January 26th…“DID YOU EVER SEE A PRESIDENT OR A VICE PRESIDENT IN PERSON?”
As a happy little farm boy, I seldom ventured more than a dozen miles or so from the lush acreage of our farm and its quaint home. Ventured, that is, without Dad or Mom driving our 1956 Chevy. Besides, as a child, I was blissfully ignorant of world news and who was famous, or who was not. As long as I had my toy trucks n tractors and afternoon cartoons; who needed anything more, right?
My big brother, Lowell, on the other hand, not only SAW the Vice President of our United States, he even cleaned and serviced the Vice President’s chartered DC-3 airliner. You see, my brother, at that time, worked for “Mankato Regional Airport” in Mankato, Minnesota. The airport was so small, that Lowell and his partner did pretty much everything that was needed to make that airport functional on a daily basis. Whether it was doing a baggage check, weather reports, ticket sales, load the plane, clean the plane, even fuel the plane…….they did it all. With scheduled regularity, a handsome “North Central Airlines” DC-3 airliner would bank down out of that Midwest sky and touch her wheels down on the tarmac of that itty bitty airport runway. Once the propellers rotated to a stop, the side door of the aircraft was opened by a stewardess and she would let the door vertically hinge open to the ground revealing stairs built into the door itself. Within a few minutes, sure enough, out of that aircraft came Vice President Hubert Horatio Humphrey, his wife, Muriel, and a large entourage of journalists and guests. Turns out their son lived there in Mankato and they came, as often as the rigors of his office would let him, to enjoy a happy visit with their family.
Once the Humphreys had left the airport, it was now time for my big brother Lowell and his partner to begin cleaning and servicing the plane for the Vice President’s return trip to Washington, D.C.. It appeared that the party on that aircraft had begun long before the plane touched down in Mankato, cause there were all kinds of party “trappings” all over that airship. And, some of those “things” left on-board that stage coach of the skies can only be described with a blush and a wink!!! 😉
So said the big brother of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.