On May 4th, Vice President Dan Quayle (and wife Marilyn) flew to Cordova. A little before they arrived on Air Force 2, Quayle’s advance team came in on Wilburs Airline (a small commuter airline). Accompanying the advance team was our mayor, Erling Johansen. Their flight was so bumpy that one man’s seat broke loose and he was rocking back and forth on one bolt. The plane landed so hard that the front landing gear collapsed and the plane skidded on its nose to a stop. Local DOT employee, Robert Cunningham rolled the fire department crash truck out of the station and pulled up to the wrecked plane which was not on fire. Mayor Johansen stepped from the plane and Cunningham remarked, “God, you’re everywhere!” Johansen smiled whimsically and walked off. Shortly thereafter, Air Force 2 landed, rolling passed the skid marks, the wrecked plane, the fire engine, and the sign saying “Welcome to the Mudhole Smith Airport” for all the passengers to see. Quayle, wearing his James Dean “Rebel Without a Cause” red nylon windbreaker, and his wife deplaned as though they were not at all surprised.
Thursday, September 14, 2006