Monday, March 27, 2017

What if?

One of the blog's on Sarge's sidebar is "This day in Aviation History".  The author does a great job of finding little nuggets of interest for any given day of the year. On March 22nd, he had this post which provided details of an aircraft accident in 1956 which fortunately resulted in no fatalities, and both aircraft were recovered, repaired and flew again.  

There were a couple of things about the incident that peaked my interest.  First, the analysis and decision making skills of both crews were perfect.  A delay of any length would have resulted in the destruction of both aircraft and the deaths of the crew.  That lead me to ponder how history might have been changed if that had happened.  Given that the co-pilot on the B-29 was Neil Armstrong, what effect would his death have had on the Apollo 11 landing (other than it wouldn't have been him, obviously).  Would it have had an effect at all?  

That whole, infinite alternate realities from Science Fiction thing.  


  Yeah, I'm a big Stargate SG-1 Fan!

I'm also a survivor (at least in this reality) of several near misses, both in the Phantom and the Eagle, for which I am very grateful for the efforts of my very overworked Guardian Angel. I suppose because those in the Phantom occurred before Little Juvat was conceived and the same thing in the Eagle for My Beautiful Daughter, they are very grateful also.

At the time of the incidents, however,  I wrote them off as "woulda, coulda, shoulda".  It didn't happen, so why worry about it.

However, as I was going through the large numbers of photos from the plethora of cameras and cell phones in the posession of each member of our travel 10 ship, I came across one that caused me to stop and wonder,  what if?

The picture was taken on our last day in London, we had taken the train back from Edinburgh the night before and were going to fly home the next day.  Mrs Juvat was on the mend from her bout with bad fish and wanted to try and see the sights.  

We tubed down to Picadilly Circus and walked down to St James Park.  That pretty much wore her out, so She and I found a bench in the Park to rest for a bit.  Little Juvat, his wife and MBD went on ahead to find someplace to get a bite to eat.  
A very peaceful setting, and that swan was HUGE!

After a bit, Mrs Juvat is feeling a bit better, so we continue on to try and catch up to the kids.

A block or two later, I stop to take a picture.  As we're standing there admiring the setting, we decide to head back to the hotel as Mrs Juvat is starting to fade.



For those of you that know London, you'll recognize this shot.  Immediately to the right of the Lady in red is Winston Churchill's statue.  We are looking at the Westminster bridge straight ahead.  My children had walked across that and were eating in a restaurant across the Thames.  

A few days later, this would be the site of a terrorist attack.  What if he'd chosen St Paddy's day instead?  

But, much like the near midairs, it didn't happen so not much sense in worrying about it.

However, I will tell my kids I love them, frequently.  I will ask the Lord to keep them safe.  I will answer the phone when they call, no matter the time or what I'm doing when they call.  

Did I mention that I'll tell them I love them?  Life is short, fraught with pitfalls and no one gets out alive.  Enjoy your family while you have them with you.

It was, in spite of everything, a good vacation.  Lots of important lessons learned and relearned.



34 comments:

  1. Yes, what if? Been there, done that. I truly believe that things happen for a reason. We mortals just can't fathom those reasons.

    Great and thoughtful post.

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    1. Thanks Sarge. Glad you're on the mend. Today, my chore is to get on Amazon and order up a couple of cases of posting ideas, I'm all out. But, thanks for letting me cover the vacation while it was still fresh in my head.

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  2. The only surviving P2B-1S is in parts at a Florida air museum.. They want to put her back together into flying condition. That would have 1/4 of all P2B Superfortresses as still around and flying.

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    1. Up until I read the article, I didn't know the Navy had the airplane. Interesting. Which museum has it?

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  3. To echo OAFS, great and thoughtful post. Thank you.

    Paul L. Quandt

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  4. Florida Air Museum, in Lakeland: http://www.johnweeks.com/b29/b29fof.html

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    1. Another Museum to add to the list. Thanks for the info.

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  5. Nice post Juvat. Sometimes we need things to remind us of just how lucky we are and to help us appreciate the fortune and beauty that is in life, family and friends. Karma

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    1. Thanks, yeah we do (or at least I do).

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  6. My dad called one night. My wife talked to him. I was dead tired from some excursion. Next time, I thought. No next time, that was my last chance.

    Remembering that every time I want to wimp out is heartbreaking. You have the right mindset.

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    1. Sorry about your Dad. That was my biggest fear when taking care of my Dad at the end. Found him sitting in his favorite chair with a glass of Maker's Mark in his hand. Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could ask his advice on dealing with this or that.

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  7. SG-1 Rules! Fun series. The one where Carter goes down in the bunker with the little girl who's gonna explode makes me cry every time. But don't tell anyone. Fun to see what the Canadians did with the Air Force. One of the writers/guest stars, that Patrick McKenna guy, was Harold on the Red Green Show bitd.

    I had a few close ones myself and it's always puzzled me mightily how better, more experienced guys with wives and kids could experience the same circumstance and not survive. Boggles the mind.

    To riff on Captain Carter for a moment, Westminster Bridge had moved (along with the planet) about 8 million miles by the time the attack happened. Was it even the same bridge?

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    1. Yep, those MP-40/9mm rounds got me right in the heart. The murderous fat kraut collecting M-3/.45 rounds in return eased the sting a bit. What a great movie. Telly Savalas (Archer Maggot) scared me a lot more than Tony Hopkins/Hannibal Lecter ever did.

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    2. Yup, old number 32 going down was a blow.

      And yes, Maggot was way scarier than Lecter.

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    3. You two do realize that was a line from "Sleepless in Seattle" don't you?

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    4. I confess. I did not know that. (Having never seen Sleepless in Seattle. I am so sheltered...

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    5. Now, that surprises me. Being outnumbered at home 3-2, I figured you'd have been coerced into watching it.

      However, that was one of the few humorous moments in the movie. Also, don't try it at home. DAMHIK.

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    6. Yeah, go figure. I always felt like I dodged a bullet on that one.

      However, there were a few films I had to suffer through. To be fair though, my first date with the future Missus Herself was the film Cross of Iron. And she still consented to be my bride.

      Go figure.

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    7. Wow, I didn't know that either! Never saw that flick. But that scene is funny as hell. :) Appreciate you warning me off the rest of it though, I'm getting too old to blow two hours of unrecoverable time...

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    8. Sarge -- at least it wasn't Iron Eagle!

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    9. Cross of Iron? Holy Smokes, Batman! You live dangerously. AND she still married you! Once again, I'd rather be lucky than good....

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  8. I always figured you for an old softy. I bet you even cried when Jim Brown was killed in "The Dirty Dozen" dincha?

    My old mantra was "I'd rather be lucky than good, luck's more reliable." Helps to explain the unexplainable.

    The Canadians and the Air Force. They almost made us look good. Well, except for those episodes where Jumpin' Johnny Jumper appeared. What a Flammender Arschloch

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  9. How bet you if you knew all the near misses we've had from simply having a red light or stopping to help someone it would be chilling.

    Lex had A wonderful post entitled karma. He's describing how careful he was on his BMW motorcycle and how he used situational awareness. He'd ridden up to Palomar Airport and on the way back stopped to help an Asian couple with directions.

    He gets back on his bike and on the way down I5 notices an accident that just occurred minutes before he got there. And he wondered.....

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    1. The reaper is gonna get us all sometime. That should bring some satisfaction when you realized you can still say "But....NOT THIS TIME!"

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  10. "There but for the grace of God..."
    I can count a few occasions where I was aware.
    It is scary to think of how many others there may be.
    I try to avoid using always and never because they'll make liars out of us.
    But I do hope my loved ones and friends will always remember I will never stop loving them.

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    1. I hope the same, and try to remember to remind them of that frequently.

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  11. Ah, the "What ifs..." in life. My own biggest one was the birth of my son. My wife was put in the hospital to be induced the next day. She went into labor late that evening and gave birth to my son in about 90 minutes. I barely made it there from home for the birth. Problem was she went into pre-eclampsia on the table and they were barely able to save her. Had we been on the freeway from home after she went into labor I would have lost them both. Never try to tell me someone is not looking out for me and mine.

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    1. Events like those do tend to reinforce one's faith, don't they?

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  12. Another good one Juvat although I call them "near hits" as opposed to "near misses." Remember the T-38 video of the near hit at the RP/bridge over the Guadalupe River between New Braunfels and Randolph. Wasn't me in the Baron but had one just like it in a C-12 heading back to RAFB one day. The 38 and I both called an informal "knock it off" and continued to RTB. More exciting than watching two Talon IPs eject over New Berlin, TX. regards, Alemaster

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    1. Hadn't seen that one. That one was pretty "spiffy", to use a technical aviation term

      And for others who might want to watch another aircraft up close and personal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLVtstYAZLY)

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