After two wonderful weeks in Florida and seeing Disney World, Sea World, St. Augustine and the beach, it was time to head back to Hutchinson. While in Florida I bought a souvenir for my husband; it was a kit that was in about 20 pieces. I put it in my carry on luggage when I packed to leave.
In the mid 70’s they already had the x-ray machines to check the carry on luggage on the coasts. When the attendant at the departure gate ran my carry on luggage through the machine, she immediately motioned to someone who was behind me, and he was instantly at her side. The policeman looked at me and asked me to step forward because he wanted to talk to me. He pointed to the x-ray machine and there on the screen was the kit in the box.
“What is that?” he asked. “It’s a kit for my husband; it’s an old octagon barrel cap and ball pistol.” He looked at me like I was nuts, and said “I can see that, what is it doing in your luggage?” “I thought my husband would enjoy putting it together.”
After another disgusted look he informed me “You can’t carry it on and if it isn’t put in a bag that goes with the other luggage you will be arrested.” ARRESTED?! What had just happened here? He finally took a good look at me, and my eyes were like silver dollars I am sure, and could tell I had no idea there was a problem, and said, “I can tell you didn’t mean to break any rules.” He asked me to follow him back to the ticket counter and they were able to get my other suitcase back and we put the kit in there.
I am still not sure what the problem was, because it took my husband 2 months to get it together and I sure as heck couldn’t have managed on the flight back.
Once it was stowed in my luggage I was allowed onto the plane for the flight home. I had to fly into Memphis and then catch a flight from there to Wichita. The flight out of Jacksonville was about 7:00PM so it was going to be late when I arrived in Wichita.
When we took off it was a real shock, I swear the pilot for this flight must have been a race car driver on the ground. The second the front wheel came off the ground he pulled the nose up and the plane went straight up until it arrived at its assigned altitude. Then he had to make a turn so we could go the opposite direction and he put the wing down and made a tight circle. Once we were on the right course it was fairly smooth for about 15 minutes.
Then the sky grew dark and we flew into a storm. We were told because of the amount of traffic we could not drop below or pull above the clouds and would have to fly right through the middle of the storm. There was lightning popping all around the plane and lighting up the sky. Then the plane began to rock. He must have loved this; it was just his kind of flying.
The plane never dropped like they do sometimes when they hit an air pocket, but it just slowly rolled back and forth. If you looked up the isle you could see the seats on one side rise above the other side and then slowly fall lower. It was like you were watching a hammock swing back and forth.
This motion really began to get to my stomach, and I developed motion sickness. I asked the stewardess if she had anything to help me and she had some Dramamine with her. As soon as she gave it to me I swallowed it down.
We emerged out of the storm just before we arrived over Memphis so the pilot flew over Graceland to show us the mansion. I could have done without the tour, because he was rocking the plane back and forth so both sides could see.
As we neared the airport he had to make another direction change. He put the wing down and made another turn in a circle around the wing. When the wheels hit the runway, he threw it in reverse and almost threw everyone out of their seats.
Memphis was the hub for Southwest airlines and when we landed we could see 10 planes sitting at the gates and some out on the tarmac. My next plane was out on the tarmac; I had 15 minutes to get through the airport and down some steps, run across the tarmac and up the stairs into the plane. The second I was onboard they shut the door behind me and asked me to please take my seat.
Once I was in my seat the plane began to move. All the planes were lining up at the end of the runway and beginning to take off. As we taxied towards the end of the runway, you could hear one taking off every 20 seconds.
As our plane made the last turn to get on the runway you could see six planes in the darkness lined up nose to tail waiting for their turn to take off. The plane I was on was next to last to take off. I kept hoping that each one went the right direction when they took off. If one of them turned the wrong way there would be a collision of mammoth proportions.
Well, we managed to get out of there with only a slight delay and everyone made the right direction change and all 10 planes headed for their destinations. Thankfully we left the hot rod pilot in Memphis and the one we were with on the flight to Wichita was smoother. It was almost impossible to tell when the plane was taking off or landing.
That was my first experience with motion sickness and a hot rod pilot and I had no desire to fly again. But I had one more commercial flight, it was to Las Vegas a few years later and I swear we had the hot rod pilot again. I would much rather drive and see the country if there is time. To contact Sandy: [email protected]