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Max Conrad is a fabulous man. I met Mr. Conrad once in Narsarssuak, Greenland, in the summer of 1952 while we both were weatherbound at that station. He was headed eastward in a single-engined Piper Pacer. The weather cleared, Mr. Conrad departed for Keflavik, Iceland. About six hours later we were surprised to spot Mr. Conrad inbound back up the fjord to Narsarssuak. It seems that on proceeding toward Keflavik his estimates of wind from the white caps indicated stronger headwinds than forecast. Too, the Keflavik beacon did not sound loud enough to be so near as his estimates indicated it should be. With no other navigational assistance, Mr. Conrad elected to return to Greenland to try another day. And fortunately so, because it developed that winds indeed were stronger than forecast, and it was questionable that he could have survived this or numerous other incidents which I have heard recounted.
I have never made a crossing in a small aircraft, and I feel that Knauth may have experienced a great deal more than we normally do on the regular transport runs. True, we know the stations, the routes, the normal weather patterns, and we come to recognize frequently heard voices on the radio which we never know in person. But seldom is there any feeling of personal adventure as Knauth conveyed in your articles. Excitement occasionally, and anticipation always, but overlying all is the sense of routine. Yet, conversely, I do not recall having made a completely uneventful trip, and therein, I suppose, is the lure that keeps me plus all the others in this particular business.
The Air Force now uses Lajes Air Base almost exclusively, and I have not landed at Santa Maria in years. I wonder if the bugs in the big dining hall were as plentiful and as persistent as were their ancestors. And is the legendary bobtailed cow still remembered in those parts? One summer morning in 1946, just about dawn, we touched down at Santa Maria only to have a cow run onto the runway immediately ahead of the aircraft. The pilot kicked the plane over to the left side of the runway and the cow veered to the right. We missed the cow—almost—all except No. 4 propeller, which neatly snipped off the outstretched tail of the rapidly departing cow. The tail was transported back to our home station to substantiate the tale. This incident became a favorite story among the line crews at the time.
?Time and the big planes have bypassed Santa Maria; both bugs and legend have disappeared with the old-timers who served the wartime pilots.—ED.
FOOD: RABBIT AND PEPPER PUNCH
Welsh rabbit, as Webster's points out, is a humorous phrase, "like ' Cape Cod turkey' (codfish), that through failure to recognize the joke is commonly modified in cookbooks to Welsh rarebit." Contrary to the general view, Welsh rabbit is not a corruption of rarebit but rather the reverse is true; the term is on a par with "mock turtle" and " Bombay duck."
Fowler's Modem English Usage has this to say on the matter: "The etymologist is aware, & the person who has paid no attention to the subject is probably unaware...that Welsh rabbit is amusing & right, and Welsh rarebit stupid & wrong."
We liked it so much that I put our copy away for safekeeping—and I've kept it so safe I can't find it. Please send me a copy if possible—I miss it so much.