17 March 2021

61st anniversary of The Day I Didn't Die


It was 1960.  I was flying to Florida for a spring vacation with a school classmate (on the left).  That was the era when you got dressed in your best clothes, and you walked out on the tarmac to climb the steps into the plane.  And you loaded up on some comic books for in-flight entertainment:


You can imagine the excitement for a Minnesota boy to get to go to Florida to visit family.  My dad took these photos, and on the back of one of them I found a message that I wrote several years later when my parents told me a little more backstory...


I suppose technically every day is the anniversary of a day one didn't die, but some of those days are more memorable than others.

10 comments:

  1. Presumably the crash in question is Northwest Orient Flight 710, Minneapolis to Miami via Chicago Midway, which broke up in flight, no survivors. The plane crashed on March 17th, 1960, so your handwritten note may be a day off with the timing. The ignorance of youth can be such bliss. O.o

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Orient_Airlines_Flight_710

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    1. Thank you for looking that up for me (and it was an interesting read). It was indeed Northwest Orient, which had its home base in Mpls. My youthful note on the back was indeed off by a day.

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  2. interesting number play - 61st anniversary, march 16, march 17 crash of flight 710.

    p.s. twilight zoniest posting here, ever?

    I-)

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  3. Stan, I am loath to criticise your penmanship which I am sure is perfectly good for most readers (it looks pretty to me!), but I can't read it. If it's not too much of a pain in the arse (as we say here in Sydney), is it possible to transcribe your note?

    I both apologise to you and thank you in advance!

    Your decade-and-then-some-long lurker,
    James

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    1. Certainly.

      "We were extremely fortunate. Several months earlier we were asked what day our vacation would begin. We weren't sure but answered that we would be free on the 17th. Actually, we finished the winter term on the 15th and were free on the 16th. We were mad at ourselves because we felt we had cheated ourselves out of a day in Florida. Then we found out that the plane which had left on the 16th had crashed and killed everyone aboard."

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    2. It took me a few tries, but I could read it fine. It is much better cursive than mine! Thank you for the story, and as you say, we all have a death day...but most of us simply don't know it.

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  4. And you and your family still flew the next day? Amazing confidence or cognitive dissonance.. Sounds like today

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    1. Serene, you may be too young to remember life in 1960, when information was transmitted by an evening paper and local TV news programs. I should think a plane crash of a Chicago-to-Miami flight in Illinois would not have been in the news for several days.

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  5. I have just realised how insensitive my comment was - I'm sorry for my unthoughtfulness. It is still amazing how we place our trust in flimsy metal tubes that fly above the earth..

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  6. I had the exact thought...seems normal to feel that way...but then again what are the odds of the same flight crashing twice in as many days? Might have been one of the safest flights you could have taken at the time.

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