Archive for the ‘Friday Feature’ Category


Friday Flashback: Plane Crash

January 16, 2009

A bitter cold January day. A plane takes off, but is only airborne a brief time before disaster strikes and the plane crashes into the icy waters of a local river…

But miraculously, everyone on board the plane survived the impact and was quickly brought to safety. Right?

Actually, no. I wasn’t referring to the US Airways flight that crashed in New York yesterday. I was recalling the Air Florida Flight 90 disaster of 1982, which happened nearly 27  years to the day before the US Air crash.

Seeing the images of the plane floundering in the Hudson River yesterday quickly brought back memories of being glued to the television on that snowy afternoon in Bethesda, Maryland. We had been dismissed early from school because of the weather, so I was home. I don’t remember how we first heard the news, but it is likely that I had turned on the TV to watch some mindless program when the broadcast was interrupted with the breaking news (back then, we only had the major networks and a public broadcasting station to watch).

The plane had taken off from Washington National Airport, but was barely able to get airborne before ice on the wings caused it to crash – first into the 14th Street Bridge, and then into the Potomac River. Several vehicles on the bridge were crushed from the plane’s impact before it went into the water.

Growing up on the outskirts of Washington, DC, I was somewhat accustomed to seeing “big stuff”on the news. (In fact, I realized later in life that for a very long time I had not really had a good grasp of the distinction between “national” news and “local” news. Much of what I would see on the national news was happening in my own back yard, after all.)  But this event was BIG.

Only five of the 79 people on board the Air Florida flight survived. The few that did survive the crash itself then had to contend with hypothermia as they waited in the water to be rescued. I watched in agony as Priscilla Tirado let the rescue line slip through her frozen hands more than once, and then was amazed when bystander Lenny Skutnik dived in to pull her out of the icy water. He was wearing a short sleeved blue shirt. I will never forget that image.

Watching the footage of the US Airways disaster yesterday, everything turned out so well that it almost looked easy. It appears that a lot of the passengers never even got wet. There were ferry boats pulling up to cart survivors off within minutes of the crash. It was quite remarkable.

I wonder what the survivors of Air Florida Flight 90 were thinking when they saw the news yesterday.


Friday Feature: In Which I Give My Blog Friends Some Link Love :)

January 9, 2009

I know that my sidebar has a nice list of links to some blogs and other sites that I read regularly… but I thought I would take a moment and give a little more publicity to some of my friends whose blogs I enjoy reading regularly. I encourage everyone to check some of these sites out, there is some good stuff out there!

Small World is a great blog written by a college friend, Sarah Small. Sarah was a year ahead of me at Milligan… and truthfully? We didn’t know each other very well. Just acquaintances, really. But through the magic of Facebook we have connected in the past several months and are now enjoying daily battles of “Word Twist” together. Sarah and her husband Randy (who also went to Milligan) live in Tennessee where he is a professor at UT and she is a mother, homeschooler, and champion blogger. You will find excellent writing here: everything from touching “Monday Memories” to fun accounts of daily life. I highly recommend checking it out sometime… poke around in some of her archives and have a good laugh or a good cry. And be sure to leave a comment somewhere… Sarah loves those!

Angie Aubrey is another Milligan alumni who blogs regularly here. Angie was a senior when I was a freshman… but her father was in my graduating class (yes, you read that right) and was also the dorm dad in Sutton Hall, where I lived for four years. So I’ve always been at least a little bit aware of what Angie’s been up to, from staying in touch with my fellow classmate (Hi, Pop!). Again through Facebook, I recently got reconnected with Angie and discovered that she blogs regularly. Her two children are the inspiration for a lot of great entries, and she even shares some good recipes from time to time!

Heather Chapman is a friend from church and a copy editor for the Lexington Herald-Leader. She blogs hilariously on all sorts of topics at Mother Tongue.  She likes to knit and in her spare time she appears on the TV game show, “Jeopardy” just one month after delivering her second child. Start by reading her account of that experience here and here and here.

Todd and Guinever Van Campen are great friends of our family, and both of them are bloggers. If you like riding bikes, you may enjoy Todd’s blog about his adventures commuting to and from work on a bicycle every day, year-round. Guinever blogs about daily life as a homeschooler and mother of four here. She also has a very touching and insightful blog about dealing with the loss of a loved one, (in her case, a child).

I hope everyone might take a look at some of these blogs by friends of mine. And if you find one you like, be sure to tell them I sent you. 🙂