Monday, May 9, 2011

Hound dogs

This is a true story that occurred in my childhood.

My paternal grandparents resided in a small house in Melbourne, Florida. They lived next door to a family of four: Mom and Dad, and 2 college age children, a girl and a boy. This was a talented and very active family. The Mom painted, the daughter was an award winning horse barrel racer and everyone in the family had their private pilot's license. I think that only the Mom and Dad had instrument licenses, but they were all licensed to fly.

So, it is no surprise that they made weekend trips by plane. They had done so one weekend, and were going to fly home, during a foggy Sunday evening. They were advised not to, because of the fog, which causes unsafe conditions, but they were determined, because they had to be home on Monday morning to attend work and school. So, they took off.

They never arrived.

They were reported missing on Monday morning. A search ensued. They were not immediately found.

In the meantime, my mother and father were very concerned. They figured that our friends had crashed and died. All week, my father, who was a very good sleeper, continued to wake up during the night, thinking about our friends. This caused him to get very tired at work. So, finally, he decided to take some personal days off from work to join the search party.

In the meantime, my Mom put in a phone call to a friend who lived in Mobile, Alabama, named Tommy. This woman had a prophetic gift. She could tell the future, although she was very judicious about it and would not do this but for a few people, so as not to attract attention to herself. My mom was one of the people for whom she would do this.

My mom called her and told her about the situation and asked Tommy if the family would be located. Tommy told her yes. The question was asked about the location of the plane and Tommy was unsure about this. So, my mom asked if she knew who would find them. Tommy replied that it would be a man with 2 hound dogs. So, after a few more unfruitful questions, they ended their call and my mom related all of this information to my dad.

A full week passed without any success with the search. The next weekend, our family loaded up with one of my cousins, and went to the Silver Sands Motel in Destin, Florida to stay. My mom would take the kids to the beach, while my dad joined the search. The authorities had determined that the plane had crashed somewhere near where we were in Florida. My dad joined the team. He flew by helicopter to look. He spotted the wreckage on the ground. The helicopter landed near the wreckage and the scene was surveyed. While the emergency responders did their job, my dad smuggled a couple of small pieces of the plane wreckage for a keepsake from this disastrous event.

He returned to the motel where we stayed, thankful to have located the wreckage, but still sad about the loss of life. The bodies and wreckage were recovered. The family was returned home for a proper burial.

That night, a terrible storm hit Destin. The lightening was close, the thunder was loud and the rain poured. It was so bad, that on 2 occasions during the storm as we tried to sleep, sparks flew out of the receptacles in the wall of our room. One time that it did that, my cousin jumped over my sister. The next morning, many of the boats at the pier were 1/2 submerged with all of the rain water halfway filling them. People were having to bail water out of their boats for quite awhile.

According to the authorities, the location where the plane wreckage was found would have normally been in a swamp. But that particular year, Florida was experiencing a drought. The terrible storm that came through Destin filled the swamp back up. Had the wreckage not been found when it was, it would not have been located until another drought, which could have been years later.

We returned to our home to settle back into our normal life. The night we returned, my mom and dad were discussing the recent events and how Tommy had obviously been wrong about the man who would find the wreckage. It was very odd for her to be wrong. If Tommy wasn't sure about something, she would usually say, "I don't know". My mom commented that she had never known of Tommy to be wrong and my Dad agreed. My mom asked if anyone with hound dogs was anywhere near the scene, and my dad said, "no". They decided to drop the issue and go on to bed.

My dad had a habit of sitting on his bed, removing his boots, and placing them in the box that they came in when he bought them. His nightly routine was underway, when my mom heard him called out to her. When she answered, he told her to come here and look at something.

On the side of the box was the name brand of his boots: Hound Dogs. The man with the two hound dogs had located the wreckage.