THE DAY BEFORE THAT DREADFUL DAY
A sinister undertone filled the air. Hundreds of theories—wild speculations circulated through the rank and file—something frightening was riding upon Florida’s autumn winds this November day. You could feel it in the air. An undertone, a sinister feeling, something dreadful you sensed was in the works. You knew it was not right, and you knew the outcome was going to be bad, very bad.
The Major approached the flight crew. You could tell he was agitated. Most of the pilots were muttering, whispering among themselves about the assassination rumors circulating in Miami. They wondered if the meeting with the Major was about those rumors heard via the pilot’s reliable underground ‘grapevine.’
The Major shouted.
“Gather around assholes. Thomas. You and Sandy take that Twin Beach” — he pointed toward the far tarmac to a red and white twin-engine airplane — “to Opa’ Loca, drop it off and pick up a DC-3. Get back here fast as possible. There has been a development, and things are not going, right.” The Major motioned toward a Lieutenant, who came rushing over with a stack of papers in hand.
“Rojas! You and Pearson go to Lantana, wait there until Sandy and the other ‘Gooney Bird’ get back from Jacksonville. You will be dispatched to New Orleans — after I find out what the hell is going on around here.”
The Major took a few pages from the stack of papers in hand and handed them to Rojas. He gave the rest of the documents back to the Lieutenant.
“That’s your pickup list. That person, Col. Ralston, we know?” He pointed to the name on the document.
“He’ll be at the Congress Inn in Tampa with a few others which match those coded names you have there. Check ‘Um’ close. That’s all you need to know at this point”.
The Major looked around, pointed to the paper now in Rojas’s hand. He continued.
“Dispatch to Tampa’s Congress Inn, and get those names onboard your aircraft. Got IT?” He turned and looked at the old DC-3 with the flat tire. But, you can’t go in this bird.”
The major, in disgust, kicked the tires.
“Delays, damn delays.” He turned and stormed off the tarmac, muttering to himself.
The Major was having a terrible day. Whatever was not going right for the Major this day would affect me for the rest of my life.
Navigate To Other Tosh Articles . . .
- Page 1: Growing Up Fast: Two Events I Witnessed
- Page 2: The Cubans and an Old Power Plant (1958)
- Page 3: A Cold War Incident
- Page 4: “A Mechanical Monster”
- Page 5: The Day Before that Dreadful Day
- Page 6: The Lady Saboteur
- Page 7: The Gringo and the Worms
- Page 8: The Death of a Reluctant Skydiver
- Page 9: A Bogey Over the Florida Straits
- Page 10: I’m Too Young to be Shot
- Page 11: The Last of the Mohicans
- Page 12: Two Good Friends: A War Story
To Go to Tosh’s Novel Page “Thinking That is Out of This World” Click HERE