Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Nene's blog yesterday stirred some memories of travelling through Atlanta so I decided to share one. I said in a comment to her that there is always some type of delay at Atlanta---this is about one that happened to my fire team on the way home from a Shanendoah National Park fire (West Virginia). We were called in and told to put it out as soon as possible because the smoke prevented the President from flying in his helicopter.....anyway on with the original story.

We flew out of Ronald Regan Airport on the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving in lots of fog and bad weather...we were somewhat delayed in taking off and needed to change planes in Atlanta for the flight into Salt Lake City. When we landed in Atlanta there were lots of people sitting around the airport that also had delays and there was a grumpy feeling in the airport. As we walked into the airport we were informed that we had missed our connecting flight. Now you need to understand that there were about 50 of us all dressed in the same pants and tee shirts and baseball caps and we are a pretty formidable group when encountered even on good occasions.

Delta Airlines in their wisdom had called in a team of people to help manage the anger at the airport---and rest assured there was anger with that many people delayed---not just us but everyone there.

As we walked down the walkway from the plane I was giving one of the guys with us a bad time about missing Thanksgiving and several others were giving team members a hard time and saying---I knew we were going to be close to missing Thanksgiving with the fire but we worked damned hard to make sure we made it home and now we get this---and we were all laughing and joking about how funny it was that we had put the fire out in time to make it home but then couldn't make the flight. Some were saying if you have time to spare go by air and laughing...anyway we weren't too upset because we still had another day to make it home if we could get off on a connecting flight.

We continued to harrass each other and laugh and have a good time. I hadn't noticed any change in the atmosphere at the airport but the leader of the Delta Anger Management Group came over to me and asked "Who are you guys?" I told him who we were and what we did and he asked me "How can you guys joke about missing Thanksgiving like this?" So I told him we still had one more day to make it home and that the team was a lot like family so we just tried to make the best of bad situations and do what we needed to to get by. I also told him that we were used to managing bad situations so this was just another one of those.

He then said "Delta would like to buy you all a drink--we were called in to the airport to help with all the angry people that are here. When you guys came in here and remained happy and light hearted with your situation--which is much worse than the rest of the delayed people and they are all aware of that---the attitude of everyone changed. The drinks from Delta are because since you guys got here the attitude of the whole airport has changed. The anger is gone and we get to go home to our families."

We were there for just about four hours when an unexpected connecting flight to Salt Lake City showed up which we boarded and headed for home---I'll never forget that trip---we made it home for Thanksgiving - but barely - I got home early Wednesday morning. Many members of the team didn't make it until late Wednesday afternoon.


Nene said...

Cool story. Just goes to show - one more reason to not let things get us down.

Looney said...

I like the story. Atlanta airport is huge.

Amber said...

great story! :D