From The Clouds …

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Space A travel rainbow.... Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.
Space A travel rainbow…. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

The right place at the right time? You bet. And miracles do happen….

Yesterday a KC–10 in-flight refueler hurried out of Yokota, Japan. There was a fierce snow storm that had already left 1.5 ft of snow on the ground, with more snow heading their way. They had 10 passengers on board all heading to Travis AFB, CA. The flight commander decided to land at Hickam AFB, HI, on Oahu, for crew rest. All 10 thru-passengers to Travis were told to show up at the terminal at 2000 tonight.

We flew in from the Big Island (Hawaii) on a commercial flight, had dinner and then went to the terminal at Hickam to see what flights they had coming up. We were told there was a flight at 2000 tonight but no seats were available. The agent told us all the passengers from Yokota were booked, and no additional seats were available. We said we’d wait anyway just in case someone didn’t show up. He was not optimistic about that happening. As a matter of fact, he was quite discouraging.

Cindy enjoys some extra leg room and a snooze. Photo courtesy of Jim Gardner.
Cindy enjoys some extra leg room and a snooze. Photo courtesy of Jim Gardner.

As it turned out not one of those 10 passengers showed up. After landing early this morning at Hickam there were two flights to Travis with plenty of seats. All 10 took an earlier flight, but the passenger terminal wasn’t aware of that little fact.

After it became apparent that no one was presenting for the flight, a roll call was taken. We were the only two people in the terminal that wanted to go to Travis. So here we are the only passengers on this jet. There are 10 crew members so you can imagine the attention we’re getting. There is an empty set of three seats just screaming my name to come and lie down so I’ll have to close.

Jim enjoys lots of space, leg room and attention. Photo courtesy of the Gardners.
Jim enjoys lots of space, leg room and attention. Photo courtesy of the Gardners.

We had a marvelous week on Oahu, then another fun week with Jim and Karen on the Big Island. I hear it’s been raining at home and we are looking forward to experiencing the wet stuff. This rain is yet another miracle isn’t it?

Love from the clouds on this empty jet –

Cindy Gardner and
LCDR John Gardner USN, (Ret.), San Rafael, CA,
ccgardner@earthlink.net

Reprint from Jul–Aug 2014 • Volume 44, No. 4