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A slight departure from our usual hijinks this week:

The fallen Betty Ford was returning to Grand Rapids for the last time. Her remains were abord a beautiful United States Presidential airplane painted blue and white. The airport was closed to all other traffic for 30 minutes. Airliners waited patientally on the ground and some in a hold over the GRR VOR. As Ms. Ford's plane, SAM 324, landed, they were cleared to taxi all the way to the end, in front of a thousand people. The tower frequency was absolutely silent.

One unknown airline pilot, in a low, respectful voice, said, "Rest in peace, Mrs. Ford."

After a short pause and in a slow, measured response, the Presidential plane's pilot identified himself:

"SAM 324."


Len Vining III
via e-mail


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