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My last entry was about my experience on UA 232 25 years ago last Saturday. This is a postscript.

United Airlines offered a special flight home for those of us who were cleared by medical. We had choices. They would put us up in a motel and arrange bus transportation the following day or we could get back on a plane.

For me it was an easy choice. We spent several hours in a break room at the hospital. I just wanted to get home and see the family. The departure time kept getting pushed back. Finally they loaded the bus with those of us who choose to fly home.

It was a small crowd.

We were ambushed at the Sioux City Airport by the media. I was wearing a hospital scrub on top since I had to rip the sleeve off my shirt to get out of the seat. I gave a brief interview. It made all the major network morning shows the next morning, Good Morning America, etc. It ran immediately on the local Chicago news specials that were only running coverage of the crash.

My colleague I was traveling with had his wife pick us up at O’hare.  United double-crossed the media and snuck us into a non-United gate so the media horde was all waiting at the United concourse. It almost worked.

When I deplaned a burly Chicago cop tapped me on the shoulder and said I’m your personal escort to the car. Stay right beside me.

One reporter, Rich Samuels from the NBC affiliate  somehow got the word that the plane bringing us in was not at the United terminal and he had the gate where we were arriving and was waiting for us.

rich samuels

He shoved his way through the crowd and stuck his microphone in my face and asked me a question. My cop friend said “you want to talk to this jerk”. I said, “absolutely not” The cop advised Mr. Samuels to move away immediately. Mr. Samuels ignored him and stuck the mic in my face again and repeated his question.

The next thing I knew the cop gave Mr. Samuels a gentle little shove that sent him sliding 30 feet across the floor on his ass. Mr. Samuels screamed ” I want your badge number, I’ll have your job”.  My new friend says, “stay here for just a sec, I’ll deal with him.  He strolled over to Samuels bent down and stuck his badge in Samuels” face and said, Now you just stay right where you are Mr. Samuels and we won’t have to do that again.”

I’ve never looked at a Chicago cop the same since. When you have one on your team, they are a great teammate. If they play a little rough, that’s OK. It’s a rough business they are in and they need to be tough.

The media is another matter. They camped outside my house for two days and were rude. Oprah’s people had the audacity to call my house at 3AM to see if I want to get in a limo and appear on her highness’s show the next day. I hung up on them.

When I think back on the circus that was my life for the next week and has never really stopped, I find it troublesome. I still get calls when there is an anniversary or a plane crash or when someone is writing a book about UA 232.  But, my mind drifts to my mental image of Samuels sliding across the floor of O’hare on his ass and I chuckle. I hope my cop friend is enjoying a long, healthy, and happy retirement. He deserves the best. .






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Twenty five years ago today  I was aboard UA232 with my headphones on listening to music when there was what seemed like an explosion in the rear of the plane. I switched my channel to the one that allowed you to listen to the cockpit conversation. I heard the captain tell the tower we had lost all hydraulis. I’m not a pilot but I knew that meant we were pretty much doomed. You can’t keep a DC-10 in the air without hydraulics.

Captain Al Haynes and a pilot passenger, Denny Fitch and the rest of the men in the cockpit did, and tried to land us on a runway in Sioux City Iowa. For forty minutes we flew in circles with only the engine thrusters and they did line us up with the runway. They almost got us down. But, we stalled and the right wing dug in and we cartwheeled onto our back and broke in 5 pieces.

Over hundred of my fellow passengers died that day. Another hundred suffered terrible injuries. Some of us walked away physically unscathed, but mentally never the same.

I have awakened every day for 25 years and thought I was somehow spared by God and thanked him for giving me this time. I try hard never to find any reason to let the first negative thought cross my mind. I try to leave that to those who don’t know that today could be your last day on this earth. Aches and pains, at my age I have many.   Sadness, I’ve lost family and friends over this time. But, for me every day is a bonus.

Work was a big priority for me. Not so much after that day in 1989. Family, became number one. Being a better person was a mission. Smiling more and being angry less was high on the list.

As the anniversary approached, the media began to seek survivors to interview on TV or for print media. I don’t choose to participate, but I don’t begrudge those who do. It’s my personal choice that the families of those who didn’t survive don’t need to see me talking about my good fortune.

I write this to you, the reader. Maybe I can give you something without your having to suffer through my ordeal. Life is short, delicate, and precious. Treat it accordingly.






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These two words are part of the current news. We are being invaded from our southern border. By recent count 50,000 invaders from Central America have invaded our country.  Here’s what the far left communist, excuse me, columnist, Steve Chapman says is the root cause for this problem. ”Princeton sociologist Doug Massey says the surge is a byproduct of our involvement in military conflicts in the region during the 1980′s which wrecked economies, destabilized societies, and prompted many people to head here.”

Are we all brain-dead? Do you really believe that this stems from our actions in the 1980′s? This is the kind of crap we get fed from the left-leaning newspapers that are filing bankruptcy on a near-weekly basis.

Look, let me put it in plain terms. We have an incompetent president who sees this as importing votes for his party and his platform to make us become  Central America. Turning us into a banana republic.

Forget the fact that for decades none of the 50,000 will ever pay one penny in taxes. They must be supported by a shrinking number of Americans who do pay taxes. The now $17.6 trillion in debt will grow to over $18 trillion before this numskull leaves office.

That brings me to the inversion. The entire pharmaceutical industry in America is moving out by merger. I could give you a list but it’s too long. I’ll just give you a few that you know. Merck, Abbott Labs, and Medtronic. The plan is to merge with a smaller pharma in a tax friendly country and then move the headquarters there. Walgreens is doing the same thing.

So, the Obama administration that has never seen a corporation they don’t despise, and a corporate tax dollar they don’t relish, is driving out the taxpayers and replacing them with non-taxpayers.

If you have 5 IQ points more than the aforementioned Chapman or Professor Massey, you can do the math on this.

Just sit on the sidelines and watch this parade or get involved. It’s your future and that of your kids and grandkids.






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