the world is the matter with you?” she said. “What if that boat sinks out there in the middle of the ocean? You can’t swim back to Texas?”

“Well, maybe not – but I can swim a helluva lot further than I can fly!”
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