The Lionel and Sara Smith Story:

 

          I was born December 6th 1942 in Pittsfield, IL. Pittsfield is the county seat of Pike County, Pike County was founded Jan. 31 1821, and resized in 1825. My parents were Jesse Earl .Smith and Ruby Jean Campbell/Smith.  Mom and dad were living with dads parents on the farm at Green pond, IL  They were John William Smith and Alma Lucy Donohoo.  I spent a lot of my younger years with my grandparents.  I remember living in an upstairs apartment in Kampsville, IL for a little while.  Our apartment was next door to a church.  The preacher used to let me help him ring the bell, the bell rope was fun to ride as it would pick me right  off the floor. 

The first home I can remember was in Milton, IL near the Christian Church.  I Started 1st grade at Milton elementary school. Mom and dad lived in a small house in the North part of Pearl for a little while where I had pet rabbits and used to play in the creek and the nearby spring.  Grandpa Smith bought or helped mom and dad to buy a home in Pearl, IL around 1950 this home was a two story house that was built too low and dad had to raise it to get it above the flood plane. (Pearl Station, ILwas established in 1881 the Pearl that was home to me had a railroad)(There is an Old Pearl) When dad raised the house he put a full basement under it. 

Pearl was a quaint and for the time and for it's size Pearl was a very busy/industrious town.  At one time Pearl had a population of around 1600 and business as follows several commercial orchards, a button factory where they made buttons from muscle shells, a cider mill, several farmers that grew crops and some that grew livestock and some that were into crops and livestock, there were resturants, grocery stores, hardware, drug store, post office, dry goods store, movie theatre, barber shop, butcher shop, City Hall, jail and more.  Many of these business were still there when I lived there.  Today the population is around 170 and as far as I know there is a jiffy stop where you can buy some groceries, gas and of course alcoholic beverages, (many of the residents are on dope and or alcohol) there is what is left of a Red and White grocery store.   I can barely remember a flood in 1946 that flooded all of downtown Pearl.  Our home was up string town hollow and above flood plane.  Mom walked me down to where we could see Front Street and I can rember johnboats on Front Street.  This flood was caused by a large amount of sand coming in to sand branch during a heavy rain, which caused the creek to flood the town.

Dad had a lime truck I think it was a 1946 Ford it was a red truck for sure.  I had a pet rabbit at the time and for some reason I thought my rabbit needed a carrot so I decided to take the lime truck to town, I had seen dad push the starter button but hadn't noticed him turning on the ignition,  needless to say I didn't get very far until mom saved the day The day was ok but I didn't sit down for a while.  I hadn't finished drivers ed at four.   Later dad got a bulldozer it was a TD-18 International with a cable operated dozer blade on it.  Along the way dad went into a partnership with two other men and they got more machines including a dragline, gravel plant and another dozer and several dump trucks.  I got to start learning to drive or operate different kinds of vehicles and machines as young as four years old, grandpa Smith let me think I was driving his 1936 Farmall, dad introduced the dozer to me at six I think, and the dragline at seven.

          I was ten years old and for Christmas dad gave me a U control line model airplane for Christmas, he says yet that is what messed me up to make me like airplanes.  Dadís brother, Glenn lived in Rockford, IL. Uncle Glenn worked in automation and special machine at a factory in Rockford, he knew people that worked for Testors model airplane company in Rockford.  Uncle Glenn brought me model engines and a few kits, which also helped to get me hooked on airplanes.  Some of the kits had pieces missing so I learned different ways to make the parts out of various kinds of materials, as I had no source for balsam wood.  I designed several airplanes out of screen bead and other light woods that was available and found that I could cover them with meat wrapping paper that would handle the glow plug engine fuel for a while without any dope/paint.

          One of the big events in my life (at least I thought so) was when grandpa offered to buy me a Cushman Eagle motor scooter, wow!  IL had just passed a state law that 12 year olds could drive motor vehicles on the highways as long as the vehicle was five horsepower or less, the Cushman had five horsepower.  I rode the Cushman for four years, during which I learned a lot about small engine mechanics, skinned knees and other very important things.  

          I went through the rest of grade school in Pearl school which was both grade school and high school until I finished my eight grade then they took the high school to Milton, Il where the Pearl kids were all bussed to Milton to finish high school.  I went four years to East Pike High (Milton IL high school).  When I turned sixteen dad, Uncle Ned, and grandpa went together and bought me a 250 cc Allstate motorcycle another wow!J I believe the price on the Allstate was aroung five hundred dollars which was a lot of money for my family. Auto fuel had already taken a big jump it was around 17.9 by now.  I had my drivers license now and at this time they hadn't thought a bout having a special license for motorcycles.  I rode the Allstate to school quite a lot.  It was eight miles one way from Pearl to Milton. I was in the class of 1960. 

          During my high school years I worked with grandpa Smith on the farm and as a veterinarians assistant (grandpa was a vet).  I also spent quite a lot of time operating draglines and bulldozers etc working with my dad.  

    Enter:  Sara Ellen McCallister

          I met Sara McCallister in 1959 November at a Gospel train meeting at the Greenpond Christian Church.  My cousin Janet Heavener introduced us.

          For those of you who aren't aquainted with Gospel train it was a group of churches in West Central Il this group was in Pike County.  Sara and I were both born in Pike at the Ilini community hospital in Pittsfield, Il.  The Gospel train meetings were held once a month at a different church.  I think it was once a month that they also rented the skating rink in Pittsfield, Il and we had a Christian skate night. This was a very good time for many of us as it gave us a chance to get out and do things that some of us rarely got to do and it was well monitored.

          I tell people that it was at one of these skating partys that Sara fell for me, Sara says I tripped her J.

          Later in 1959 I bought my first car it was a 1956 Ford Fairlane. We rode around quite a bit in the Ford but because of our limited budget we did most of our riding on the Allstate Motorcycle, Sara did not drive at this time.  One time I took Sara in the Ford to the Christian Service camp at Lake Springfield, IL.  On my way home I ran into a rain storm, the combination of moderate rain the rather worn higway which held water in both tracks being tired and driving too fast for conditions, I lost control and rolled the Ford.  I actually thought I was getting it under control when I noticed that an oncoming set of headlights were pretty close so the next time my car headed for the ditch on my side I leand over and grabbed a hand full of under seat parts and hung on as the car went over the top was pusned down almost to the seat backs but I was unhurt.  I had to climb out a rear door.  I was almost hit by a semi that momentarily lost control when he saw my car.

          I had the Ford repaired but it just didn't look or drive quite right.  One day a few weeks later when Sara and I were out riding around in Jacksonville, IL. In the Ford.   We stopped at the Chrysler dealer to look at his used cars,  he had a black and gold 1957 Chrysler Windsor two door hard top that seemed to be saying take me home.  We traded the Ford for the Chrysler.  We really enjoyed the Chrysler, it was a good looking car with a cool pack ad-on air conditioning and the Chrysler had really good performance, kids like these things yaw know.

          Jan 17th 1962 Sara and I got married.  Sara and I were married after a Wednesday night service at the Detroit, IL Christian Church.  Joe Maynard was the minister who performed the service.  My sister Carolyn (now deceased) and our best friend Raymond Moffitt (speedy to his friends).  We were blessed to have several of our family members there. 

          After the wedding I had $100 that my dad had given me and I gave $20 to Joe Maynard for performing the service for us.   Sara and I didn't really have any plans on what next so we got in the Chrysler and headed for Missouri in the snow.  We spent our first night at a small motel at Montgomery City, MO.  That night we decided it would be fun to go to New Orleans, LA. On eighty dollars?  After some calculations we figured we could do it.  We were very poor but we obviously didn't know it.

          We started out the next morning by getting some donuts and road maps then we headed for New Orleans.  We drove pretty much non-stop to New Orleans and got us a room there.  In order to stretch what little money we had we bought a small hot plate and some food to fix at the motel.  The next day we went to see the French quarter and other parts of the city.  One thing we noticed was that they were digging up palm trees and water lines all over the city, apparently they had experienced a heavy freeze for the first time in many years.  The people looked at our Illinois car with snow tires on it like we may have brought the freeze with us J.

          The trip home was pretty straight through with few stops.  We did get to drive on a brand new four lane divided highway for the first time that I can remember.  With little traffic, few police cars and as far as I can remember no speed limits we made it from New Orleans to Memphis, TN in a little over five hours.  We spent our last night on the road back in Alton, IL.  When we arrived home we still had twenty dollars to start housekeeping with.  PTL for a short but good honeymoon.

          We moved in with Sara's folks for a few weeks then we got an apartment in Pittsfield. My Uncle Les Donohoo owned the house and lived downstairs, we had the upstairs apartment.  I worked for my dad.  Sara had not yet graduated high school so she was walking several blocks to and from school each school day, Sara graduated with the class of 1962. 

          1963 Started taking flying lessons One day when Sara and I were riding around we went to Alton, IL airport.  When we drove into the parking area I notice that they were  advertising an introductory flight lesson for $5.00 and the bug bit me right then to learn to fly.  I asked Sara if we could afford this and if she would go if that were an option.  I don't know if I would have gone without her as we did most everything together.  The instructor told us that we could take the intro lesson in a four place airplane so Sara could go to.  Wow what an experience, I was hooked.

          On the way home we had to stop for some gas for the car in Grafton, Il.  While at the station I asked the attendant if he knew anyone in the area that did flight training and he told me that there was a man, who managed the orchard on top of the hill that did flight training.  This sounded like a good idea, I thought that being out in the country the rates would be cheaper and it would save several miles each trip because it was closer than Alton.  Little did I know how many advantages I would receive because of coming here.  My instructor here was John Surgeon, John was a fighter pilot instructor during world war II and as far as I know one of the best our country had.  John did his full four years in the army air corp. in Florida.

          The airplane John had was a 1952 Cessna 170.  The 170 is a four place tail wheel airplane with manual flaps all of which makes it a pretty good bush plane.  I didn't have a clue that tail wheel airplanes were difficult nor that a quarter mile long strip with trees close on both side and a fence and power lines on both ends made this a short obstructed strip.  The power lines were set back from the fence by enough that we were always able to climb over them.  John did however tell me that when I was flying solo that if I wasn't sure I was going over them to make sure I turned inside of them or went under them, in other words don't fly into them.

          With Sara and I both working and saving all we could and by supplementing our grocery bill with wild game and fish I managed to fly 13 hours in 12 months.  This flight time included about 4 hours that John gave me where he let me fly the plane on a cross county to Chanpaigne, Il where he went to college.  This was John's way of giving me the four hours of instruction that he knew we couldn't afford.

          Now it's time for that all important first solo flight.  The first solo is a very special time to every student pilot, one that is anxiously awaited then when your instructor tells you this is the day you start wondering about all things that could go wrong.  As it turned out the seat latch let go just as the airplane lifted off.  This could have had a very bad out come but thanks to God and the good instruction John had given me I made the right moves and regained control of the plane and continued to make three take offs and landings. 

          I couldn't afford to fly much right now, Sara was pregnant with Skyler.  I was working a little more and hanging out at airports when I could.  I heard about a 1953 Tri-Pacer for sale.  The airplane was to sell with a hangar at Jerseyville, Il.  Chuck Bunting, had the Tri-Pacer moved to Cape Girardeau, MO to have them sell it.  Dad drove me to Cape to look at the plane and maybe buy it.  Once again my banker was willing to help with the financing. 

          When I told the guy at Cape I wanted to by the Tri-Pacer he asked me if I was a licensed pilot, my answer was I am a student pilot.  The instructor then asked me if I had soloed in a Tri-Pacer, my answer was no I had never been in one before.  The instructor told me that I had to be soloed in each make and model as long as I was a student pilot.  I thought, I am stuck now, I won't be able to take the plane home today.  The Instructor told me that he would go with me and if I could fly him around the airport and land with out him helping me he would sign my license and my log  book so that I could legally fly the airplane.   This all went well and my paper work was signed off then he asked if I had been signed off for cross country and once again the answer was no.  He asked if I had a chart to get me home and I told him that I had a road map.  He smiled and said he would get me a sectional chart and help me figure my trip but that he wouldn't have time to go with me on the cross country.

            The cross country went well and I had the plane in the hangar when dad got there, apparently I flew faster than he drove J. Dad had a nearly new 1963 Dodge custom 880, this was probably the nicest car that my family ever had.

         

           1963-1964Lived with Grandparents on farm  As the months went by my grand-pa John Smith had a heart attack and was no longer able to take care of his farm so Sara and I moved in to live with grandma and grandpa. 

          It soon became obvious that we needed a pick up truck to haul the things we needed on the farm so we traded the Chrysler (a difficult thing to do) for an almost new demonstrator)  1963 Dodge pick up.   In addition to enabling us to do many chores on the farm and hauling feed and such Sara and I also Cut firewood, pulpwood  to supplement our very limited income.

          While we were on the farm we took care of the animals put in the crops and saw to the harvest, we had to hire a man with a corn sheller to take the corn out of the fields.  In the winter we had to hay the cows, Sara and I did most everything together.  Sara had learned to drive the pick up manual shift and all.  We took turns opening the gate to drive in and hay the cows.  The Hereford bull ,Cliff was his name, would always meet us at the gate and whoever opened the gate would ride Cliff to the hay area.  Needless to say this was not the type of bull riding you see at the rodeo.

          Grandpa died in 1964  With grandpa's passing things changed quite a lot, grandma decided to sell the farm so this opened a new chapter for Sara and I. 

          1964 Bought 8 X 26 mobile home and moved to Pearl.  I found an old 8 X 26 mobile home down at Bay Town, IL managed to get my banker to finance it for us.  I found some angle steel and fabricated sort of a trailer hitch and managed to pull the trailer to Pearl and set it up on a lot.  The trailer hitch got our trailer moved to our rented lot and broke a short time later on a much lesser and thank God less important load. Our lot rent was $5.00 a month and at times we didn't even have that.  In spite of the challenges of not much of anything in material goods these were with out a doubt some of the best days Sara and I ever had.  Sara was pregnant with our first son Skyler at this time.   Sara has managed to get by on very little money and has had very few things of her very own and as a result she has learned to make do with little and not to complain about anything.  Sara had a dollar, that she went shopping with at our local dry goods store where she purchased five yards of material with which she would hand sew a maternity outfit.  As it turned out the outfit was adequate but didnít have enough material to add the panels and pleats it needed.  Today most cannot imagine a maternity outfit for a dollar.

          I was working with my dad at this time, the work was sporadic.  Sara had a more or less full time job waiting tables at a small restaurant that belonged to my Cousin Keith Donohoo and his wife Margareet.  Sara was making $12.50 a week.  With Sara and I both working we were able to add a second vehicle, a 1956 Plymouth station wagon for $25.00, it had a bad engine.  I went to a salvage yard in Alton, Il and bought a Chrysler 354 engine for it for $200.  This engine was rated at 285 horsepower even though it had only a two barrel carburetor on it I have no idea how much torque this old engine had but it was a lot.  This turned out to be one of the most fun vehicles we ever owned.

         

             1964 August 3rd Our first son, Skyler was born two or three days after I got the plane.  Bringing Skyler into the world was a very difficult time for us, especially Sara, as she was in labor for several days, I had no idea at that time that this was not a normal thing.  Sara was in the hospital for six days.  Sara was nineteen at this time.   Sara and Skyler got to ride in the Tri-Pacer when When Skyler was two weeks old.

          During these months that we lived in our mobile home, we took walks (Skyler didnít walk but he went with us) and talked about things that we hoped to accomplish in life, things like getting an income of $40.00 a week or more so that we didnít have to budget things so close.  I got most of the meat that we ate by hunting and fishing and what Sara could afford to buy at the Red and White grocery store in town.  Thank God for my mother, Ruby who also brought food and other nice things that we needed.  These were some of the best times in our lives.  We were financially poor as dirt but so happy {:>) PTL.   Just before Christmas our preacher and I went to look for a Christmas tree and taking the two .22 guns that I had and the few rounds of ammo. We went to the Lewis farm a few miles Sout of Pearl to look for a tree and hopefully find some food to bring home.  I let our preacher use the rifle and I took the pistol.  I saw several quail running on the ground ahead of us and instructed the preacher to shoot into the midst of them and I would do the same.  The preacher didnít shoot at all and I only got one quail. 

          Sara was going to cut up the quail but she had never did this before so she asked me how to cut it up and I felt like this was a good time to have some fun with her and I told her to cut it up like a chicken ďLIKE A CHICKENĒ was her reply the she proceeded to cut it in half.

          I flew several hours in the little Piper both solo and with John in getting ready for my private pilot check ride.  When I was more or less ready for my check ride in the Piper I realized that my airplane was going to be out of annual at the time my check ride was scheduled so rather than missing my practical test I asked the examiner if he another plane I could rent and he said he had a Cessna 150 I could use.  This turned out to be a bad idea, being another plane like I had never been in before I didn't pass the test, oops.  I might add this was the last flight test I ever failed.

          During the non frozen part of the year I worked with dad doing bulldozer and dragline work, during the winter I worked for Jerry Guthrie, owner of Guthries Garage in Pleasant Hill, IL.  Jerry was interested in flying and was able to by most of the fuel for my time building hours to get me from private pilot to commercial pilot.  Jerry had a cousin Phil, they had a relative at Limon Colorado.  One day Jerry asked me if I would fly them to Limon if he paid all the expenses.  The answer was yes, we started making plans.  It was fall and I didn't have a clue what to expect in regard to the weather or flying conditions at the higher altitudes.  We took off before daylight and headed for Atchison, KS, this part of the flight went well until we got to Atchison.  It was just getting daylight and the wind was getting quite strong already.  I had several flight lessons in high wind but wasn't so sure of my ability to handle this.  The wind was gusting to forty knots and angling across the runway.  Thanks again to John Surgeon for teaching me how to deal with such as this, we landed ok and taxied to the fueling area to fill er up.  The Tri-Pacer had a total fuel capacity of thirty-six gallons.  I thought that it would be good to use economy power settings to increase our range. I didn't know that when bucking a headwind you are better off to run higher power and give the headwind less time to work on you.  Our next stop was to be Goodland, KS.  With the headwind quite high and using economy power it took us five hours and twenty two minutes to get to Goodland, wow it had to be the roughest ride I had ever had.   Jerry's cousin Phil was having a bad time with air sickness and worry, as a result he was asking a lot of questions.  I was having my own bad times and wasn't responding to Phil very well.  Phil questions went along the line of is it possible to do this or that with an airplane and on one of these I told him that I didn't think we could do that but hang on and we would give it a try.  The questions to me ended and later Jerry told me that Phil had mentioned taking the bus home.

          We landed in Limon after a very long day.  Jerry and Phil liked their alcholic beverages so they went to work to see about getting a ride to a bar where they could wait for the family member to come get us.  While we were there the other guys ordered their drinks with wiskey and soda then the bartender came to me and asked what I wanted and I told him I wanted coke on the rocks the bartender started to push the button on the soda dispenser and stopped and said what and I told him again I wanted coke on the rocks and he said and what else.  I finally got my coke.

          1962-63-64Worked for dad for awhile.  As I mentioned earlier I had worked for dad doing construction work including operating different types of equipment.  I built ponds, cleared land, built roads, dug basements, set steel, screened gravel, hauled gravel, drove piling, and many other types of construction jobs.   When the hard freeze came in the fall I worked in an independent garage in Pleasant Hill, IL Guthries garage owned by Jerry Guthrie.

          1965 Worked for road crew in IA. Cameron Joyce and Co.  Things weren't working out as well as I had hoped working for dad.  During the winter months a friend of Jerry's came by.  This friend was a superintendent for Cameron Joyce and Co. from Keokuk, IA.  He told us that he could use another hand to do everthing from repair to some operating.  I took the offer and during late winter in 1965 Sara and I moved our 8 X 26 trailer to Keokuk and went to work for the road crew. 

          We brought our Tri-Pacer up to Keokuk so that I could keep current flying and practicing to be a flight instructor.  My first unofficial student was Sara who was doing a fine job of flying the airplane, even at night, until I told her that she was flying it by herself and she hasn't flown one since except to hold it on course on cross country.

It seemed that after working in the shop getting the equipment serviced, painted and otherwise ready to go to work we were on the road moving about every two weeks and they kept finding things for me to do with my truck.  On one of our weekend trips home we stopped at the Chrysled dealer in Quincy, Il and traded the pick up for a 1962 Chysler 300 convertible, another very fun to drive and ride car.  That stopped the using my truck for company work and made it more fun to go driving. The Chrysler was a lot better for pulling the trailer as well.  As the summer went on and we kept moving we were at Marengo, IA and Skyler found some of our Christmas things and decided to eat one of the thin glass ornaments, oops.  We rushed him to the local hospital to ER and the Dr. laughed and said this is a kid not a dog.  Don't worry about him.  Well God took care of that problem and Skyler didn't seem to have any problems from it PTL   We did get to go to a weekend airshow at Cedar Rapis, IA and see some aerobatics done by several different planes and pilots and other interesting things performed.  Well it's time to move again this time to Tripoli, IA which is pretty far North, we brought our plane up here and kept it at a flying farmers strip.  We went to flying farmer flyin meals on weekends when we could, The IA flying farmers would normally had a fly-in breakfast at one farm a lunch at another and sometimes even an evening meal, needless to say this was a lot of fun for some of us. 

We, Sara, Skyler and I flew the little airplane home on weekends now and then, it was a long way from Tripoli, IA by car.  On one of these weekend trips my friend Jerry Guthrie told me that a friend of his was home from the service.  Jerry's friend was a parachute instructor in the service.  Jerry asked me if I would take him up for a jump Sunday morning at Pleasant Hill, IL and I agreed that I would skip church and fly him.  (Wrong decision) The flight and the jump went well.  We, Sara, Skyler and I, had to get some things from Pearl so I called dad to bring it to us at a hay field near Old Pearl.  As we headed for IA we saw some bad looking clouds ahead and decided to go back to Pleasant Hill and wait it out at Paul Carpenter's private strip where I used to park my plane, so we did.  Sara went in to use the phone to call our friends Skyler was standing in the right front seat of the plane while I was trying to get it tied down for the storm.  The tie down was on the East side of the hangar and when Paul mowed the area his mower had broken two of my tie down chains (not good right now).  The storm arrived as did our friends from town, Sara ran to get Skyler out of the plane and ran back to the car just as the storm uprooted the hangar.  I was hanging on the wing strut on the wing next to the hangar as it's chain was broken.  I don't really know why, but I looked over my shoulder just as the hangar left it's foundation and was coming right at me.    All I knew to do now was to run, the rain had started and the grass was wet, the wind was strong and I started to fall knowing there was no way I could get up and try again I directed my fall to go under the airplane.  The hangar came down on the airplane pushing it down to my back and then blew away letting the plane up enough I could get out, WOW and PTL.  When I finally got to my feet and started running the wind hit so hard from my right side that it ripped the buttons right off my shirt and pulled the hooks out of my pants and literally took me off my feet, I made it to the car where my friends, Sara and Skyler were waiting another PTL.  After things settled down I went back to see a very tattered little airplane still sitting near where it was when the hangar hit it.  We found parts of the hangar as far as two miles away.    There was a board driven through the windshield of the plane through the seat and out the side glass right where Skyler had been standing less than thirty seconds before. This was certainly a memorable event and I might add a lesson that I haven't forgotten, when something fun seems more important than worshiping God and one or the other has to go make sure it isn't God. 

Jerry had another car so we drove back to our mobile home in IA and worked another week, we brought the Chrysler and Jerry's Chevy back home.  We went back to finish up our work at Tripoli, IA.

          Fall is here and it looks like the road crew is going to finish the the present job and go home for the winter.        

          Fall of 1965 Moved to Rockford Il worked in machine shop. Dad's brother, my uncle Glenn Smith worked in a machine shop in Rockford and told me that if we wanted to move to Rockford that he would get me a job where he worked, Hill Rockford Co. 

The trip to Rockford was another ordeal for Sara, Skyler and I as the tires on our trailer were getting very old and worn and to make it even more challenging the trailer was a single axle unit that was covered in steel making it very heavy for its size.  The fall rains had begun so we had to be very careful where we pulled off the road.  Being a single axle trailer it was prone to zig zagging and whipping the towing vehicle anywhere it wanted it, I had learned how to correct for most of this problem and the Chrysler helped a lot to tame the trailer but still I had to be very careful and not corner very fast.  To start with we had some hitch and trailer light problems making afternoon before we could actually pull out of Tripoli.  When I finally got to a fairly straight and reasonably smooth I started letting the 413 take us toward Rockford.  It wasn't probably more than 50 miles until we blew the first trailer tire and had to pull off on a soft shoulder, OOPS.  We had no spare so I had to leave the trailer with one wheel stuck on the shoulder and the other on the edge of the road while we went to the nearest town to get another used tire mounted.  Back at the trailer I mounted the wheel and let the jack down the wheel went down in the soft ground to where the axle was barely clearing the ground.  I had a pretty good hitch on the car, it was the type that would fold under the car when it was not in use but otherwise pretty heavy but not heavy enough for what I had to do next.  I managed to angle the car so that when I hooked to the trailer the rear wheels of the car were on the highway.  I pulled on the trailer pretty hard and it didn't move.  I went back to see what I could do to lighten the load, I jacked the trailer wheel up and put some rocks under it and went back to the car thinking we are probably going to need to call a wrecker but knowing that we didn't really have enough money for the expected expenses, gas etc.  I made up my mind that the trailer had to come out with out the wrecker.  I pushed the 1 button on the transmission selector and started opening the throttle on the 413 with 470 foot pounds of torque and a 2 and a half to one torque converter something had to give.   The trailer was soon on the highway and we had a very bent trailer hitch that was still intact and we were on our way again.  After two days a number of flat tires and a number of difficulties we arrived in Rockford Skyler was the only one of us that seemed to have made it without any obvious problems.  Sara and I were fine but very worn out.  Uncle Glenn's in laws lived on the opposite corner of the same block and they had an upstairs apartment that we rented. Our address was 435 15th ave.  On Monday the next week I rode in to work with uncle Glenn.  After a brief interview and some paper work I was hired PTL.

          I tell people that I started to work as a surface engineer the usual response is a what?

Then I tell them that I was pushing a broom and the usual response is OH.

Uncle Glenn was working in special machine and had a good relationship with the bosses up to and including the owner.  It wasn't long until I was called to run a drill press then back on the broom for a couple of days then on to a multi station drill press, then to a mill and so on until one day the superintendent, a Mr, Bill Hellman, came to me and asked me to come to his office.  I thought uhoh!  Mr. Hellman asked me if I would be willing to go to work full time in experimental and model shop.  This sure beats the getting fired that I thought was coming. 

Mr. Sid Worrell was in charge of the experimental department and model shop (where they make all the parts, assemble them, test run and trouble shoot the new first of it's kind machines and or tools)  this was a pleasant and challenging change.   This department also managed the assembly and development of the company's standard products, which included riveting machines, serto mats (a device to insert parts into other parts on automated assembly machines), tool grinding fixtures, and others.  Mr. Hellman told me that he had been tinking about putting one of our toolmakers in this position but Mr. Worrell told him that he would only train young Smitty, uncle Glenn was old Smitty.  I got to work on things for the automotive insustry, aircraft, office equipment and a lot more.  I worked on tooling for the first seat back locks ever used in cars, this was for the Ternstedt corporation in OH, Ternstedt is an experimental division of General Motors.  I built machines for Pratt and Whitney aircraft engine company, National Cash Register, Allen Bradley, General Electric  and many other different companies. 

While we were in Rockford I had as many as three jobs at one time, believing that the best thing I could do for my family was to make money to care for them (another wrong answer, the family needs each other, money seems to be a necessary evil but it is not the most important element)

1966 September 1st Our second son Robert was born while we were in Rockford We had health insuranc this time and we paid over six hundred for Rob's arrival, nearly three times what it cost for Skyler with no insurance.

          1966 Moved to Pearl Il to work for dad, again:  I would probably have done well to have stayed in the machine shop but the walls were too confining.  Sara and I moved back to Pearl, IL where my folks owned two homes and one of them was empty at the time (The Foreman house as we knew it) this was the first real home we had lived in.  

          We had little furniture, appliances, or money, mom and dad took us to an auction in Jacksonville, Il where we were the high bidders on a TV ($18.00) a sewing machine ($15.00) and a few other smaller items.   This was a very happy time for Sara and I.  We had a garden I got to go hunting and fishing now and then.  Once again we were trying to save some money which is very difficult when you have so little.  We didn't really know or care that we were poor we knew God and had each other and little Skyler.   We never knew hunger, even though Sara had little to choose from to feed us most of the time. 

          Sara bless her heart she would sacrifice things she wanted so that I could have things I wanted.  We did however try to focus on things that we could use or do together.  We bought a new Benelli motorcycle in 1965, the price was $595.00 which was a lot of money for us.  We rode a lot of miles on this bike, we went to see places where had never been, to visit friends (something we don't do anymore), visit family go on picnics and a whole lot more.

I was still working on getting my Commercial and flight instructor certificates.  As I could I went back to Grafton to fly with John Surgeon to get ready for my commercial and flight instructor certificates.

          1967 Got cfi then went to work for Hill bros. Aviation in Pekin, IL. I called several airports looking for a job as a flight instructor/commercial pilot to find that Hill Brothers Aviation in Pekin. IL was a new and growing aviation business.  Hill Brothers offered new and used aircraft sales and service, air taxi, flight instruction, aircraft rental, ground school and other aviation services.  After a pretty short interview a look at my brand new commercial and flight instructor certificate Dennis Hill the chief pilot decided we should go for a check flight to see if I could really fly an airplane and teach from the right seat.  Dennis was an unusually sharp pilot and I was a very green one so this in itself was very intimidatidating to me.  We did several maneuvers that I was already well aquainted with then it was time for me to learn a new one or two.  The flight check went well and Dennis asked when I could get moved and be ready to go to work full time.  I told him we could be moved and ready to go to work in a week or two.

Sara and I had no truck to move with or a place to live in this area so we went to work to find another mobile home.  We located a nice 10 X 45 mobile home at a dealer in Pekin this dealer told us that there was a mobile home subdivision near Manito that might have a lot we could buy.  He was right and in a few days our mobile home was set up on our lotand it was furnished.  The Chrysler was able to haul the rest of our belongings to finish the move.

I got to fly a lot of different types of airplanes at Hill Brothers Aviation most of which Dennis said here are the keys there is the airplane go fly, sometimes it was a cold turkey go in that airplane with this student and teach them to fly that airplane.  This I know now is not a very good way to do things but apparently Dennis wasn't concerned about me being able to do it anyway I didn 't break any airplanes or get anyone hurt.  PTL.

I flew several hours of air taxi flights with both people and cargo.  I didn't yet have my instrument rating, which wasn't required at that time as long as the flight was conducted under VFR (visual flight rules).  I did soon go to work to get instrument rating.  I used the instrument rating a lot especially on cargo runs.

In addition to the above mentioned flight operations Ernie Walker who was a sales man for River Oaks Dodge bought a new 1969 Citabria and it became my job to teach basic aerobatics in this airplane.  I also served as a CAP (Civil Air Patrol) pilot on occasions. Overall I gained several hours in many different types of aircraft and operations including some un-official multi-engine time.   I also helped to get an FAA approved flight school going for Hill Brothers and did some of the work to get them VA approved.  I was not qualified to be chief pilot for either and the man who came along who was and I didn't get along well at all. 

In addition to the above personality conflict and another flight instructor on board there wasn't enough work at the airport to support us so I started looking for another at least part time job to supplement our income.

 

          1969 Worked for Timke machine shop I heard there was a small machine shop in Green Valley that might be hiring so I went there looking for work.  The experience that I had in the machine shop in Rockford was helpful in obtaining a job at Timke Manufacturing in Green Valley, IL. 

          1969-70 FBO at Havana IL airport With my interest in aviation I was always looking for ways to better myself and to improve our income so when I heard that the Havana, Il airport didn't have an operator I went to Havana city hall to talk to the administrator about the possibility of becoming their FBO (fixed base operator) they were interested and took little time in giving me a contract to become their FBO.  I think I gave them a dollar for the lease contract.  Charles Ayres (now departed), Don Barth, both of Pekin and I went partners on a 1964 Cessna 172 with the agreement that I could use in my business at the airport.  I would like to say at this time no one ever had any better partners.

          1970 Worked for Mt. Hawley Peoria aviation The airport operation at Havana wasn't paying it's way so once again I am looking for another job.  I heard that the Mt. Hawley Peoria airport needed another flight instructor so I hired on with them, once again at a very megar wage.

          1970 Dec 14th Kayla was born.  Thank God for my children,  Kayla was the third and last of our children.  According to Drs. Kayla was going to be a boy.  Sara and I had hoped for a girl and God blessed us with a sweet little blonde girl PTL.

          1971 moved to Osage Beach, MO  During the Spring of 1971 we, using our 1963 six cylinder dodge Ĺ ton truck with a cargo box on it and our 1964 Dodge Polara moved to Osage Beach, Mo at Lake of the Ozarks.  I went to be airport manager at the Linn Creek Grand Glaize airport for Jack Lee whom I met at the Mt. Hawley airport in Peoria, IL

          Winter of 1970-71 Drove concrete truck for Mountjoy redi-mix.  Jack Lee offered me some really good sounding things like good wages, free rent, low hours a week, a full time helper to do the hard dirty work and free rent for a place to live.  I received none of the above.  With a wonderful wife and three lovely very small children at the house I needed more income and a steady one.  Looking for work once again.  I continued doing free lance pilot and flight instructor for hire services and hauling concrete for Mountjoy Redi-mix.  I also thank God for Ted and Janet Mountjoy. The Mountjoyís are now ministering at Forum Boulevard Christian Church in Columbia, Mo             http://www.forumblvd.org/templates/System/default.asp?id=32404

          1972-1973 Went to work for Art Lohrey from KC, Lake Air Flying Service.  Art Lohrey came by the airport one day when I was there and after talking for a while he asked if he could hire me to fly him around on some business trips.  I told him I didn't have a plane and he said he would rent or lease one.  So here we go again at what looks like a really good deal. 

Art soon purchased a 1971 Cessna 182 that we flew on a few trips then we went and looked at a 1964 Piper Aztec which he traded the Cessna for.  The first trip the fuel pump failed on the left engine on climb out and the right propeller feathered on its own while landing in Wichita Ks.  Art decided it was time to go by Yingling aircraft and see about getting a new airplane.  As it went we went home as a brand new Cessna dealer with five new airplanes to be delivered to Lake of the Ozarks.

Lake Air Flying Service came into being.  Lake Air soon go into the air taxi business, banner towing, flight training, and aircraft sales.  I was offered good wages again, at least by my standards good wages.  I started getting bounced pay roll checks early on and getting some of them made good in a few days but as time went on I was bringing in plenty money to make the payments, pay the bills and the help but the money didn't show up at those places.  Art would always say he considered me his son and promised to make it all good and me being the sucker that I am I fell for it and went on until I had a collection of bad checks.  I turned them over to the prosecutor hoping to get my money so I could get some of the things we needed for our family.   While working for Lake Air, Ted Mountjoy who owned Mountjoy concrete sold his concrete plants and went to  Bible school in Lubbock Texas to become a preacher.

          Sara singing at Carl Johnston's Lake Ozark Country Opry.  While I  was flying for Lake Air, Sara was offered an opportunity to audition to sing for a country western show at Lake Ozark, Mo  Sara has a very good singing voice and was immediately given the job at $10.00 per show, wow.  Sara was the lead female vocalist on the show and was frequently asked to do something special, the one most asked for was Mule Skinner Blues.  It wasn't long until she was asked to travel with a group singing for the Holiday Inn Motel chain.  Sara refused to take this offer for her kids and my sake PTL.  The country group didn't work out and after a few months closed.

          1974 went to work for Howard construction as weldor, Sara working.  With Me back to only rarely getting a free lance flying job and Sara only getting a few dollars a week I didn't know what else to do but to start looking for a job again.   Going  back to work for Mountjoy was no longer an option as he had sold out and went Bible school and I din't see any option to stay in aviation at this time so what now?  Along the way I met Carl Hanks.  Carl was a construction operator for one company and his brother Bill worked for Howard Construction Company.  Carl introduced me to his brother Bill and Bill told me that Howards was hiring repair people and set it up for me to go talk to his road boss, Deon Sappington.  Deon hired me on the spot to become a weldor for them.  This was the first time I ever hired on as a professional weldor anywhere although I had done a lot of repair welding when working for my dad and some fabrication and other types of welding in the machine shops.

Sara was now cooking at the Lake Chateau resurant in Osage Beach, Mo.  Thank God for Sara.

          1975 bought Cessna 150 started doing flight training and banner towing on my off work times.  Still working for Howards Construction,  Howard was having some financial problems and had to cut out nearly all of the overtime.  I was at that time and up until the time I quit working for them the only repair man that was getting overtime.   The bosses had learned that if I said it needed repaired that it needed repaired and if I could stay late or work on the weekend to get a machine back in the dirt to turn in my time Monday morning.  This was the first time in my life I actually received a decent wage.

I had been getting quite a lot of flight instruction on my days off and the little 1973 Cessna 150 had been making pretty good money.  By being at the airport quite a bit I was getting a chance to fly for others now and then including flying the company airplane for Osage Outdoor Advertising company.  Osage Outdoor was owned by Glenn Whitman, Glenn had a company pilot but when the weather had the ducks walking he had me take pilot in command position and put the company pilot in the co-pilot seat.  Glenn tried several times to hire me full time.  Having seen the way Whitman treated his full time people I wasn't interested in any part of that.  By being part time and on call in he knew that he had to pay me well and be nice or I simply wouldn't come in.

          1977 last year for Howard construction.   I had another good year working for Howards and managed to get ahead of my bills and have a few dollars in my pocket and the flying bug was biting pretty hard again.  Sara is still working: and taking care of us all Thank God for Sara

          1978 bought Cessna 172 for flight training and banner towing as well as personal use.  I had been doing some banner towing with my Cessna 150, with only 100 horse power the signs had to be pretty short.  It appeared to me that at the lake banner towing would be an effective advertising media and nobody else was doing it.  I took an inventory on where we stood financially did a brief survey on the need for banner towing in the area and came to the conlusion that I needed a larger more powerful airplane.  I found a 1973 Cessna 172 at Peoria, IL and bought it.  When I got it home I had my local mechanic Fred Radle to install a tow hitch on the 172 as he already had on the 150.   With two airplanes on the already very small ramp at the Grand Glaize airport I was looking for an airport that needed an operator.  As it worked out the city hall at Camdenton, Mo had made some mistakes with the way they had handled the airport business with FAA and had been notified that they would hire an operator ASAP or they (FAA) would hire one for them and send them the bill.  I talked to the city administrator about this and made an appointment to fly him to Kansas City to talk to the airport people to see if the would be happy with me going in there to get the airport open and provide some of the usual airport services..

          1978 I became FBO (Fixed Base Operator) at Camdenton airport Got Air taxi certificateFAR 135,  March of 1978 Sara and I moved our airplanes to the Camdenton airport and started setting up our business.  We got gas in the tanks stocked the store room with aircraft engine oil got the office set up with heat, lights, phone and the usual stuff that you would have in a small city owned airport.  Smith's flying service was now providing line service to the flying public in addition to flight training, aircraft rental, photo flights and other services.  It wasn't long until people started calling in to see if we did charters and I had to tell them no.  I went to Kansas City, Kansas to the GADO (general aviation district office) and made application for ATCO (air taxi commercial operator) and that same day did the check ride and went home as an airtaxi operator.  Sara is still working; she is now cooking at the Dogwood Hills golf course restaurant.  Sara's working conditions are better here and her wages are a little better.  I was very busy with various phases of flight operations.  The baner towing business had really caught on and for the first time we actually had enough cash flow that we could do a little something for the fun of it.

          Bought Piper Pawnee and got my ag operator certificate FAR 137  One of my rental customers was and Iowa farmer and he told me about a friend of his at Ottumwa, IA that was a ground applicator of ag chemicals and thought it might be good if I had an ag plane.   This is early summer of 1978, not normally a good time to buy an ag plane as the most of the ag flying season is over.  I found what looked like a good deal on a Piper Pawnee and bought it.  It sat by my office for about two weeks and I thought I should't have bought that airplane this time of year, then.  My friend from Ia came in one day and told me that his friend in Ia was way behind on his ground application and wondered if I could bring my airplane up and help him get caught up.  I flew on 12,000 acres of chemicals in as many days which paid off my Pawnee another WOW and PTL.

During the summer of 1978 while I was up flying a student in my 150 Roland Tetley manager of the Lee C. Fine airport called.  My son Skyler took the call and called me to let me know that Roland said he needed me there as soon as possible.  Skyler called me on the radio and said I don't know what he needs but he sounded different.  I told Skyler to get the 172 untied fueled and ready to go.  My student wasn't soloed yet but could taxi the plane so when we got to the ramp I got out and got in the 172 and went to Lee Fine airport as fast as I could get there.  Roland had a heart attack and needed an air ambulance flight VA hospital in Columbia.  Roland got four by-passes and was back home in a few days.  Roland was living in an Airstream travel trailer.  Now that Roland was not able to work he needed a place to park his trailer where he wouldn't have to pay rent.  I had a trailer hook up at my place so he move his trailer next to our 12x60.

          I was staying busy with flight operations and banner towing right up until the schools started up again.

          1978 Got call to put together missionary pilot organization.  I got a call to put together a missionary pilot training organization spent some time in making plans, designing a classroom, building a new hangar adding a bush plane such as a Cessna 185.  I was enjoying the fall hunting season as well as being busy getting ready for winter, cutting wood etc.  I had shelved the missionary pilot program for the time being, (wrong thing to do).

          1979 The year got off to a good start.  I was already scheduled to approximately $200,000 in ag plane work and banner towing by late winter.  In March I got a call from a man, Terry Beuatte at Macon, MO asking if I could put my spreader on my Pawnee and come help him get caught up on top dressing wheat fields with ammonium nitrate and other chemicals.  Terry thought it was almost a sin to fly an ag plane from an airport so we did most of our work flying off roads river levees and hay fields.  This turned out to more very good training and experience for me.  I also did severl thousand acres in West central Il.  Sara still working at Dogwood Hills and raising three kids.

          April 29th 1979 Ag plane crash  Some people started a Lionel Smith fund,

Sara           working.  I got too busy for God, (a very serious wrong answer)

April 28th I had applied some 2-4-D amine to some wheat fields near Sedalia and was scheduled to apply some Alpha-Tox to some Alfalfa on the thirtieth.  I took my family to Church Sunday morning and then to lunch.  Now I am at the airport, the model airplane people are there helping doing spring cleaning and getting things all ship shape, they were a great bunch of people.  I was serviceing the Pawnee for the spray job the next day, I had to repair a small tear in the fabric in the side of the fuselage.   The Pawnee had a wind mill type spray pump that had to be in the air in order to work.  Steve Butler was my airport helper and my assistant when working the ag plane.  We loaded the hopper with ammoniated detergent and fifteen gallons of water to flush out the herbicide residue so it would be safe to apply the insecticide that I was scheduled to apply the next day.  Steve filled the fuel tank on the Pawnee, I double checked everything got in the plane, performed the full pre take off check and took off I was going to spray up and down along the runway to kill any dandelions that I could with the 2-4-D residue.  I made two runs along the runway and was making a working turn to make the third run when the engine quit, it didn't give any warning at all it just stopped developing power.  This is a deafining silence.  I was at the apex of a working turn when the engine stopped the airplane was to low to regain good control speed and still make the runway with out power.  I got the plane over a small clearing away from any people and got the nose up to a normal landing attitude but the sink rate was very high.  The impact tore the engine right off the mounts drove the landing gear up through the wings, collapsed the framework under my seat and took the seat flight deck and all to the belly of the airplane.  FAA records show there were two propeller strikes and the airplane skidded 176 feet.

My structure sustained considerable damage as well.  Sara called the ambulance, which came right away.  The ambulance crew didn't notice that the fuel tank was back at the point of impact thus eliminating any serious fire hazard or explosion.  They dragged me right through the side of the plane possibly causing a lot more spinal cord damage than I already had.  On the way to the hospital at Osage Beach, while going up the Linn Creek hill the rear door on the ambulance came open and my stretcher almost rolled out the back, what a ride.  After the Drs. Checked me over they told Sara there was nothing they could do for me.  There was a lady nearby that overheard what the Dr. told Sara, this lady suggested that Sara should have the ambulance take me to UMC (university medical center in Columbia, MO) UMC is a training hospital and they will do something even if they think the patient isn't going to make it.

When the ambulance arrived at UMC it was 9:30 at night and Dr. Robert Gaines and his surgical team were there. (I have been told how lucky I was to have the best back Dr. and his team, I don't believe in luck but rather miracles PTL)  Dr. Gaines told Sara that my vitals were good and that I would probably live if my brain hemmorage didn't kill me but I would probably never walk again  because my back was crushed.  I had a compression fracture of six vertebrae, a massive brain hemmorage, my left arm was paralyzed for some time, my left eye was turned into my nose, otherwise I think I was in pretty good shape.  I don't just believe in miracles I rely on them. 

After 56 days at U.M.C I finally talked the Drs. into letting me go home, they insisted I should stay for several more weeks but did agree to release me to nurse Sara's loving care.   Thank God for Sara! 

Note:  Sara was with me all but three days that I was in the hospital in Columbia, Mo and home every night to take care of our kids, this meant four or five hours a day on the road.   Thank God for Sara! 

          Still at Lake of the Ozarks.  Even though I could do little for myself it was sure good to be home.  I couldn't get into and out of bed by myself, I was still wearing a very confining back brace and having a lot of trouble coping with having to use catheters to void my bladder and having frequent bowel accidents, my eyes were crossed, I had considerable hearing loss, some paralysis in my left arm, loss of sexual function, many aches pains and other problems.

          In addition to the physical problems we have three kids in school, car payments, an airplane payment and some Dr. bills that arenít covered by insurance.  Even through all this Sara is still working out when she can, thank God for Sara.  I had to wear the back brace day and night for five months after I got home.  By the end of the five months I was able to get in and out of bed by myself but still couldn't hold anything very well in my left hand.  Dr. Gaines applied for my disability, I think it started five months after my accident, this was another blessing for sure.  This was enough to let us start gaining on the bills again.  The money that we had managed to save up before the accident was all gone the Lionel Smith fund was all gone and with all that Sara was able to work out just barely got us by.  God did meet our needs as He has promised.  I thank God for Sara on a regular basis.  Sara was working at Dogwood Hills Golf course restaurant and working double shifts quite often.

           Roland Tetley had bought a piece of land at Trask, Mo. Which is near Mtn. View, MO.  Roland told me that his realtor had some acreage not too far from his place and thought it would be good if we could move together as we were both grounded now.

          1980 August 10th   moved to Mtn. View, Mo.  Traded an airplane for cows. We had a 1973 Dodge pick up a 14 ft. flat bed trailer, a 1977 Chevette, Skyler had a 1966 Dodge coronet, Roland Tetley had a 1968 ĺ ton Dodge truck, his wife was driving their Dodge car and we headed out from our home at rural Linn Creek, MO to go to our Mountain View home, and Roland to his home at Trask, Mo.  We had CB radios and I rember my son Skyler commenting as we pulled out at midnight that we got us a convoy.  The reason we were leaving so late was because we had to load everything we could and I wasn't able to help much at all.  We had planned to leave early the next morning but there were thunder storms coming and we had a lot of stuff that we didn't want wet. 

We safely made the trip, we arrived at out new home just as it was getting daylight.  We did get into a little rain but didn't get much damage from it.

Roland and Vinneta went on to their home in Trask.

This was opening a new chapter in our lives for sure as we are now on acreage where we could raise animals, a garden and do a lot of other things that we couldn't do before.  The big problem was me, as there wasn't much I could do at this time, I was considered totally and permanently disabled.  Thank God for Sara and the kids.

          1980-1989  Time to heal, raise kids, work on cars, target shoot sell airplanes           and get my life back on track.  We had a law suit in progress against the manufacturers of the airplane and the company that made the fuel valve that caused the plane crash that neary killed me.

           My life was so messed up at this time I was mad at the world and for all practical purposes thought my life and career was over. 

Sara went looking for employment as soon as we got more or less moved in.  It was August and a record hot one.  We had no airconditioning and as far as that goes we couldn't have paid the electric bill if we had.

One day in August Roland and I both had to go to Columbia, Mo for Dr. checkups and we decided to go up together to save some of the car expense.  I offered to drive us up in our Chevette.  The Chevette had no air, to make it more difficult for the two of us the temperature hit a record high for this date at 113 degrees.  Needless to say it was a long and miserable trip.  I thought I was going to go into thermal shock after spending severl hours in the cool clinic and then going out into the hundred plus temps outside.  The good news for the day was that both of us got a good report from our Drs.

Sara soon found work as a cook in the Willow Springs, Mo nursing home, Willow Health care.  Sara worked at the nursing home for several years under some very difficult conditions.  Sara's wages once again made the difference between have and have not.  We had three kids in school.  We were still making payments on the Chevette an airplane and  house payments and other related expenses.  Skyler had his driver license and was looking for part time work.  Skyler got a job working for Ron White who had a Ford dealership at the time.  This gave Skyler a chance to make some spending money to let him have some of the things he wanted that we could not give him at this time.   We managed to buy some rabbits and cages to give our son Robert a chance to make some money.  This didn't work out at all as we were not able to raise any rabbits, we found out later that the reason the rabbits were for sale was because they were too old to be productive.  Skyler got some Muscove ducks they were a good investment as they did raise little ones that gave us meat and eggs.  I don't remember if Skyler got to sell any of them but it sure helped with the grocery bill.  After a while the neighbors dogs and other predators found the ducks and started killing them off.

The previous owner of our property had a built up garden spot so we planted it with some plants that we thought might make us some food, with the temperature so high and the lack of rain we didn't get much for our effort.  This was another bad lick on our already difficult times as we had a hard time even getting the garden seed we planted.

          During 1982 during the Reagan administration my disability was cut off without warning.  Thanks to God, our friends and family that we didn't lose our home and all else.

           think it was in 1983that we got a chance to sell our 1978 Cessna 172.  Noel Orchard from Eminence, MO bought the 172.  This freed us up a little on finances, the note on the airplane still had a pretty large balance on it.  Noel was an elder at the West Eminence Christian Church.      

          The law suit against Piper aircraft and Parker Hannifin was in progress.   What we were assured of in the beginning didn't happen that way.  We were assured that we would get at least five million out of a case that was this obviously the fault of the equipment.  As the case went on the lawyers on both side started putting pressure on Sara to get me to back of and settle short of it going to the jury.  I saw the burden this was putting on Sara and decided to take whatever we could get and let it go.  We did get enough to pay off all our debts and $76,000 besides.  This money was a while coming so we still had problems.

          Our house payments were still due each month and our borrwed money was run out.  I went in to West Plains Saving and loan, who held our note on our home, to ask if they would give me an extension pending the law suit was over and that I had money coming soon.  The loan officer smiled and said no way and that when our payment was 31 days late they would break my present 12 percent fixed rate contract and raise it to the then 18 percent rate with option to go up again any time.  He told me that they would then give me another thirty days to get caught up or they would carry our belonging out in the street.  This man showed no sympathy at all.  Once again family came to our rescue, this time Aunt Erma gave us enough money to make a couple of months payments which help it until we got our settlement check and paid the note off and all other outstanding bills.  I had enough left over to buy three $10,000 CD's at 16 percent interest.

      1989 got medical back and bought airplane and renewed my flight instructor certificate.   Noel came by one day      and told me during 1989, that he was going to Thayer to get his flight physical renewed and suggested that I should go with him to see if I could pass a flight physical as well.  Noel told me that Dr. Phillips would be willing to work with me to see if I could get through the medical paper work that would be necessary because of all the injuries that I had sustained in the plane crash in 1979.

      In 1989, because of Noel's encouragement, I got a feeling that I should go for a flight physical, of course I questioned that idea, with all the injuries that I had the chances of passing one was remote at best.  After the physical exam the Dr. Phillips told me that if I hadn't told him of the injuries that I had and the fact that FAA had denied me a medical, that he would have given me a class II which is for commercial operations.  I only asked for a class III that is what I got after a number of other tests.

      After getting the medical, I wanted to get my pilot certificate renewed so I started checking around to see where I could hire a flight instructor and rent an airplane for a refresher and a flight review to reinstate my pilot certification.  I located a flight instructor (George Meyers) in Willow Springs, Mo.  which is just six miles West of where I lived. So far so good now we need an airplane. No one in the area had a rental airplane however George new of an airplane, a (Piper Colt) at Houston Mo. which was only about and hour drive.   Now this is getting to the point where I am starting to wonder if I am up to taking a check ride without a lot of training.  I am also a little uneasy about how I might react to the flight environment after all that had happened and the time that had elapsed since I was last a current pilot.  The flight check was short and I felt right at home, which was a confirmation to me that I had done the right thing so far.  I am still not sure what the Lord has in mind for me, or if this is just something I want to do.

      After getting my pilot status current, I got the urge to use it.  With no rental airplanes near by I started thinking about buying one (a rather bizarre idea considering that I hadn't been able to work for a number of years and the income from Sara's work barely covered the expenses, we also had three children at home).  Sara bless her heart wanted me to get to fly again (Sara has done a lot of those special, above and beyond things through the years.  I thank the Lord for Sara quite often, she is very special to me. Sara sat down with me to see what she could get by without and what we could sell to figure a way to buy an airplane.  We came up with the figure of ten thousand dollars that would be the maximum that we could even consider and only then with a very friendly banker.  We drove into Willow Springs to talk to Pat Stuart, who is a used car dealer who also is a pilot.  I thought he might know of an airplane for sale in the area.  Pat had a 1958 tri-pacer that he said he would sell for ten thousand five hundred.  Close but still five hundred more than the limit that we set.  I asked him if we could get a mechanic to do a pre-buy inspection on it, Pat agreed to take it to Houston, Missouri to Paul Morrison for the inspection.  Paul found two cylinders that were low on compression and Pat said he would reduce the price by a thousand dollars, now the price is within the limits we set on the price.  After the repairs were done the price was still under ten thousand. 

           Sara and I made several local flights and I had a good feeling about getting to fly again.  Now we decided it was time to go see our son Skyler who was in the Navy, Skyler was stationed at NAS Dallas, and was living at Arlington, Texas.   The tri-pacer didn't have radios that were dependable so we were navigating the old fashioned way using pilotage and dead reckoning, (chart, compass, and clock) and of course the communication radios didn't work very well either.  Going down it was a great trip.  We spent about a week with the family in Texas that wouldn't have been possible without the (paper piper, as Paul Morrison called them).   On checking the weather I found that we would have to leave the next morning in order to get Sara home in time to get her back to work.  A front was coming to Missouri that was expected to become stationary causing low weather for several days, and without instrument capabilities that was not good.  We took off in the sunshine and headed for the show me state.  We experienced a very unwelcome situation right after take off, we had a strong head wind 20 -30 knots, as a result it is taking a lot longer to get home than I first estimated and required an extra fuel stop, again adding to the travel time.  The weather and the sun were going down together.  Harrison Arkansas was within our fuel range and by the time we got there the weather had gone from clear and unlimited to 2000 overcast and 4 miles visibility by sundown.  As the temperature cools down at night the weather usually deteriorates right along with it.  I had pretty well made up my mind to over night at Harrison but Harrison still had a flight service station (a place where a pilot can walk in and check the weather). I went in and talked to the weather briefer about the remainder of the flight to Cabool, he said that the weather would probably get better going that way.  The weather gradually got worse and with no radio to get a weather updates and very seriously doubting the weather behind us to be any better than what we were in at this time. The time remaining to Cabool being less than that back to Harrison I chose to continue to Cabool.  I had checked the altimeter at Harrison and found it to be near perfect for accuracy, which gave me a little more confidence that we knew our distance above the terrain.  The loran had proven itself to be very accurate on this trip even though we had terrain clearance we went pretty close to two towers that were above us and didn't see either one of them.  The loran and God's grace and mercy guided us directly to the approach end of the runway at Cabool.  By the end of that flight Sara and I decided that it was no more long cross-country flights until the airplane was equipped and it and I were certified for instrument flight.   After more hard work selling more things and shopping around the country I managed to get enough new equipment to make the little airplane comfortable for flight in instrument conditions.  I got the equipment installed and the airplane certified the next step was for me to go for a competency check ride to get recertified as an instrument pilot.In a few days I decided that perhaps I should try to renew my flight instructor certificates, I didn't really think I could without a lot of problems re-testing etc.  I called FAA and they told me that all I had to do was pass a CFI renewal check flight, sounds easy enough.  Praise God He guided me through all the maneuvers on the check ride and I was a flight instructor again.  It still wasn't clear to me where all this was going, but I felt like there was more to it than just me wanting to do all this.  I did think that I would like to teach my kids to fly but didn't have any idea that I would ever again do anything as a pro-pilot.

      Shortly after I got recertified as a flight instructor brother Noel Orchard (now mayor of Eminence, Mo.) once again entered the picture by telling the Mayor of Mountain View, Mo. that I had my CFI renewed and that I might consider opening a flight school in Mountain View.  She, Joan Smith, came to me and asked if I would be willing to give her city a flight school and before I could say no, I said yes.  The city and Charlie Webster (the airport manager) was very cooperative and helpful through it all and the flight school gave me experience and opportunities to get current in flying again.

          Sara and I went to the airport in Mountain View in March of 1990 and put the tri-pacer on the line as a trainer and rental airplane.   Some of our customers weren't happy about the fact that the little plane was covered in fabric, so I started looking for a metal airplane.  Sara and I were in Illinois on a trip to visit family and on the way back home we went through Jerseyville, IL. where Skyler our first son was born and also where we had purchased our first airplane (a tri-pacer) and hangar.   I made my first solo flight at the Jerseyville, Illinois airport in 1963.  On the way past the airport we pulled in to see if there were any airplanes for sale

          While we were at the airport in Jerseyville we found a Cessna 150 for sale.  The price was right so we bought 7901F,a 1966 Cessna 150, a two-place airplane.  Bert Rodgers was a flight instructor for Smith's Flying service. Bert gave approximately a 1000 hours of flight instruction in 12 months. 

          In 1990 we bought a Cessna 310 that was in pretty bad condition.  It took us 10 or 11 months to make it airworthy.

          In 1991 we bought another Cessna 150 7953G to train with.  We were getting pretty busy by now and meeting quite a number of Christians who were interested in flying. 

           1992 another C-150 became available on a lease basis so we added it to the fleet as needed.  With Bert Rogers, to help out and three 150s available and several rental customers a 310 and a tri-pacer we were staying pretty busy.  During this time period Noel Orchard offered the Cessna 172 back to me if I wanted to buy it so we added it to our fleet.

          1993 got my wake up call to start missionary pilot training school.  1993, In the middle of a busy day on the flight line during the summer of 1993 I got a little slack and went in my office, closed the door and sat down at my desk to enjoy the peace and quiet.  I hadn't been there very long when I heard this voice (Remember 1978?) yep I sure did.  I took that as a note that I was being given another chance to do what God called me to do back in 1978. 

          I knew that in order to train pilots for third world country operations I would need some special training and I didn't know where to start, so I asked God for direction then He gave me the a nudge to call Moody Bible College in Chicago Il.  and ask them if they had a flight program.  Their answer was yes the do have a flight program but not at their Chicago campus.  They were helpful in that they gave me the number and a name to call at their Elizabethton Tennessee campus.  I called Tenn. and told their chief instructor what I was looking for and after answering several questions for him, he told me that the only way they could help me would be to send me a list of pilot placement organizations that used bush pilots in the mission field.  I received the envelope in a few days that had a lot of good information in it.  I started looking for a place in the Midwest, so I wouldn't have to travel so far, but there weren't any missionary training facilities in the Midwest.  I continued to search the list.  I noticed an organization named Tribal Air and Communications and wondered if that could be part of New Tribes Mission.  A friend of mine, Carl Hanks that lived at the Lake of the Ozarks told me about New Tribes Mission and their flight program.  I dialed the phone and before the phone even rang a second voice told me that these people won't help you because you are not part of their organization so I hung up the phone.  Before I could even take my hand off the phone the first voice came back saying you quit on me in 1978 and I am giving you another chance.  I picked up the phone and pushed the redial button I am still hearing the other voice telling me I am wasting my time calling these people. 

          1993 went to New Tribes base in AZ for missionary pilot training.  When Tribal Air answered I told the lady on the other end who I am and what I wanted she told me that I would have to talk to their chief pilot, Mr. Jim Ferguson.  That voice is still there trying to get me to hang up and forget it but I have made up my mind that I am not quitting with out giving it a good try this time.   In a couple of minutes Bro. Jim Ferguson (chief pilot for New Tribes Mission/Aviation, TAC(Tribal Air and Communications) back then) came on the phone and I shared with him the need that I had and he said that they would be glad to help any way they could and asked when I could come to AZ. and guess what that voice with all the negative stuff was gone PTL.  I told Bro. Jim that I could schedule to come the last week of Sept. or the first week of Oct.  He told me that he couldn't help me the first week of Oct. because that is the time that they do their evaluation for their up and coming new jungle pilots to be, so I told him I would be down the last week of Sept.  Sara was excited about the fact that God was providing the opportunity for me to get the training that I needed but was not the least bit interested in flying over the Rockies to get there because of the rugged terrain and the possibility of bad weather.  The night before we were supposed to go to AZ. I checked the weather and noticed that we had a very unusual weather pattern.  There were four high pressure systems across the Northern half of the U. S. that not only provided us with unusually clear weather but also provided us with a tail wind all the way to Douglas Arizona, WOW PTL.  We had a very good trip to say the least. 

          The first day of training started with a flight with brother Jim in a C-185 where he demonstrated a short field takeoff and landing using some field techniques and also checking me on some other maneuvers.   Next several flights were with Paul Dye also in the C-185  21X where I learned things like canyon turns, ridge crossings, special purpose takeoff and landing procedures, package drops and more.   It was a great time to say the least.  Normally it takes several months of training.  In my case I had several thousand hours of flight experience than the typical applicant.   After the final testing they gave me a graduation certificate PTL.  Now I felt much more confident about training others to be bush pilots for our Lord's air force.  Sara and I had a great time of fellowship with Paul and Pat Dye and many others at TAC base.   Paul Dye is one of the missionary pilots that was kidnapped in Columbia South America in Oct. of 1985.  With God's intervention Paul escaped from the Guerilla camp, in conditions that was certainly impossible within human standards.  Tribal Air and Communications/TAC is now New Tribes Mission/Aviation.  NTM made a video of this account.  The video is available from New Tribes Missions in Sanford, FL, the video title is "When Things seem Impossible".

           To summarize the trip to Arizona, we had beautiful weather all the way including a tailwind, (the wind is normally from the West, this time it was from the East, imagine that!)  While I was there I flew with Jim Ferguson, Chief Pilot, then Paul Dye, TAC's Senior Pilot, after considerable testing and teaching me the specialty things I would need to know, Paul took me to the graduation strip in New Mexico.  The graduation strip is 950 feet long in the bottom of a canyon with a mountain sitting at the end.  This strip is sloping up and to the side, very rough and narrow and only a one way strip.  After successfully landing and taking off from there I was given a Certificate of graduation

           Sara and I had a good trip home we, spent a night at Alamosa Colorado on the way.   The aspens were in full color and went up to approx. 11,400 feet on the mountainsides.  We really enjoyed our trip home.  We went North of our route that we used to get to Arizona so we could enjoy the beauty of Grand Canyon and many other of the great works of our God.

          1994 went to Sanford Florida for missionary pilot safety meeting.  Bro. Jim Ferguson invited us to come to a missionary pilot safety seminar in Sanford Florida in 1994, that was three days well spent.

          1996 got CWW non profit corporation. June of 1996 we got our not for profit corporation.  Many people told us that getting a non profit corporation is very difficult and that we should go with a church or other organization that already had one.  We went ahead and applied for our own non profit and was granted a corporate charter.

          1997 got tax exempt 501-C3.  This is another one that we were told was difficult to impossible to get.   God blessed us with this one as well with little effort.

          1997 Sara nearly died because of Satan's attack on our ministry.  We had a family reunion where all our kids and their families and some friends came to visit for several days.  During these days Sara would stay up with the late crowd and play games etc. Hostess stuff ya know, then she would get up early in the morning to fix breakfast for the early crowd.

          Fall of 1998 I notified our prayer warriors that we needed money to buy land to put an airstrip on for our ministry.  The type of advanced flight training that we were doing required some very unsual maneuvers which made us a hazard to the normal traffic and the normal traffic a hazard to us with this in mind it appeared that the best answer was for us to have a private airstrip.

          1999 got deed in mail for Dove airstrip.  The first week of January 1999 brother Greg Gale (Greg was treasurer at the time)  went and got the mail and in that mail was a title deed for Dove airstrip PTL.  This is certainly proof that we serve a great and all powerful God.  We prayed for money to buy land to put an airstrip on and He gave us an airport with two strips, one grass and the other paved a heated hangar and an opportunity to purchase a home with seven acres on adjoining land. PTL.  We went to work finishing up our students that were flying with Smith's Flying Service.  We also needed to sell a couple of airplanes in order to relieve some debt and liquidate some finances to enable us to make the move to the new property.

          Dec. 1999 moved to Dove.  Greg and Elaine along with their children Chris, Matthew, and Daniel moved during October.  Sara and I were planning on moving in April of 2000 but a family in Wyoming said they needed to come in December so Sara and I changed our plans to move in December which we did.  The problems from doing it this way caused problems that we haven't yet been able to recover from as some of our things are still at the Mountain View property.

          Jan 17th 2002: Forty Years have come and gone: And more than ever I thank God for Sara!

 

Trained several missionary pilots.  We trained Frank Toews up to missionary pilot standars Frank was to go with a mission in Indonesia and started that way but problems there caused him to change his plans and go with another mission in Africa.  We gave some training to an Indonesian Pilot, Willy Kocu, Willy was with a Catholic mission who was operating from Sentani, Irian Jaya.  We gave Mike Sayre a lot of advanced training.  Djamba Mundeke a Congolese pilot some training.  Don Morris went from zero hours through private pilot with us.  Joel Friends got his Private with us, Joel Pierce got his private with us.  Joel Harper who is an MK got his instrument with us during his summer break for College of the Ozarks in Branson, Geoffrey Combs a PK from Farmington started his flight training with us,  as well as some training for a number of others prior to 2005. 

          We got an email from the IAMA list early in 2005 that a mission in Western Alaska needed a pilot during the camp season June and July.  I responded to the email letting them know that I would be willing to come during those months if they wanted me to.  They answered in a couple of weeks that they would like for me to come and bring an airplane if possible.

          June-July 2005 flew mission trip to Western AK.  Sara and I took off for Kako retreat Center which is near Russian Mission Alaska.  Kako is more that four hundred miles West of Anchorage.  I will add our Alask diary at this point.

 

 

ALASKA DIARY 2005

 

JUNE 25th

Sara:  We left MO81 and headed for Scribner, Nebraska for fuel.  Nobody was there.  It said on Air Nav. that it was self-service but when we got there the credit card machine only took a private credit card used by regular customers.  So we backtracked a few miles to Fremont, Nebraska.

When we got to the airport in Fremont, Nebraska we found out that all the motels were full because of a Swap Meet in town. There was a gas station across the street and when we told the girl working behind the counter there our despair she went to work and found us a place to sleep.  We spent the night at a Baptist Day Care in our sleeping bags on the floor. 

 

JUNE 26th

Sara:  We went to the Baptist Church next door and the people were very friendly and were very interested in what we were doing. The preachers name is Reverend Lee Foreman. The church wants us to contact them and let them know more about our mission trip.  Praise God!

     After church we were driven to the airport and we proceeded in getting things back in the airplane and went inside to pay for fuel.  As soon as we got to the counter a familiar voice said ďWell hello, Sara.Ē  It was Ted Forester.  Ted has been a friend to Lionel and I since Lionel was Commander of Civil Air Patrol in Mountain View.  Ted is from Fulton, Missouri and is a Colonel in Civil Air Patrol in Fulton. Ted has put many hours in helping restore our Cessna 180 we are using for this mission trip.

     We put in 41.4 gal. of fuel in the aircraft here.

     We then flew to Mandan, North Dakota and got 34.6 gal of fuel for $97.01

     We flew on to Dickenson, North Dakota and we stayed with Paul Belzer (a member of Cessna 180 club and a strong Catholic) and his wife, Heather, and his two daughters, Mary,4, and Bernadette, 7 months, and Heatherís sister, from Alaska, Callie.  Heather fed us two great meals and gave us a wonderful bed to sleep in.

JUNE 27th

     Sara:  When we left N.D we were told by flight service that we would have a 33 kt headwind.  We actually had 5-10 knot tailwind.  Praise God!  We flew to Cut Bank, Montana and got fuel. I, Sara, left my purse there.  I had all my identification, money, credit cards, and checkbook with me, but both of our cell phones were in my purse.

         We flew to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  This is where we went through customs.  All went well but by the time we got through customs and got our clearance we got in the airplane and within 5 minutes before the airplane got warmed up we looked out and a low cloud came in and we called back in to flight service and the visibility went from 1,100 ft to 200 ft.  The weather is not scheduled to be good enough to fly out before Wednesday, 29th.  We met 3 other pilots (Bob, Mike, and Rod) and a teenager (Justin) Bobís son, at the Lethbridge Airport and we all stayed at a Super 8.

JUNE 28th

     The other pilots decided to rent a van and we agreed to help share the van rental.

     We called Cut Bank, Montana and the FBO told us he would mail my purse to Port Alsworth, Alaska to Myronís address. 

     Lionel and I walked about 2 city blocks to a family restaurant for supper.

We ate breakfast at the motel.   We kept calling flight service all day hoping to get out.  It looks like another night here!  The other pilots took Lionel and I to Dennyís for supper and they went to a steak house.  We walked about 3 city blocks back to our room.

     We have given several of our brochures to people we have met.  The Canadians we have met donít seem to be very excited about missions. Esso flight service is supposed to fuel our airplane and have it ready for a flight tomorrow.  (We pray that the weather will allow us to fly out tomorrow morning.)

 

JUNE 29TH

    Sara:   We left Lethbridge with 3 other aircraft and in about 1 Ĺ hours.  One of  the pilots in one of the airplanes decided he had to land to go to the bathroom and the other 2 airplanes landed and we decided to fly on.

     We had to fly in and around several storms but all in all it was a good flight. First there was a lot of cattle farms and then we saw a lot of rough ground.  Our first stop was at Fort St. John.  Then on to Watson Lake, we had planned on camping at Watson Lake, Yukon with the other pilots that we  left Lethbridge with but after checking with flight service we found that the other pilots canceled their flight plans and were not expected to come here tonight.  The mosquitoes were pretty bad here and with the others not coming anyway Sara and I decided to go on to Whitehorse Yukon.

     Our last stop in Canada, was at White Horse.  There was beautiful scenery and we walked to a restaurant where we had a great evening meal and just across the road from the restaurant we saw a DC-3 that was used as a wind T.  We saw a rainbow that was clear to the ground

 

 

 

JUNE 30

Lionel:  We got up walked to the airport terminal restaurant for breakfast then stopper by flight service which was next door to check the weather and file our flight plan to Northway, Alaska. At Northway we checked in with customs, I had expected to have to unload a lot of our stuff for the customs inspector. The inspector was a native American woman who was happy to just ask us what we had on board, such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and guns.  We told her that we didnít have any of the above on board except the guns, then she asked if we registered them in Canada, when we told her yes she told us that we had to pay a $ 25 annual customs fee and put our sticker on our plane and we could go. We had lunch at a small restaurant that was also operated by native Americans. After lunch, refueling the airplane, checking the weather and filing our flight plan we left for Anchorage.  On the way to Anchorage we flew through Mentasta pass, Indian pass, and Tahneta pass and I am not sure what else.  It was interesting to say the least.  During the time we were going through these passes we encountered clear weather with sunshine, good visibility with mountain tops obscured and high ceilings down to low ceilings rain and fog. There  were a lot of rain showers and one time we had to make a 360 degree turn to get to a lower altitude to get under the clouds.   We also saw a number of glaciers along the way.  We spent the night with Karen.?

 

 

JULY 1ST

Sara:  We got up and went to a Christian Church in Anchorage to meet with the missions directors and then we went to Gwennies Restaurant (The restaurant in Anchorage).I ordered a half order of Biscuits and gravy and got a huge plate.   Lionel ordered Reindeer sausage, eggs, hash browns and toast.  Probably enough for at least 4 people.  Lionelís eyes were very big when he saw how much food was on the plate.  The Reindeer sausage was great.  After breakfast we went to Merrill airport, went to the pilot shop to pick up some more charts, service the plane file our flight plan and get in the air again.  We had some fairly complicated airspace to get through for awhile as there are several very busy airports there including the worlds busiest seaplane base, Lake Hood.  After getting out of the busy terminal area we were blessed with good weather along the West side of Cook Inlet.  The next thing we had to do was figure out where to enter Lake Clark Pass in order to get to Port Alsworth. Where we were planning to spend the night with Myron, Terry, and David Martin.  There are several areas that look like the entrance to Lake Clark pass so I figured different ways to identify the pass entrance.  We were fortunate to find the right place especially considering that it is getting late and the weather is deteriorating.  The mountain tops are obscured and we are encountering light rain as we enter the pass.  It must be fifty or sixty miles through the pass.  Along the way there are several areas that are rather narrow and several turns to make.  I suppose the places are not as tight as they appear to us common folk from the flat lands in the Midwest.  The ceilings were steadily lowering and the rain was increasing as the canyon wall were getting closer.  As we neared Lake Clark the canyon started getting wider and the rain eased off a bit.  In a short while after getting out of the canyon we  saw Port Alsworth airstrip and landed.  Myron, Teri, and David were all there to meet us and help tie the airplane down. PTL another great and very interesting day of flying in Alaska.

 

 

 

July 2nd

Lionel:  Got up and enjoyed a great breakfast with the Martins

Then we went to the lodge for some pictures and to enjoy the view over the bay.  Later we went for about a one-mile walk to the post office to mail a letter to Montana.   Around noon Teri fixed us a lunch to take with us to eat while we fly on to Russian Mission AK.  We took off and headed West North West across Lake Clark, we had good visibility and for the most part low terrain, there were peaks up to around 4000, the clouds were above the peaks most of the way.  This leg of the trip was pretty uneventful but beautiful accented with light turbulence.  This is the longest trip I have ever been on in the U. S. that we have seen no roads. Sara and I were surprised that we were not seeing any animals anywhere.  As we were approaching Russian Mission Ak Sara did see a moose so I let down and turned around so she could get pictures of the moose only to find that there were two, a bull and a cow.            We landed at Russian Mission only to find out that we were at the wrong place. Just before we landed I noticed that KAKO was another dot on the map that was about six miles North of Russian Mission so I cranked the engine and took off to fly North looking for another airstrip.  We found a short crooked rutted, undulating, gravel and rock airstrip having a few muddy spots in it and sloping up a mountain side that I decided had to be the place we are looking for. After flying over the place I knew this is KAKO Retreat because of the pictures I had seen of it on the internet.  Dave called on the radio to see if it was us, then he came on his four wheeler to welcome us to Kako.  When Dave saw the stuff we had in the plane he said he would go get a wagon to haul it in.  His wagon was a two-wheel trailer like the one we pull with our lawn mowers at home.  It took two trips loading the trailer and the boxes on the four-wheeler to get every thing moved to our cabin.  Sara counted thirty-two swallow nests above our entry door.   So far we havenít been bombed.   Many have come to Dove airstrip to visit us and ended up landing at Bismark, Mo. City airport.   Landing at Dove is a very sedentary operation compared to landing at Kako.

 

                                                July 3rd

 

Lionel:  We are up early around 5:30 It seems that it is always light here with sunset coming after midnight and sun rise coming about three or four hours later and a bright twilight time in between.  We went to the dining room for breakfast and at 10:30 we went upstairs for Church.  We asked how we could mail things from here and the answer was to fly the mail to Russian Mission and mail it.  I was told that during the winter you could walk the river or ride a snowmobile down the river to get or send mail, there are no roads for hundreds of miles in any direction. The music was great at church.  It is like our gospel sings at home and at church.  We sang praise choruses and from hymnals.  There were only about 40 of us singing but the sound was awesome.  God was really there.  Sara sang God on the Mountain. 

 

 

                                                July 4th

Lionel:  Monday we will not be flying in campers today.  This morning after breakfast and some morning chores we all got together for a fourth of July parade.  Dave and Vera Penz were the Grand marshals of the parade.  Sara went to the kitchen early this morning to make cookies and do other kitchen chores and cooking.  Lola, a young lady from Africa that now lives in Tennessee, made Sara a necklace out of wood and wrote her name on it with a marker and drew butterflies on it. This evening the crew of volunteers were cleaning things up for a new week of camp to start tomorrow.   One of the men told the following joke:  the story goes like this.  In a dream Billy Graham and Lionel Smith had both died and gone to heaven.  Billy was admitted first and was given a small cabin in the corner of heaven and Lionel was given a large mansion in the middle of heaven.  Billy questioned St. Peter about this saying many souls were saved because of his crusades and Lionel was just a pilot.  St. Peter responded yes but people went to sleep during your crusades and when Lionel was flying everyone was praying {:>).  I discovered that my aircraft battery has apparently gone bad, I hope to get another one tomorrow I am going to call Bethel, airport in the morning to see if they have one.  I am going to pick up one of the campers there in the morning anyway. Jerry the maintenance man here had another battery that was the right type and size to fit my plane and he willingly traded it for my dead one, PTL.

 

 

 

                                                July 5th

 

Lionel:  Tuesday we went to breakfast as usual but I knew today was to be different because today we were scheduled to start flying out to pick up campers and bring them to Kako, AK for Camp.  Thane took off early this morning, I think I heard someone say that he went to Hoopers Bay which is on the Bearing Strait which is something like 160 miles away.  I took off for my first load at 11:00 I flew in 6 loads today.  The strip here is short, sloping, rocky, rough, crooked, and bordered with muddy places on both sides of a narrow useable strip.  The weather was very good with sunshine and light winds. 

 

Sara spent another hard day in the kitchen.  Thane is taking Dave to Anchorage tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                July 6th

 

Lionel:  Thane took Dave to Anchorage today,  Vera asked me to take Peter to Russian Mission to get the mail today, we got five large boxes one small one and lots of mail and two aircraft tires and tubes. George went with us to Russian Mission also.  The post master told me that the mail runs every day that the weather isnít too bad, and that an over night package would get there about the same as regular mail in about a week.  Russian Mission is a village of approx 360 people , this village has a post office and two stores. Part of today I welded on a hopper that is being built to handle concrete with. Sara spent another hard day in the kitchen.  I bought a 12 pack of coke for $9.50 there is no sales tax on it here.

 

 

 

                                                July 7th

 

Lionel:  It is 7:00 and Sara has already gone to the kitchen, she is getting pretty weary and worn down, I asked her to see about cutting her hours in the kitchen down a bit.  Sara is having a bad time with cold sores on her lips.  Dr. Art Angove is here and he thinks that stress might be causing the sores.  Dr. Angove is going to Bethel Ak today and is going to get some meds for Sara. As it worked out Dr. Angove was not able to get any meds for Sara as they would not recognize him as a Dr. in Alaska.   After breakfast I will be going to check  our C-180 to see that it is ready to go if needed.  Later I will go to the machinery service shop to help Jerry the mechanic for a while today.  I worked on a welding project yesterday and may work on it more today.  I spent several hours working on the concrete bucket today and it still isnít finished.  They need it done next week.  I went to Napakiak just a little past Bethel to pick up an Indian that wanted to come to Kako this week  Steven is his name.   Steven is a friend of George, George is a Yupik Eskimo, who is full time staff here. Sara was able to take some time between lunch and dinner and walk up the mountain.  It takes about 1 and a half hours to go to the top and back.  There were lots of ground blueberries.  They are not a sweet as the ones on bushes but the flavor is the same. They make great blueberry pancakes.  We had Spagetti, Jello, and cake for dinner and we were only allowed to eat with kitchen utensils.  Sara ate with a pie server and I ate with a------------.

 

                                                July 8, 2005

 

It is darker than usual outside because of clouds and fog. I havenít checked the weather for a few days so I donít know what to expect.  We are supposed to be taking the campers back home tomorrow.  I will be going to the lodge for breakfast this morning and then to check out the 180 to make sure it is ready to go if needed.  I have gotten several short notice calls to make flights already this week.  Flying here has a totally new meaning because it seems that most every thing and every body depends on it.  Few villages are connected by even a trail and most everything that comes or goes is flown.  During the summer some of the villages that are on a navigable river have the option to get large items via barge.  During the winter the bush planes are still busy carrying people and supplies about in Alaska, the wheels and floats give way to skis and wheel skis .  Snowmobiles, dog sleds, skis, crawler tractors, and snow shoes provide some of the transportation.  Sara is already gone to the kitchen to help get breakfast ready for the campers and staff.  Some of our new friends will be going home to Washington State tomorrow if the weather is good enough.  Another work team is coming in tomorrow or Sunday to work on building another house.  I have been told that bear, and moose are common here and that the moose may be a larger threat to people than bear.  We went to the chapel and heard three very touching testimonies and some guitar music played by Steven.

 

July 9, 2005

 

Lionel:  We are planning to fly the campers home today and to bring in a work crew to build another house.  The mountain tops are obscured and the valleys are foggy.   I flew David Kitchen, his daughter, and Fred to Bethel today so they could catch a flight to San Juan Island, Washington.  When I got back to Kako I picked up two campers and flew them to Marshall, then I took four campers to  Russian Mission, and brought back 13 workers from  Russian mission, Thane picked up the 14 th one. Later I picked up Elizabeth Paul, Stevens wife, at Russian Mission. Altogether I flew seven flights today.

 

 

                                                July 10, 2005

 

Sara:  Today is Sunday.  This morning we heard testimonies from George and Eunice Landlord and Steven who are Yupik Eskimos.  Joshua the camp director gave a testimony also, he shared several things with us including that the Eskimo and Indian kids kept pulling his red hair to see if it was real and kept asking if his blue eyes could actually see.   We also got to pan some gold today, Dave Penz the founder of Kako Retreat took us on this little expedition and I might add I enjoyed trying my hand at panning gold.  There are some tricks to the trade.  I panned some and thought there was no gold in the pan and Dave took the same pan contents and all and showed me there was gold in the pan, I obviously didnít know how to handle the pan. Vera Penz gave her testimony. They were missionaries in Alaska.  Her first husband drowned trying to get help for Vera and their two children and a young man that was with them.  They were in a boat and the motor quit and they were in fast moving water.  He put down anchors to hold the boat but the anchors did not hold and the boat got close enough to shore that the young man helped Vera and kids on to shore.  Vera had a 6 month old son and a 3 year old daughter.  She was not able to nurse and after 3 days her son died in her arms.  After 5 days they were discovered and rescued.  The testimonies are very touching.  Many of the Eskimos and Indians have come from homes of abuse and alcohol.  One talked about seeing his dad kill his mom and then later seeing someone kill his dad. (Not connection with killing his mom.)

I expect to be flying in campers tomorrow.  I am expecting to go to Aniak for two loads then to Bethel for three loads, Marshall for one camper and to Russian Mission for one camper.  We expect thirty campers tomorrow, with 41 of us here now the extra thirty will make it necessary for the kitchen to have two sittings to get every one fed. 

 

                                       July 11th 2005

 

Lionel:  Monday this is the day we are supposed to go get campers and some workers and fly them in.  The weather was overcast with pretty good visibility here and rather windy.  I encountered some very low ceilings and visibilities, 200 and 1 mile or so, between Aniak and Kako.  I made two flights to Aniak today, one flight to Marshall, one flight to Bethel and one to Achiachak.  Today was quite windy with some severe turbulence near the mountain peaks.  Achiachak has an East West runway that is only 1600 feet long and about 40 feet wide, when I got near there I tuned in Bethel atis only to find out that the wind was from the South at 19 gusting to 24, I didnít know if the 180 and I were up to that situation or not.  God blessed this flight and I picked up three girls at that airport and flew them to Kako.  Arctic Barnabus Seneca III landed at Kako today and brought a young man to camp, I think he might have come to serve with staff.  The pilot was Joel?  Joel said his next stop was to be at Port Alsworth.  Sara as usual spent most of the day in the kitchen.  Sara is getting very worn out and refuses to take a break from it. I am scheduled to fly to St. Maryís tomorrow to deliver a letter and pick up a camper.  We are planning on doing a little fun flying with Gary, Margo, Sara and myself on Thursday this week.  We want to visit some  villages and maybe do a little shopping. I went to the 180 to add oil and mount a hook to hang cameras etc. on.  While I was there a Cherokee 6 attempted a landing and made a go around toward the mountain.  Later when I was inside it sounded like he made another pass, I donít know if he came in or not.

 

 

                                                July 12th

 

Lionel:  We started this morning a little different than usual.  Sara went to the kitchen and I went to the airstrip to check the 180 for flight as Cindy, one of the cooks needed a letter delivered to St. Mary, AK and a girl brought back.  Cindy was blessed with another grandson today.  A camp director landed at Russian Mission last night and needed a ride back to his plane this morning so I took him to Russian Mission then went on to St. Mary.  The weather was pretty good here by Alaska standards, the ceilings were around 500 overcast and the visibility was probably 10 miles, the mountain tops around the strip were still obscured.  The weather at St. Mary was 1200 overcast and 6 mile visibility.  Along the way the weather deteriorated to 300 and 1mile in light rain and fog in one of the passes that I had to travel to get to St. Mary. The ceiling was low for a while after the rain stopped so I stayed low and enjoyed the scenery that we usually donít get to see because we are too high.  As I neared St. Mary the weather improved to forecast conditions or better.

          The crew from Rockford was busy working on the new house for Kako when I got back.  I took the cowling off the 180 to see if I could find out why the alternator was making so much interference in the ADF.  I discovered that the alternator noise filter was not grounded to the case.   After moving the filter and tightening the nut that holds it on it was grounded and the ADF would work with the alternator on.  I made a local flight to check the ADF in flight and to make a little more video of flying in and out of Kako airstrip.

          Sara had a little better day today.  She has been putting more hours of work in the kitchen than the cooks and they told her to take a little more time off during the day.  She has been helping cook, bake cookies, and do dishes. They had noticed that she was wearing down.

 

                                       July 13, 2005

 

Lionel:  No flights scheduled today.  I worked on getting pictures from my camera on to quick drives and trying to find a program to run my cd writer mostly to no avail.  Sara spent another day in the kitchen.  I got more pictures today.  I found out today that Georges cousin drowned in the Yukon river day before yesterday.  Dr Angove went home today.  Dr. Angove had a death in his family this week and my Aunt Leota Campbell passed away this week, and Georges nephew drowned.  They all died the same day. They have a lot of drownings here in Alaska.  There is some kind of matter in the water that attaches to the clothing and weighs people down so that they can not stay above water.  Add very cold water and you have a real problem.  The internet went down today so I wasnít able to get the programs I needed or  check the weather on it.  Georges son Kevin is having a birthday party today, he will be eight years old.

           The sky was bright and sunny for a while this morning which is very unusual for this part of Alaska.  This evening it is getting dark and stormy,  looking.  We hope to get to do a fun flight tomorrow with Gary, Margo, Sara and I.  We want to fly out to some of the airports near villages to get a better feel for life styles and conditions here.  Gary and Margo are from Washington State. 

          Tonight we went to George and Eunice Landordís home for Kevinís birthday party.  We got to eat real Eskimo ice cream, wow it is good. We were advised by some people not to eat Eskimo ice cream.  Some places it is made with blubber and raw fish.  The fish was cooked in this ice cream.  It had boiled fish, dream whip, blueberries and I donít know the rest of the ingredients.  If the didnít tell you, you would not have known there was fish in it.   Dave and Vera Penz, Jerry and Deloris, Victor, Peter and Steven were there.  It was a great evening.  Peter brought a brown bear he had carved out of soap stone and he had carved an ivory fish to put in its mouth.  What a wonderful keepsake to bring home.  We, also, have a chime that when it is finished will say KAKO and have a cabin, and bear and trees on it.  Eunice made Sara heart shaped earrings made with beads.

 

July 14, 2005

 

Lionel:  Today we are going to make a fun flight to visit some villages.  We are planning on going to Grayling, Anvik, Holy Cross, Aniak, Kalskag, and back to Kako to see what differences in living conditions are there.  We left right after lunch and flew to  Grayling when we came in to the pattern a 207 called in it was an air carrier, a King Air was firing up as we landed and a 210 was there when we landed.  The small plane is indispensable in a place like this.  Hundreds of small planes are used as airliners up here.  I am thankful that I had a really good flight instructor that taught me how to safely operate from a short obstructed strip in a tail wheel airplane.  At Grayling we went to the mission house, which was unattended as the missionaries were away at church camp.  The Church next door was unlocked so we went in and took some pictures.  After a brief look at the church which had seating for around 25 people we went to the store which was nearby only to find it was closed because of no power, then we went on down the street to the tribal council office for awhile.  Later the store reopened and we  went in Gary bought us some ice cream bars that tasted good but by their look must have old.  I bought us two bottles of pop. The mosquitoes were really bad there so Sara and I put on our head nets.   The nets helped a lot.  We walked back to the airport which was a nice gravel strip with some  up slope to the South and about 2100 feet long.  We took off and headed South  to Aniak along the way we crossed Anvik and Holy Cross then on to Aniak.  We saw several moose along this route and took some pictures.  the sky was filled with smoke along here, we saw only one small fire and donít know how much of the area is on fire but we may hear about it when we get to Anchorage Tuesday.  At Ankak we refueled the airplane, it held 25.7 gallons of fuel and it cost 4.97 a gallon.  While there we got a ride with the boy that was working at the airport, he drove us to the store where we got some bottled water and other things that we wanted.  After a fairly short time we got back in the airplane and took off to the South West toward Kalskag, we flew over kalskag.  Another small plane which appeared to be another airliner was taking off there as we over flew the airport.  At this point I took a course direct to Kako.  Gary wanted to be home by six oclock and we arrived there five minutes past.  Overall it was a great day and we got to see more of Alaska and itís people.  The people at Grayling are Indian.

 

July 15, 2005

Lionel:  Today again dawned bright and beautiful.  To start the day I took Keith (from Rockford) up and we did nearly and hour of pictures and video of Kako and the immediate area.  Thane went to Bethel to get five one hundred pound propane bottles filled and was back at 10:30 to take a load of campers.

At 10:30 I loaded up a load of campers one to go to Mountain Village and the other two to go to Hooper Bay. The weather became cloudy with some rain and more wind that when I started out.  The next flight was to take three campers to Aniak, I refueled the plane while there.  The next load was three girls from Anikchak. On the way home from Anikchak I encountered a line of small thunderstorms and had to fly through some moderate rain.  All in all it was another great day of flying in Alaska.  Sara spent another day in the kitchen.  This evening we had a real treat from the kitchen, it was some of the best pizza I have ever eaten, it was all made right there in the Kako kitchen.

Tomorrow we will be taking the crew from Rockford back to the airport in Russian Mission.  Thane will be taking Gary and Margo to Bethel to put them on a flight to Anchorage then on home in Washington, state.

 I tried to send Bryon another email with a picture attached tonight.

 

July 16, 2005

 

Lionel:  Saturday it is coming up on eight oíclock and still no power they usually start the generator around six thirty on week days and later on weekends.  They run the generator all day on week days and at different times on weekends.

We are planning on doing a mini presentation at the Anchorage Christian Church on Tuesday evening. We are planning on leaving Anchorage Wednesday morning  

I would like to go fishing for a little while this morning then I need to check the 180 and make sure it is ready to fly the crew from Rockford over to Russian Mission to catch a flight with MARC I think that stands for Mission Aviation Repair Center.

 MARC has at least two Piper Navajos that they fly people around in they serve a lot of small villages.  Arctic Barnabus operates a Seneca III.  Arctic Barnabus also serves missions all over Alaska.

 

July 17

 

Lionel:  Sunday We got up at 6:00 to finish loading the plane to go to Seldovia, Ak to visit Arnold Anderson, A friend of mine that I havenít seen since the late fifties.  I couldnít get fuel because the generator wasnít started yet so we finished loading the plane.  It started raining about the time the generator was started so I didnít want to add fuel as I  would also be adding water.   By now the mountain tops were obscured by fog and rain, the visibility went down to about a half mile and the ceiling was probably 200 feet.  We went to the house with Jerry and Deloris, we had a nice visit for a couple of hours and it rained the whole time. The rain was now slowing down so I decided to go and fuel the plane.  The weather forecast for surrounding airports was pretty good like 600 to 1400 overcast and 6 to 10 miles visibility.  We were up to over five miles and an estimated 200 overcast in light rain.  I felt like it might be going to deteriorate as the day went on so Sara and I took off to head for Seldovia.  I checked the forecast for Merrill pass and each time I checked they told me that there were no pilot reports and the weather caused them to believe the pass was closed.  Merrill pass would be our closer way to get on the other side of the mountains.  As we neared the pass the weather seemed to be getting worse and I started to turn and go to Lake Clark pass instead then I saw enough improvement in it to go a little farther.  I demonstrated to Sara that the 180 could turn around in less than half the width of the canyon.  I decided that I would go to where the canyon turned to the right to go through Merrill pass and take a look at it but that I really doubted that we would go through there today.  We had asked God to bless the day with good enough weather and with safety.  When we turned the corner into the pass that would take us to Merrill pass we were flying in rain and fog, as we turned the corner we saw some blue sky and sunshine PTL.  The required altitude is not show on the WAC chart that I had so I had to take a guess at it.  I climbed to 4000 as we approached the part of the pass that is known to some as the graveyard, this is a spot where the canyon is very narrow and makes a right angle turn.  It looks like there is no where to go until you get right there then you see you can make a pretty tight turn to the right and soon the canyon widens out and you will pass by some of the prettiest sights I have ever seen including glaciers, lakes, and rock formations.  After we got to the end of the pass we turned South along Cook Inlet.  We flew South to a narrow place in the inlet (name) to cross.  We crossed near Kenai, AK. Then on to the South West to Homer then on across another bay to Seldovia.  We arrived at Seldovia three hours and forty five minutes after leaving Kako.  We didnít get a chance to call Andy before we left as he had requested.  We found several small offices on the airport but no one in any of them so I just used one of their phones and called Ann answered just as Andy drove in so I got to tell him that we had arrived.  Andy seemed pleased that we were here.  Andy and Ann fixed us a fabulous meal of (fish?) and other side dishes.  After we ate Andy drove us around over a lot of the area around Seldovia and considering that there is only 44 miles on road in the area we used most of them.   When we got back I downloaded my camera to Andyís computer and burned pictures to a cd.   It is now midnight Alaska time and Three in the morning at home.  The tail wheel on the 180 didnít unlock to let me turn in to my parking place so I will have to take it apart and service it in the morning before we can go on.  I plan to stop at Homer to see if I can get in touch with either of the young men that contacted me about missionary pilot training.  I will also add fuel there.

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2005

 

Lionel:  I am going to the airport this morning to work on the tail wheel and do some other service on the airplane then I am going to come back and work on presentation material for the Anchorage Christian Church. The tail wheel job took over three hours for me to clean and grease it.  I also jacked up the main wheels and checked the bearings for slack and smoothness, they seemed ok I repositioned some of the weight in the airplane and checked the oil, I think the plane is ready to finish loading and going in the morning.  I am planning on stopping at Homer for fuel and to see if anyone there knows about a couple of missionary pilot wanna bees.   I also think the three pilot that we met at Lethbridge  AB might be there I canít remember for sure where they were going but I think it was Homer.

Sara spent several hours today trying to put together a slide presentation for the Church at Anchorage for tomorrow evening.  I hope to get a good start Thursday and get well on our was across Canada.

Sara and I had a very good time visiting with the Andersons, Arnold (Andy) Ann, and Westin, Westin Is Annís grandson. 

We got to run around in Seldovia a little while today.  The Aleuetian Islands were discovered in 1740 by a Russian expedition, which discovered abundant furs here, this brought about a fur rush in 1742.  The fur rush soon came the Southern Kenai Peninsula. This area soon became a major fur trading area by the Russians and later the Americans.  .  There were many Native Americans here then as well as now.  The Natives were pressed into hunting and trapping for the Russians and  the Americans.  The Indigenous people were unprepared for this type of work and the separation from families and tried to resist until a smallpox epidemic crushed their ability to resist.  In 1852 Russian captain Archimandritov observed the spring herring run and named the bay ĒSeldovoiĒ, Bay of Herring By the 1870ís the Russians and natives settled in Seldovia making it one of the oldest settlements in the Cook Inlet area.  Much of Seldovia was built on piling and had a board walk.  Many building are still on piling which makes it look like a setting in the late 1800s. Most of the board walk was destroyed by the 1964 earthquake. 

 

July 19, 2005

 

Sara:  We stopped by the Police Station to say goodbye to Andy and left Seldovoia and headed for Homer, Alaska for fuel.  The weather was supposed to be good but by the time we fueled the weather deteriorated and we decided to eat an early lunch.  We had an appointment to be at the Christian Church of Anchorage at 6:00 p.m. The weather was so bad we were not able to fly out until 5:30 p.m.  And it was an hour flight to Anchorage.  We got to Anchorage at 6:30 and we were picked up by Karen  and got to the church at 6:40.  When we opened the church door we were met by Harry and Sue Judd.  What a wonderful surprise.

Karen rents a basement apartment from the church and we stayed with her and her cat again.  Karen was very hospitable to us.  We had a great stay again.

Deryl Titus, the preacher rescheduled our time for 8:30 pm and we were able to give a full presentation.

Lionel went to the church the next day and had coffee with Deryl, Harry, and Sue. Later we said our goodbyes and we all headed different directions.  Harry and Sue have been traveling since January and will not be headed for Texas until December.

We fueled up in Anchorage before we left and headed North to Gulkana, Alaska.  We stopped there to call Canadian customs to give them our required 2 hours notice.  When we arrived we checked our time and gave them 3 hours notice.  We then landed in Northway, Alaska for fuel for the airplane and passengers.  We left Northway and headed for customs at Beaver Creek, Canada.  When we arrived was no one there and when we called the 1-888 number they gave us our customs clearance on the phone.

We headed for White Horse but there was a lot of smoke from fires causing bad visibility so we stopped at a small airfield near Kulane Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada.

The airfield was on the map as an abandoned strip.  But when we landed we were greeted by a man named Lance.  Lance flies mountain climbers to glaciers so they can go  mountain climbing.. Lance took us to some new small cabins that a French family owned.  The owner of the cabins first name is Immanuel. We liked the atmosphere and decided we were going to stay in one of the cabins.  (Especially since the weather went south on us.)

 

July 21, 2005

Sara:  It was foggy when we got up this morning.  It is 9:00 and still foggy.  We are going to go and get some breakfast in the home of the owners of the cabins.  Their home looks like an old very small motel but I think it was old military housing.  The airstrip used to be owned by the military as an extra strip.  (If needed).

Our cabin was nice and we had no heat but enough covers and body warmth to keep warm.  But we are used to that because we had no heat at Kako either.

We made a flight plan to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada and had to deviate because of weather and flew South to Dease Lake, British Columbia, Canada.  We had to land at about 5: 00 pm due to weather and stayed at Northway Motel and ate at the Northway Restaurant across from the Motel..

 

 

July 22, 2005

Sara:  We got up and the weather was down and had to wait so we ate Brunch  at the Northway Restaurant and the motel manager gave us a ride to the airport.  We fueled and was advised to follow the railroad levee (No rail for most of it but it was obvious what it was supposed to be) through a pass.  The weather East was not good.  So we went South.  The weather was low at the beginning of our flight but by going South we had the best weather we have seen on the trip. There were thunderstorms on both sides of us but we were able to fly between them. We were finally able to fly for several miles at 7500 ft.  Most of our flying has been at 2000 ft. or less.  Mostly less.

We landed at Kamloops, British Columbia,  Canada.  It is a beautiful place in the bottom of a valley.  We had to cross a ridge that is 6100 MSL ft to come in and land at 1100 ft and had to descend very fast.  We had no idea it was so quick a let down in to the valley but with a Cessna 180 you can climb or let down pretty quick.

We stayed at Fortune Motel in Kamloops.  We ate supper at a Chinese Restaurant.

 

July 23, 2005

 

Lionel: We got up to a bright and beautiful morning this morning, this is a very unusual thing on this trip as most of our mornings have been foggy and rainy.  The weather is very warm compared to what we have experienced.  Greg told us they have been having 100 plus temps at home, I think that Sara and I will probably go into thermal shock or perhaps thermal runaway {:>).  We are planning to go through customs at Scott airport in Washington state this morning.   After we get back to the U. S. I want to get a case of oil and change the oil on the 180 today if possible.  I want to visit some of the strips in Idaho then go on home.  The U. S. weather map looks good but hot for the rest of our trip.

Sara:  We had to redo the baggage in the airplane.  Needless to say that all the baggage compartment and all the back seat are full and needed to be reshuffled.  We probably spent 2 hours at that task.  We had our big suitcases buried and needed some clean clothes to put in our overnight bag.  Of course they were in the back on bottom.  We use most things in the back seat so they had to be neatened up.

         The weather was good we got through customs fine.  We fueled up there at Scott airport in Washington state the fuel price there was $3.34 a gallon, that is the cheapest gas we have gotten for a while.

          We went on to an airstrip in Idaho.  I wanted Lionel to beam me up after we did that trick.  We had to go into a long narrrrrrrow valley and twist and turn through narrrrrrow passes (about 2 miles)  and finally we came to the opening for the airfield. It really was beautiful there and I thought I might just want to live there rather than fly back out the very crooked narrrrrrow pass.  We had to stay for awhile because the winds came up and Lionel said it was too dangerous to fly out so we waited for the wind to die down.

          We flew on to Anaconda, Montana and it was getting dark and I made Lionel land because we were in mountains up to 12,000 feet.  I told him I do not do mountains after dark.  Sorry!  The field there was over 5,000 feet.

We decided to save money and sleep in our sleeping bags.  We was going to use our tent but it was wet from flying in the rain.  Apparently there is a leak in the back of the airplane.  Even though the airport was unattended the office was left unlocked so we slept in our sleeping bags on the floor.

         We have flown through mountains, mountains, mountains, and mountains . . . . . . .  And when they sing the song ďThe Bear went over the mountainĒ I donít believe it because I have not seen a bear on this trip.   Probably 7,000 miles.  And Lionel has flown a lot more miles than that.

 

July 24th

         What a beautiful day.  There is not a cloud in the sky.  Paul Smith from Anaconda, Mt. came by the airport and he is a strong Baptist.  We read several chapters in Psalms and had prayer time with Paul.  He took Lionel to town to get coffee and donuts.  Paul is planning on going to Kentucky next June to help build a church and is planning on coming to CWW to get his Private License after he has finished his short term mission. Paul flies a Para glider.

          Lionel:  A boy who was on oxygen and his parents came to the airport to get the boy an airplane ride.  A pilot from Butte, Mt came to give him his ride.

          Another pilot, Art Lazzarini,  was there Art does mountain flying training.  Arts business name is Mountain Air Engineering, and is located in Halley, Idaho. 

          We loaded the airplane, filled it with fuel @$3.44 a gallon, started up taxied to runway 16 which was favored by a light wind.  With the temperature already at 70 the density altitude is high.  After a much longer than usual takeoff run we lifted off and turned more Easterly to go to West Yellowstone airport. There is a long valley going South East from the Anaconda airport.  We climbed to 12,000 to clear the ridges.  We had a good ride to WYS.  When we were about 25 miles out I started letting down, so that I wouldnít have to come down real fast later.  By letting down at this time I will have to fly some passes to get to the West Yellowstone airport.  WYS is at 6630 above sea level and has a runway that is 8400 feet long.  We rented a car from Avis so we could go to Yellowstone Park.  Sara and I have talked about going to Yellowstone Park for many years but couldnít for one reason or another, due to weather we were going to fly very near the park anyway.   After lunch at KFC we went to see Old Faithful and as much of the rest of the park as we could.   

          We met a young lady in the store at the park who knew Paul Dye.  I think her name is Ellin.  We also met several other people who seemed interested in CWW and gave out several cards.

          Wrong turns and late again so spending the night in a cabin at Wagon wheel RV park.

          Elk and Bison

 

 

July 25th

 

Lionel:  Looking out the window this morning it looks clear, if it is we hope to get in the air in the next couple of hours.  We will be flying through the Absoroka Range in the Rockies, there is a pass that will let us fly over Old Faithful and then on East at reasonable altitudes, according to the chart relief marks the pass can be flown at less than nine thousand.  There are peaks in the area that go well above twelve thousand.  We have five hours of fuel on board this morning, which will get us past all the high terrain before we have to land and refuel again.

        Sara:   We flew over Old Faithful and headed for home. We landed in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska.  We got close to Lincoln, Nebraska and the weather started closing in on us.  We had to fly south and then West awhile.  We had to fly between several thunderstorms.  But God got us through.  Once we got through the storms it was good weather the rest of the way.  We flew about 10 hours in one day.   It was just getting dark when we arrived home at Dove Airfield. 

          Lionel:  I undertook to download the pictures from our camera and the computer saved 200 then stopped and gave an error message, there were 646 pictures.  The first 368 pictures had been burned to a cd and I got the last 200 but in between were the most important pictures of all.  Pictures of Sara holding a little Eskimo girl, pictures of Seldovia and my friend from the fifties Andy. Pictures of Harry and Sue Judd at the church in Anchorage and many more priceless pictures.

 

Lionel: Since we left for Alaska and until we got back I made seventy six flights totaling over 110 hours depending on our average speed this will amount to around 13,000 miles.

 

July 26th

Lionel :  We got up this morning and went to work on making a slide show for the VBS group at Mountain View Christian Church.  As has been pretty normal for a while things were not getting in place as we had hoped for.  Sara worked really hard at trying to locate pictures of our trip to AK to use in a power point presentation.

 

July 27th

          Lionel:  Its is 1:30 in the morning and the presentation still isnít finished although Sara has it pretty well done I think we will proof it later this morning.  I am to do a presentation about CWW and our mission trip to AK.

 

July 28th

Sara:  We spent some time with Kayla and the boys and had a great time in West Plains.

We had VBS and took lots of pictures and lost most of our pictures.  Our camera chip seems to be bad.  It shows pictures but you canít take them off the chip and it winds up deleting them when you try to load them into the computer.  Kayla and I made 70 candy airplanes to give to the kids.

 

July 29th

 

Lionel:  Sara and I went to share with the Eminence Christian Church this evening.  They had around 40 kids there.  It was a good evening and we had a good crowd. We ate with the folks at what used to be the old Rock Garden Kitchen.  They have remodeled it into a  very nice kitchen and dining hall.  Sara cooked there several years when it needed a lot of things done.

 

July 30, 2005

Lionel: Sara went with Kayla to go to yard sales and have fellowship time.  I am taking it easy this morning as I am pretty worn out from all the travel and I have been having a lot of pain in my right knee, hip, and shoulder, I donít know what caused the pain as I havenít fallen or anything like that.

 

          January 2006 Sara had a very serious gall bladder attack and subsequent surgery (nearly lost Sara)   Another wake up call.  Sara and I have done almost every thing together and now while I am taking her to the hospital I had many flash backs and           wonderment, could I even survive  without her?  Thank God for Sara

 

          Sara got up this morning with extreme pain and was passing dark urine.  I called a friend and supporter,  Dr. Max Self in Ft. Scott Kansas.  After describing the symptoms to Dr. Self he advised me to get Sara to Ft. Scott ASAP.  My first thought was to fly her there as the Cessna 180 was ready to go and could make the trip easily in a little over an hour.  I looked out the window and the fog was to the ground, I did a quick check on the weather between home and Ft. Scott and it didn't look good for a VFR (visual flight rules) flight and I didn't have any current Instrument charts, well so much for that idea.  Sara was busy trying to get a few things together for the trip, at this point she didn't know what mode of transportation we were going to use.  Neither did I, I did decide to drive after I looked out at the fog.  

          The car got the job so I am checking the car to see that it is ready for a quick trip to Kansas.  I loaded Sara and the necessary other minimum equipment (my catheter bag and a few clothes for Sara and I) for the trip we headed out for  Kansas in the fog and light rain.  The fog started lifting in a little while and the light rain ended soon.  The roads near home are crooked and hilly so much for hurrying here, I drove as fast as I felt I safely could.  I had already asked God to bless the trip with safety and good speed.  As we went farther the roads improved as well as the weather the road are now dry and we are now able to safely drive quite a lot faster than the posted 55.  I took highway 21 to Potosi then 8 to Steeleville 19 to Cuba then interstate 44 to highway 7 to Camdenton then 54 west to Ft. Scott.  Even

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2006  tumor in my eye and later I had a biopsy surgery (nothing found) Now           it's my turn to be sick.  What next?  It is all in God's hands. PTL 

          I took a fall and hit my left eye and even though it was closed it got a lot of pressure on it causing a lot of pain,  a couple of days later I was mowing with my tractor and a tree branch flipped off the exhaust pipe and hit my left eye, again causing a lot of pain and once again the eye was closed when the limb hit.  It has been about three years since I got my new glasses, I decided I should go have an eye exam and get my new glasses ordered,  I told the optometrist that I had hurt my eye and still had some pain from the injuries.  The Dr. found what he thought might be a tumor in my left eye and reccomended that I go to an opthomologist for a check up he made an appointment with Dr. Fitz at Precision Eye Care in Farmington. 

          Dr. Fitz saw the thing in my eye and had several of his co-workers come look at it also.  Dr. Fitz seems pretty sure that I have a malignent tumor in my eye and made an appointment for May the 10th for me to go to St. Louis to the Barnes Retina Center to see Dr. Harbour.  Sara and I went as instructed to see Dr. Harbour who also seems to think that I have a malignent tumor.  Dr. Harbour told us that I should have a biopsy right away and that we could save a trip if they did the biopsy and put on a radiation pack the same day.  I couldnt get this to make any sense at all, why should we do the radiation treatment if there is no cancer?  

          When I told Dr. Harbour that I didn't have any insurance he said that he could run my treatments through the Fellows, something or other program, and it wouldn't cost me anything and that he would also donate his time.

          I asked Dr. Harbour if doing the biopsy would affect my ability to fly for a few days and he assured me that I would see as well after the biopsy as before and that I could go ahead with things as usual, so I scheduled the biopsy for the following week May the 19th.

          We went to the surgery floor at Barnes early to get my biopsy done, after waiting a couple of hours a lady came a got us to do the paper work and send my down to pre-op prep room,  I am a bit troubled at this point, I am just here for a biopsy right?  Down at pre-op they took blood samples put an arm band on me hooked me up to an IV and I am getting very concerned about what they are planning, this was supposed to be a simple fine needle biopsy so why am I in pre-op?  Dr. Harbour came by and I asked him once again about what is going on and he said this was normal procedures for a needle biopsy.  I asked him again if I would be able to see normally after this procedure was done and he assured me once again that I would see after the biopsy as well as when I came in.  They soon came and wheeled me down to the operating room where there were several other Drs.  How many Drs. do you need to do a simple needle stick biopsy any way? I  soon went to sleep so I don't know what really happened at this time.  I soon woke up in the recovery room and discovered that I had a patch on my eye and it felt like it was full of sand, so what about the part that I would see the same after the biopsy as before? 

          Dr. Harbour told me to come back in a few days, I don't remember the date and I was so upset with the whole thing I didn't even try to make a note about it on my computer.  The next day I was to remove the patch and have Sara put some drops in my eye.  I could only tell light from dark at this time.  As the days went by my eye did improve so that by the time I was to go back in for the post op check up my vision was back to normal for me and I am pretty happy at this point thinking that I would still be able to make a planned mission trip to Westeren Washington to work with American Indian Evangelism  Association.

          The time has come now to go to see Dr. Harbour for my post op check up and get the biopsy report.  I drove to St. Louis and it seemed that my vision was normal for me.  After a pretty long wait I was finally called in to see Dr. Harbour,  Dr. Harbour's nurse Erika came in with the biopsy report with a big smile on her face and gave me the ok nod.  Dr. Harbour read the biopsy reoprt and noted that it said nothing found.  Dr. Harbour seemed pretty upset at this point and said that this is not a normal report and that something has to be wrong with it.  Dr. Harbour did another ultrasound and then took a blunt tool and put a lot of pressure on my eye causing extreme pain and at one point I am sure I felt something tear inside my eye socket.  After this treatment I had a lot more crossed eyes that when I came in.   Needless to say that it was a good thing that Sara came with me as I was not able to see well enough to drive home after Dr. Harbours rough handling and poking around in my eye.  I called back and talked to Erika about the crossed eyes problem and she said that it should recover in a couple of weeks.

          To make matters worse I started getting bills from Barnes and Washington University Physicians.  Considering that it was to cost me nothing for this service I just knew this was a mistake.  I have made several calls on these bills and paid some of the small ones.  It appears that I may end up paying up to $7,000 on something that was not supposed to cost me anything.

          I could not fly with my eye problem such as it is so I could not make the mission trip that I had planned to make before my flight physical ran out, another big disappointment.  I would not have had the biopsy except that Dr. Harbour assured me that I would be able to make the trip even if we did the biopsy.  I believe I could have made the flight mission if I hadn't followed Dr. Harbours instructions and came back for the post op check up.

          It is now July 9th and I still have eight diopters more crossed eyes so I don't expect this problem to just go away.

          I got so many warning signs and in trusting the Dr. I did't heed any of them. "Too soon old too late smart"!

                  

          June 2006  Still having eye trouble,  Kayla and her boys came up and Tyler Shepherd 

         

          2006 June 12th Aunt Mary Schuecking passed away.  Mary was my Dad's sister.

          June 16, 2006 Aunt Mary's memorial service is at St. Vincent Depaul church at           11:00 this morning

          June 20th  I went to another optometrist and ordered another pair of glasses to correct my vision problem.  I am hoping to be able to renew my flight physical at least to a class III medical.

June 22, 2006 Sara's sister Becky called to tell us that Their fathers long time friend, Cletus Hickman had died.

          June 24, 2006 Went to Carl Hanks memorial service, Carl was instrumental in encourageing me to go ahead with the aviation ministry.

          June 26, 2006  Sara, Kayla, and Kamen are going to Louisville, KY today for NACC

          July 9th I preached at Community Christian Church today.

          July 21st  until July 30th Went to Oshkosh for a week at the EAA fly in convention.   I had a good week at Oshkosh and made a lot of new contacts.  Lead a small group Saturday night 29th  and preached at a Baptist church Sunday morning and came home after that 30th .

          Aug  I have worked several long days on the property this month.  I have been leveling fields, removing trees and taking dirt out of the pond to use to level the field next to the pond and to fill around the hangar that we are building.

Aug 28th 2006 Sara and I went to Columbia and spent the night at super 8 motel, I have an appointment with Dr. Cowden at the Mason eye center in the morning. Sara and I both have a lot of aches and pains so we thought we would like to get a room with a Jacuzzi to see if that would help.

Aug 29th 2006 we got up early this morning Sara got a Jacuzzi treatment this morning then we went down stairs to get our breakfast.  I would like to go to the Harley shop next door for a little while.

We are hoping to get to have lunch with Ted and Janet Mountjoy today, I worked for Mountjoyís the winter of 1971/1972 at Osage Beach, MO.

 My Dr. appointment is at 10:00 I hope to get good news on the eye and also to get Dr. to say what caused my left eye to turn in eight diopters and for the eye pressure to come up after a post-op checkup.  

Dr. Cowden told me today that I should be considering getting the tumor or the eye removed.  He said I should at least get another ultrasound done to get an exact measurement on the tumor.  

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr. Cruz in St. Louis to see if he thinks I should have a surgery to correct my cross eyed condition.  Dr. Cowden told me that I should get an ultrasound before I think about the next step.  I called Dr. Cruzís office and they told me that they could do the ultrasound.  If the tumor is growing I probably wonít have the muscle surgery done.

A lot depends on how this medical problem goes; I know that God is in control of all things and that He created each of us for His reasons.  I hope to get an ultrasound measurement done on the thing that is in my left eye to see if it is changing in size.  One of my Docs says he thinks it is a melanoma which could grow quickly and spread to other parts another Dr. said he thinks it is an iris cyst that may not be growing.  I think it is a blood pocket that may have clotted and may be shrinking and will probably not cause any more problems.  I have committed it all to Godís hand and am confident that His will, will be done.   This could be a whole new chapter in the Lionel and Sara Smith story or the end of the book.  I expect it to be a new and exciting continuation of our service to our Lord in mission and ministry work.

I hope to Get quite a lot of dirt work done on CWW property and some on our personal property over the next few weeks.  I have been working on some ponds for our neighbor Eugene Gruen, I hope to get them done by Thursday this week.

Sara is working on getting things ready for our ten year CWW celebration which will be an open house with a luau emphasis.

 

 

September 14th Steven Saint flew in and spent the night with us.  Steve was flying an RV 10 that the Waoroni natives built for him.

 

September 18, 2006 Sara and I are going to Il to take some electronic equipment to Don Morris to sell for us and to Go to Dr. Wilsons office to see if I can pass a flight physical.

                 

                  Dad called to tell me that his car wouldnít start and stranded him at Michael.

 

                  I passed my flight physical by downgrading it to a class III. 

                  Setember 30th Sat.   We had our ten year CWW celebration Luau.  We had a great crowd, one of our best ones.  My brother Bryon and his wife Dawn and two of their young helpers were here, they did a wonderful job of getting the whole show on video.  My sister Gina Bolton and her husband Gary were here.  My cousin Ricky Campbell and his wife Becky were here, Ricky furnished the sound equipment and a lot of much needed support or it would not have been so good.  Bros. Boyce Mouton, Charlie King, Mike Burns, Jim and Sandye Cartee and a number of people from their church came to help.

Because of these and many others including most of the people from Community Christian Church in Farmington (our home church) we had a great time.                  Ptl

            Oct 24, 2006   Still having problems with my left eye so I went to another Dr. in St. Louis.  Dr told me that I do have a tumor in my eye and reccomended that I go see the first Dr. to have it taken care of.  Please pray for a good outcome on this problem.

 

          Feb. 1st Went to see Dr. Harbout in St. Louis for a check up on my eye.  Dr. said it looked like it was as it should be at this point.

 

                  November 30, 2006: Sara and I are in St. Louis at the Barnes, Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM ) I went in today to meet with the Oncologist that was providing the radiation plaque that Dr. Harbour was going to apply to my left eye tomorrow morning.  We are spending the night at the Parkway Hotel.  It is a bad night here tonight as it is freezing rain sleet and supposed to turn to snow later tonight so we decided it is better to get a room that is attached, via an overhead walkway tunnel to the hospital, than to try to get here in the morning for my 5:30 AM appointment.

We spent some time with some friends of ours from Bunker, MO.  Glenn and Marilyn Copeland.  Glenn is suffering from Lukemia and is in the Shoenberg section of this hospital in room 5939.  Glen is hoping for an adult stem cell transplant in the next few days, he desperately needs it very soon.

                  December 1st  fri  Sara and I went to the CAM to check in for surgery, we were there at 5:30 as requested the nurse came and got us after 8:00 I think I ended up at the OR around 9:00 and found my self waking up at 14:30 then on to my room for the next several days 4929 in the cancer wing of the Barnes hospital.  We got word from our neighbors at home that the power was out all around the area and the temps were going to be near record lows.  I did leave both electric and gas heat sources on at the office and at home.

Sara was calling me 007 Golden Eye because of the gold plaque in my eye.

                  December 2nd  Sat   This was a very rough day as I had a great deal of pain and nausea dizziness and great deal of problem in trying to get used to getting  along with one eye.  To make matters worse when I moved my right eye to see what I was doing it moved my left eye which had the gold plaque and many sutures in it making it feel like it had a cokle burr in it. 

                  December 3rd Sun  today was a lot better, my nausea was easing off and I ate part of three meals today and was able to walk around some get a little exercise.  George Caudle, a friend of ours from church called to see if he could get a generator going to get our refrigerators back running.  When we call our local neighbor, Virginia Eudy she told us UE got the power back on this afternoon.  Sumae, Cheryl, Gina, Sarkee Sarkees girlfriend, Terry and daughter, Ashley, came for a visit.  Marilyn Copeland and one of her grandsons also came by.  Marilynís husband Glenn is on the fifth floor in the hospital fighting leukemia,  Glenn has been here since Aug 24th this year.

                            December 4th  Jessica and Ross sent me some candy and balloons and a teddy bear.  Marilyn came by to visit with Sara and I and prayed with us.  Skyler called and talked to me for quite a while.  Gina and Gary came by to see me and brought me a card.  Sara has been reading the book ď90 minutes in HeavenĒ to me.  There are so many similarities to my accident and things that happened to me in that book.

                  December 5th  I had surgery  to remove the gold radiation plaque in my eye.

Sara and I walked up to see Glenn Copeland on the 5th floor of the hospital.

                  December 6th  We got home this evening to find our home and all else seemed to be intact and operating in spite of the ice and snow storm that left more that half a million people with out power.  PTL  Our dogs were glad to see us they were all here guarding the property. :)

                  December 7th   Sara and I both had a rough night last night.  Sara fixed me  some breakfast then went to work at the office for a while then she went to town to pickup our mail that she had stopped for while we were gone.

 

          December 19th  Went to see Dr. Englebrecht for post op followup

 

Mar. 1st. Went to see Dr. Harbour because of extreme pain in my left eye. 

Mar. 2nd Went to Dr. Fitz for a previously scheduled check up.

          Mar. 8-10th  One of my students sponsored a trip to Branson to one of Ken Copeland's meetings including a  healing school, we also got to go to see the Pierce Arrow music show.  This was a great trip for spiritual strengthening and fun.

          Mar. 12th  Eye was hurting so I went to Dr. Fitz eye pressure was 50, way too high.

          Mar. 14th back to Dr. Fitz pressure down to 26. still too high but much better. 

Mar. 21st  Back to St. Louis to see Dr. Harbour,  Dr. said tumor is dead or dying and breaking up in large chunks instead of gradually dissolving, this is why the pressure is bad.  Dr. Harbour expiained that the remains of the tumor is wedged between my lens, causing the cataract problem and the cornea causing it to be damaged.  Dr. told me that to save the eye I needed to get the cataract removed ASAP at least within the next two to three weeks.  As things go Dr. Fitz was recommended to  remove the cataract and he is out of town until next Thursday and his normal surgery day is Tues. I plan to call Dr. Harbours office tomorrow to see if he wants me to get another Dr. to do the cataract surgery.

 

          Mar. 20 Went to Dr. Lype, (Optometrist) for eye pressure check 32 this time.   

          Mar. 23rd I am planning on going to see Dr. Lype this morning to get a pressure check.  Pressure was 48.  Dr Lype told me that I needed to get something done, I told him that Dr. Harbour and Dr. Fitz were both out of town for several days and he offered to refer me to Dr. Beffa, which he did.  Dr. Beffa thought that I needed to get the cataract removed and get rid of the tumor remains in the front of my eye.  I told him that Dr. Harbour said we should not open the eye because of the possibility that some cancer cells may still be alive.  Dr. Beffa scheduled me for surgery the following Monday morning.  I asked for God to bless the surgery if it was the right thing to do and if it would be bad in any way for Him to block it.  As we were going through Doe Run Dr. Beffa called me on my cell phone and told me that he had cancelled the surgery.  Dr. Beffa refered me to a Glaucoma specialist in St. Louis to see if we could do anything about the high pressure.  Sara and I went to see Dr. Carla Siegfreid at the Barnes West hospital.   All I am getting now is to either put up with the pain and let the eye go  blind and dead or to have the eye removed.  

          Mar. 23-25 I am scheduled to do an annual for one of my customers airplanes.   Bad weather plane couldnít make it in.

          Mar. 31 Dr. Self brought his plane down for the annual scheduled for las weekend.   Annual was completed as planned

April 3, 2007  Some friends came by and prayed for me and asked God to reduce the eye pressure to 39 or less.

          April 4, 2007  Went to Dr. Williams office in Park Hills for pressure check.  pressure was 38 PTL

          April 5, 2007 Went to see Dr. Albert in Pilot Knob for pressure check.  pressure was 28.    By the prayer being answered so quickly by dropping the pressure 20 MM in three days I was encouraged to look for another clinic to get another opinion,  Another friend recommended the Wills Eye Hospital in Philidelphia, PA.  I am scheduled to to there April the 23rd to visit Dr. Sheilds.

  Rob and his family and Kayla and her family came for Easter visit.  They are going to be here until Saturday

          April 7, 2007, 2007  I have another customers airplanes here for annual and I hope to get it done next week.

          April 7, 2007  18:00 this evening we are going to have a Contata at CCC.

 

          April 9, 2007  I hope to get another pressure check and with Godís blessings it too will be low perhaps even in the normal range under 21.

          April 23, 2007   I have an appointment at Wills Eye Hospital in Philidelphia, PA for the 23rd to get another opinion and to see if there are any options to save the eye.

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