Irrelevant Personal Trivia Watch

I see that Linda Douglass has signed on with the Obama campaign. So I thought I’d share this little snippet of personal trivia about the morning I met Linda way back 31 years ago.

This was in June 1977, when I was a mere stripling. Early one morning I was lying in my bed, floating between sleep and consciousness, when out of the corner of my eye, through the window to my left, I heard the roar and, in a flash, saw a twin engine plane careen across my view and explode in a massive ball of flames into the anonymous drywall and stucco two story apartment building immediately next to mine.

I shot up and in a moment saw this surreal image of two half naked people getting out of bed in what a moment ago had been their apartment surrounded by smoke and flame, clearly too much in shock to realize that dressing was not a high priority. The whole thing was maybe 15 feet in front of me. Before I could take stock of any of this my mother ran into the room to see if I’d been blown up too. And in a moment we were running. Mainly just out of the house and away from the fire. And then somehow instantly we were out on the sidewalk where all sorts of mayhem was breaking loose and soon there were fire trucks and a man running out of the building on fire.

This was the real thing, a terrible tragedy for the people immediately involved. Five people died in the plane. Four were injured on the ground. It even made the national news as one of those one day — it happens to other people — stories on the nightly news. Here’s a reference to it I found on the web — Walter Cronkite’s short news segment. And Linda Douglass who was a local TV reporter there to cover it for which local affiliate I can’t remember. She interviewed my dad.