Gladys – July 11, 1969

Letter transcription:

Written from notes taken in flight from Chicago by R.S.Y. copied for you by G.R.Y.

Hullo, July 11 – time unknown –

According to what our captain just told us we should be approaching the western edge of Greenland. As near as I can calculate it is about 10 PM E.D.T. It has been dark for some time.

I feel if I’m going to write I should do it today because we really have nothing to do but shift from cheek to cheek to avoid “tail bone trouble.” Our flight on good ‘ole Allegheny was uneventful. Left Lafayette on time and arrived in Chicago on time. We did have a long wait in Chicago as we knew we would, but after we boarded Lufthansa, the delays one hears about these days at the crowded airports was apparent. We waited approximately twice as long as the flight from Lafayette to Chicago. We inched along to the runway just like leaving Ross-Ade stadium after a football game. The captain kept us informed of the details. The plane got very hot – the air conditioning didn’t seem to be working. Reminded me of a certain Dr.’s office, at the Health Center after the thermostat has been rudely attacked by nurse with screwdriver in hand. Incidentally the plane is cold right now and I do feel very much at home with the changes. (My nurse is chronically at war with the thermometer.)

The plane is loaded to capacity and one hears many foreign tongues. How much more simple it would be if we all spoke a universal language? One can hear however certain universal sounds if he cares to listen – such as a belch, a laugh here & there and a shrill scream of a child now and then, expressing pain or joy or just plain “cussedness” (and off the record) there are a couple of kids in the seats just ahead of us who should get a “knuckle sandwich” if they do not stop shifting their seat backs from far back to forward. They are bothering my good composure. Their giggling, is also a part of the universal language – come to think of it a “knuckle s.” is also a bit of universal language when administered in the correct maneuver to the most advantageous location.

It is now 11 PM (E.D.T.) I think our dinner is over – had steak – shrimp cocktail – cream with nuts to top off meat. We have been shown the breakfast menu. The entire flight – not counting the runway waiting time – is between 7 & 8 hrs. & needless to say non-stop. Just about the same time as a working day at Student Health Center. So now I must get my nighties on and two glasses of water for my dentures – one for upper and one for lower before retiring.

Just heard another few universal language sounds, a couple of sneezes and a cough or two. I rather think in a short time the universal sound of a snore or two will be heard and every

[page 2] language knows what that means. There are many more sounds and a few smells which all languages understand, but just use your imagination.

Now it is morning “I think” – The sun is coming up at about 2:30 a.m. according to my watch – we are mixed up and that is a universal something. Nothing more exciting, except the little boy in the seat in front of me. He must be sitting on a pair of rubber balls the way he bounces, or maybe a Pogo stick.

Hoping you are the same,

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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1 thought on “Gladys – July 11, 1969

  1. davidmadison1942

    This letter is so thoroughly my father’s sense of humor, a great addition to this literary collection!

    I often heard him refer to the knuckle sandwich!


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