Courage is about doing

Courage in the face of great risks can lead to freedom...or survival. Jeff contemplates the Underground Railroad Monument at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, September 2013.

Courage in the face of great risk can lead to freedom…and survival.
Jeff at the Underground Railroad monument, Roanoke Island, NC, September 2013.

“Courage is about doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.”Eddie Rickenbacker

“Rickenbacker had learned to manage fear.  It was one of the main reasons for his success…Eddie had acclimated himself to that great numbing terror of flying into a fray where it was nearly certain someone would be killed.”Winston Groom

By any standard, “Captain Eddie” was an astounding man.  I grew up hearing about him because I grew up surrounded by pilots, and also because he was a founder and leader of Eastern Air Lines, the company that employed my father and provided a wonderful life for our family for over 30 years.

The more one learns about Rickenbacker’s life and accomplishments, the more interesting the quote above becomes.  If any man could claim to be fearless, he could.  In fact, more than once he survived traumas that resulted in his being officially pronounced dead by the media.  In the context of the bold and often heroic manner in which he lived his life, his admission of fear sounds overly humble.

But maybe fear has been given a bad name.  In our anxiety-riddled age, when medications are commonly prescribed to treat phobias and lesser conditions, it might seem that fear is something to prevent rather than overcome. In some cases, I’m sure that must be true; unreasonable or paralyzing fear can hold us back, and ironically, makes us less safe if we are overwhelmed by it.

However, fear can be an asset if we use it as a motivation to act cautiously, recognizing the risks but moving forward when the stakes are high and there is much to gain.  Undoubtedly, some of history’s greatest acts of valor came from ordinary people who knew what they were up against and felt very afraid, but pressed on anyway.  Some of these heroic stories we know about; many we never will.

We might assume courage comes more easily to others than it does to us.  Perhaps we think ourselves less strong or capable if we feel afraid, but courage feels much different on the inside than it appears on the outside.  When I read quotes such as the one above, coming from a man whose personal biography reads like a barely-believable adventure novel, I realize that everybody is afraid sometimes, and that’s okay, maybe even good.  What matters most is being able to do what we need to do, despite our fears.

Today, if there is anything worrying or frightening you, remember what Captain Eddie said.  Courage is a good thing, and without fear, there is no courage.

One year ago today:

Always a frontier


  1. Raynard

    Julia, going to start off different here. I think it was the opening themes to the soap opera “Days of our Lives” and ” almost said Peyton Place, but it was more like”Dr Kildare. In my humble opinion I even see it wit my daughters, They think about “dying” more that “Living”They sit around read books and listen to music “about death”.. They watch shows and movies that dont inspire them to”Hope and dream and use there imaginations.. Disclaimer I’m not trying to sound”spooky’, I’m around it and “keep my prayers up to another level. As God moves my heart , I stop a few times a day and talk to a young person, encourage them when I feel their vibes and looks on their faces that the world is beating them down.Sorry I got side tracked between getting ready to bake and reading about the missing plane, and a touching obituary I read the other day. be bless and let me know if you want to see a picture of my fudge truffle cake after it’s done

    • Raynard, definitely send me a photo of the fudge cake! I will enjoy seeing it. I never understood why some people seem focused on morbid, gruesome or horrible things. I never had the slightest desire to see a “slasher movie” and to this day have never seen one. Maybe people see these things and think “my own life isn’t so bad” but I agree with you that we all need to keep looking up. The good part is that there are still folks out there who spread that message and hopefully the light will break through to those who feel stuck in darkness. Hope you have a great weekend!

      • Rene

        Better yet, send ME a piece of the cake!!! 😀

        • For real! It looks delicious. 🙂

  2. Carlyle

    Interesting that you posted that quote from Capt. Eddie. As familiar as I am with the man, and I mean that in the literal since, I was unaware of that quote, It struck a chord with me because just two days ago, Aaron, Al’s son was quizing me about some of my flying experiences and at one point he asked, ” What drove you to become a pilot?”

    My one word answer; “Fear”

    I have always believed that what you fear you must master>

    • Hi Daddy, I was hoping you would “weigh in” here as I knew you were quite familiar with the source of that quote. In fact, didn’t you actually meet him early in your career with Eastern? Or is that my imagination? I think Capt. Eddie would agree with your statement there. According to Groom, after the danger point in each of his harrowing adventures, the fear would hit him hard once it was all over. It was always there and never disappeared; he simply mastered it, as his famous words describe.

      Incidentally, I am enjoying Groom’s book immensely. A lot of the stories I heard about Rickenbacker along the way (and frankly, wondered how much was true and how much I imagined) have already been described by him. Even the one about the pennies has been hinted at, although I haven’t gotten to that part yet. What I liked most was hearing the origin of the Hat in the Ring emblem. According to Groom, the “Hat in the Ring gang” was notorious and formidable! They have a nice static display honoring the 94th at Langley AFB, near our York home.

  3. I’m the first one to admit, I avoid risk for the most part. When I was younger, I might have been a ‘little’ more carefree and thought things like sky diving might be exhilarating and fun. But now, I’m pretty sure it won’t be in my diary any time soon. I’m not certain when this all changed, but it did. Am I missing out on some awesome life experiences for it? Maybe. Should I push myself out of my comfort level more often? Probably. As I go thru life (seemingly much faster now than before) I find it’s easier to pick and do things that make me happy and comfortable more so than uneasy and tested. I think it has much to do with my personality. I’m safety girl 😀 Risky to me these days is: I go into a Gelato bar craving Lemon but they aren’t selling it that day so I have to try something new…..what should it be? Peach or Mango or maybe even Pistachio….sooooo daring, LOL

    • Hee-hee, I can identify. I take forever to decide about ice cream flavors!! It’s appalling to think I might miss out on something delicious. Seriously, I am a totally risk-aversive person, although I was not always so. I had always assumed it had to do with becoming a mother and therefore (at least in my own mind) being hard to replace. I was always a nervous, highly strung type, but ironically I also used to be pretty fearless about most things except making a fool of myself around people, and sometimes not even about that. Early in our marriage I was recruited by the Secret Service (I’m not kidding; it’s a long story but it started when I caught a very good counterfeit $50 bill while working as a bank teller) and the agent who was talking to me about applying said “The big obstacle will be your husband. He probably won’t let you out the door.” I didn’t know how true that was. When I came home and tried to talk to Jeff about possibly going to work for the Secret Service he said “ARE YOU CRAZY???!!!! DO YOU WANT TO BE KILLED OR SOMETHING??!!!” I remember being surprised that he reacted like that. Nowadays I myself would react like that! So I think it’s natural to get more fearful as we get older. Younger people have this delusion about being invincible. Sadly, that’s probably why so many are killed in accidents. So fear does have its place. At some point, though, I think it reverses and goes somewhat back the other direction. The older we get, the less aversion we feel to dying, since it’s bound to be getting closer for all of us. At least it seems to me that most people experience that. I’m still deathly afraid of car accidents, and probably always will be.

      • LOL, holy crackers ! I can see why that’d be one hot mess on the home front. What a crazy interview. The way the world is now…even journalists aren’t safe in these countries they are reporting from. While I was at the ER the other day, the EMT’s and I were talking about how hot it was in there and he said (knocking on his chest), “ya especially with a kevlar vest”. I had no idea, but they said it’s a necessity. They actually told me that most of the bad car accidents they respond to involve alcohol. Isn’t that tragic? I think there needs to be more fear to drink and drive. Death doesn’t seem to do if for these arrogant knuckleheads. A lifetime ban from driving makes more sense to me. Get a bus pass pal….that’s what Judge Boomdee says!

        • Oh, I totally agree, but then I’m a tee-totaller myself so I have nothing at stake; prohibition wouldn’t give me any heartburn either 🙂 . It does seem a little strange to me, though, that so many in the world continually hyperventilate about smoking (I have never smoked either, and agree that the sooner it goes away, the better) but pretty much ignore alcohol abuse which I think ruins more lives not only through drunk driving and related deaths/injuries, but also through domestic abuse, disability, ruined relationships, sunk careers, etc. even contributing to obesity for many people. I think the overall costs of alcohol abuse are worse than those of smoking. So slam down that gavel again, Judge Boomdee…if these people keep driving drunk they will eventually not have a job to drive to anyway! As a disclaimer, I’m prejudiced because my mother and siblings were all nearly killed by a drunk driver when I was 8 years old and they were coming to pick me up at band camp. Don’t make me call out the flying monkeys on this one! 🙂

  4. Geez, I’m sorry to hear your family had to go thru that. That’s just horrible. What kind of penalty did the other driver get? Whatever it was, it probably wasn’t enough for all the heartache and pain he caused. I’d hate to be a cop, it’s like hitting your head against a wall.

    BTW, those flying monkeys scared the wits out of me as a kid, as did the whole movie. Witches on bicycles in the air, tornado’s, feet rolling up behind rocks. I was traumatized..HA!

    I actually did smoke sometimes in Jr High School. Can you imagine? Also for a while when I went thru the divorce…Boomdee was a regular Pirate, LOL. But you’re entirely right about the double standard. Here, you have to be asked for i.d. to buy smokes if you look under 21. If the seller doesn’t ask and it’s a bi-law enforcement officer, they could lose their permit to sell them. Unlike the US, they aren’t on display anywhere and there’s zero smoking indoors. If you have a pharmacy in your store, you can’t sell cigarettes. It’s also against the law to smoke with children in the car, yet people speed with their kids in the car daily. Go figure. There’s a lot of inconsiderate drivers everywhere I guess. I think I’ll get a bus pass soon 😉

    • That car wreck was something that changed all of us permanently, I think, each in our own ways. It made the front page of the local paper and the photos were so horrible that some of my friends just assumed my Mom was dead. The driver ran a stop sign and hit my mother’s door (she was driving) going about 70 mph. It’s really kind of a miracle she lived. My sister and mother were both hospitalized for some time although my brothers were treated and released (mostly just gashes to the head). To make matters worse, my Dad was out of town on a flight and got back as soon as they got word to him. Shortly after that, Eastern went on strike and we were without income for a couple of months, so it was a rough time but our church family, neighbors and friends pulled us through. I never knew what kind of legal trouble the driver got into, but when I went with Daddy to pick up Mom’s purse at the police station (it had been salvaged from the wreckage) we saw the man’s wife and daughter there filling out some kind of forms. They were truly pathetic, I’ll leave the physical description at that. The girl was about my age and I heard her mother saying “she wants to see her daddy” and I remember thinking “why would you want to see a bad person like him, he nearly killed my family” but of course at the same time, I felt sorry for them. I never knew the whole story but my mother told me that my father would never press any sort of charges or even try to get any money from them because he felt so sad for the wife and child. It was only 11:00 in the morning on a weekday when the man was drunk so I hate to even imagine what his family’s life must have been like.

      Those flying monkeys were so terrifying, weren’t they? Somebody did a great job with that scene. I always remember how dark the sky was with them flying by. Do you know, I was an adult, a fairly old one, before it dawned on me that they weren’t really monkeys but people in monkey costumes. The real one that was with the witch threw me off. The Wizard of Oz is tied for my all time favorite movie because to me it’s such a metaphor for life. Full of beauty, danger, terror, elation, sorrow and joy, and so much within our reach that we are unaware of until we learn it the hard way.

      Most people I know smoked at least a few cigarettes at some time in their lives, I’m in the minority. I just never had any desire for any sort of mind-altering substances until I got into drinking tea 🙂 which is on the mild end of things. I used to love getting off the plane at Sacramento, there was a big sign that said “Welcome to California, America’s Non-Smoking Section.” That was in the years before most places in other states were smoke free. It was very hard for us to get adjusted to when we would come back east and smoke would be everywhere. Then when we moved to Virginia the first restaurant we went into they asked “smoking or non smoking?” and we felt as if we were in a time warp since we hadn’t heard that for years. Virginia did go smoke free not too long after that, hooray!

      I guess there will always be double standards in the law, but I do find them annoying. I’m trying to resign as cop of the universe but I guess my inner Miss Viola Swamp will never completely leave me. 😀

  5. michael

    I am not much of a risk taker myself. A counselor told me that,” most professionals have at least one or two phobias.” Mine is heights -or one of them- so flying as an occupation is probably out. On the flight back from NYC last Tuesday, the pilot put the fear of God in us when he said there would be turbulence over Montana and to, ” stay in our seats please”. He said that last week some passengers whom remained out of their seats during turbulence over Montana were hurt and the flight had to make an emergency layover in Fargo, ND. Can you think of anything more terrifying than having to stay overnight in Fargo?
    I saw the movie and it looks like a cold and heartless place.
    I am a chicken so I stayed in my seat during the turbulence over Montana. I read somewhere it is not the turbulence that can take a plane down, but the problems are usually taking off or landing; i.e. first seven minutes and last eight minutes. Does that sound right?
    So now I am only terrified during takeoff and landings. Wish I had not read that. Funny thing is my dad was a WW2 pilot -flying C47 transports out of India.
    Today in Seattle, ” a mostly rainy day with a high of 51.”
    Eddie R. is pretty awesome. You might enjoy the movie on Netflix- called” Red Baron” -about Baron Von Richtoven- his life and times.

    • My phobia is of being in a car stuck on train tracks or getting hit by a train. I am a nervous wreck at railroad crossings especially if someone tries to beat a train, no matter how far away or slow it is. You are right about the turbulence; the main danger is people getting injured by being tossed around. The plane itself can withstand a lot. Recently I told my Daddy I was afraid to fly because a hurricane was predicted and he pointed out to me that planes withstand 600 MPH winds all the time just by flying through air. I never thought of it that way. Definitely, the takeoff and landing are the most critical times and anyone who knows anything about flying is probably at least a little bit on edge during those times. Having said that, turbulence is NO FUN and no matter how much I tell my brain not to fear it, it really bothers me.

      I will have to try to see that movie sometime. The Red Baron was definitely a villain for the ages. Athletic, aristocratic and arrogant, with a mind-numbing EIGHTY aerial combat victories!! As with all legends, I’m sure it’s hard to separate fact from fiction where he’s concerned, but he makes great inspiration for Hollywood, not to mention Charles Schultz.

  6. That kind of accident could have gone so bad so fast. Wow. It seems like a real miracle your mom survived. What a horrible time for your family. I’m glad you had a great community to help you through. I guess that little girl is all grown up too. With any luck, her and her mother were able to leave that kind of life but it’s doubtful. How sad. I’m in awe that your dad extended such empathy after put you all through that kind of thing. That’s a beautiful thing.

    I had never heard of Miss Viola Swamp…Lol, I’m sure our poor substitute teachers were never THAT bad. Those are some really maniacal Halloween customs. I take it she’s all the rage with young readers? I actually have leggings that would be perfect.

    • “The Swamp” is one of my favorite characters from children’s literature. I have a T-shirt with her on it, and the words “Miss Viola Swamp IS NOT AMUSED” at the bottom. The story is really cute, as Miss Viola Swamp is actually the lovely and sweet Miss Nelson in disguise. The kids pushed Miss Nelson a step too far one day and she went missing, and Viola Swamp showed up in her place. Very fun. The name of the first book in the series is Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard. I always said Miss Viola Swamp is my alter ego.

      • 😀 hehe. Your tagline ‘IS NOT AMUSED’…my tagline ‘RELEASE THE HOUNDS’ We are quite the pair LOL

        • “Release the hounds” – I love it! That must have come straight from the D. C. of G.! I might have to adopt that one.

          • Wait, I don’t know what D.C. of G is..hahaha

            That is actually what Mr Burns says on the Simpsons when he gets unwanted people at the door. He’s Hoomer’s evil boss…LOL. It’s one of those cartoons adults get more out of than kids. Like the Flintstones 😀

            • Well, to give you a hint, the “G” stand for “Grantham.” 😀

              I have never watched the Simpsons, so I thought that line was original with you 🙂 (Just kidding) I do think it’s clever though. Yabba-dabba do!

  7. michael

    Also afraid of the Flying Monkeys. Tell me more about “Wizard of Oz” as life metaphor.

    • Oh, don’t get me started! Dorothy dreams of being anywhere but where she is, and she gets her wish, but it only ends up showing her how much she had that she didn’t realize she had (which is the whole point of the movie; the scarecrow was the smartest but didn’t know it, the tin woodman had the biggest heart but didn’t know it, the cowardly lion was a hero after all, and from the beginning of her time in Oz, Dorothy wore on her feet the only thing she had ever needed to get back to Kansas). One thing that has always stuck with me is what Dorothy says at the end when remembering Oz: “I remember some of it wasn’t very nice…but most of it was beautiful! But just the same, all I kept saying to everybody was that I wanted to go home…” I have always thought that perhaps that’s how we’ll feel about life on earth, once we get to heaven. 🙂

  8. Rene

    I was once at a church party and we played a game called “I’ve Never…” Everyone was given ten pennies, we took turns saying “I’ve never…” Anyone who HAD done that thing had to put one of their pennies in a dish. I’ll never forget the pastor’s wife saying, “I’ve never smoked a cigarette,” and all the sheepish faces as most of the 20/30-somethings got up and put a penny in the dish.

    • I love it! That’s the sort of memory that makes people smile every time they think of it. What a neat game! I could find all kinds of ways to win those pennies, as there are so many “normal” things I never did. I’ll have to try to remember that game next time we have some people over, whenever that ends up being. Thanks for sharing that! Keeping you and your sister in my prayers!

  9. michael

    Wizard of Oz, I always thought, was also about not being intimidated by those in power. When we pull back the curtain and find these folks are also vulnerable, narcissistic and out of shape. Especially for the boomers who lived through Vietnam and found out later about untruths told by persons in power. Apparently, “distrust of authority” is one of the hallmarks of the boomer generation. I forgot to mention I am basically a Hippie.
    Now I have to watch it again- Wizard. I am heartened to hear that others are still troubled by turbulence. So a plane in a hurricane has to withstand 1000 mile an hour winds? Somehow I do not find that reassuring and it seems like the more information I get the less secure I feel.
    My mom used to get on the plane with a thermos of orange juice and vodka. Actually I think she also drank a thermos before getting on and she was not a little tipsy, if I remember right.
    Perhaps I should try that.
    I don’t know if I told you about our last trip home from Hawaii? That was a thriller. I wrote a little bio of it if you want to see it. But I still love Hawaii.
    I put in an app. yesterday for a job in Atlanta so wish me a little luck.

    • Michael, I agree that the Wizard of Oz teaches us that those who seem to be powerful and all-knowing are often not what they seem to be. Having said that, there was still a real, authentic power for good, it just wasn’t what everyone thought it was. Even Glenda the good witch was a little confused about where it came from. But despite the fumbling efforts of the not-so-great Oz, the witch did not win out in the end. My parents were basically hippies in many ways too, as odd as that may seem for conservative southern Christians. Hence the organic garden and unconventional schedules and eccentric personalities and Judy Collins music. So I guess I have more than a touch of hippie in me as well.

      Re: airplanes, it’s more like 600 mph winds; I think that’s the average air speed, but I could be wrong about that. I’m talking about every day, not in hurricanes. They just go so fast that it’s the equivalent of being in winds that strong, every day, all the time.

      If you are afraid of flying, the information you need to pay the most attention to is statistics on deaths per mile traveled, compared to on the highway. Not even close; you are way safer in a plane. People tend to think if they are behind the wheel of a car, they are in control, but not so! Because of everyone else on the road, for one thing. I think the fear of flying many people have basically boils down to the illusion of control we carry around, which is stripped away in a plane. I don’t advise drinking to handle the fear because, in the unlikely event there is any sort of emergency, you want all your faculties 100% intact to increase your chances of survival. Just my two cents.

      Yes, I’d love to hear your Hawaii story! Also, I’m glad to hear you decided to apply for a job in Atlanta. It’s a great place to live. And, among other things, a fairly good place to retire, from a tax standpoint. Keep us posted if you decide to move south! It will be a bit of a culture shock, but hopefully in a good way.

  10. Jenelle

    Such wonderful interaction here. I’m late again, but this thread is hilarious! Viola Swamp is a fantastic character, and I MUST get a shirt like that, haha. When I read that book to my kids, memories of my childhood rush forward. …”it may seem that fear is something to prevent than to overcome.” You nailed it, and I hope we don’t deceive ourselves into that mindset permanently. Amazing growth comes from adventure. Adventure requires risk. To risk one must have courage. Cheers to us being courageous this day!

    • Jenelle, I am going to try to remember your words about being courageous when I need them most- which is first thing in the morning. I have gotten into a bad habit of waking up early but staying snug under the covers, not wanting to get up and get started on my day. For some people night time is the hardest time, but for me, mornings have always been the most difficult, at least until I get going. Viola Swamp would NOT be amused by that!!! 😀 Is she not a masterpiece? I hope they still make those shirts. I got mine from a library supply company, or at a librarian’s meeting, I can’t remember which. Don’t worry about being late to these blog comments – I am ALWAYS late but I still usually join in, even if nobody has posted comments on a particular page since 2012!

  11. michael

    You know those statistics just don’t work for me. If you are in accident in a plane, or there is a mechanical failure on a plane- chances are you could be in some serious mud. It is not like braking down on the freeway. They don’t make movies about cars breaking down, but they do make movies about planes that lose all their hydraulics. What is the one with Charleston Heston as the pilot? I think in Seattle we were traumatized by flight 270? Alaska when the jackscrew on the MD80 stuck and the plane in a valiant move ended up for some time flying upside down over the Pacific. Maybe it is my overactive imagination but I could imagine the terror. It was also a flight on its way to Hawaii. Maybe its being close to the Boeing hub and all the information about planes and I am also afraid of flying on the new Boeing 787. I think there are bugs they have not worked out. But it is a risk. But its worth it. It is still perhaps the most important technological development of our time-” long range flight for the masses.”

    Today in Seattle mostly rainy and a high of 51. Sunday set a record for one day rainfall at the airport 1.07 inches.
    There is another quote on courage- perhaps you have used it before- “Courage is not the absence of fear- but acting in spite of the fear.” And I don’t believe that Rickenbacker did not feel fear, he just knew how to manage it like the quote says. He was definitely an adrenaline junkie-like my older son the firefighter who thrives on crisis.

    • Mike, it’s not the auto breakdowns that kill people, it’s the mental breakdowns of crazy and impatient drivers. Having said that, maybe you’d better not read The Aviators</em> by Winston Groome, which is a book I’d normally recommend highly. I am reading it right now, and I just finished the gruesomely harrowing account of the DC-3 crash that Rickenbacker somehow survived. I think the reason they don’t make movies that dramatize the perils of car wrecks (with a few exceptions, such as Crash) is that there seems less inherent drama there. BUT, for anyone whose life has been permanently affected by a car crash, the illusions of safety behind the wheel pretty well disappear. I agree with you, though, that some people are adrenaline junkies, and I think that’s behind much of the crazy driving on the highways too. I have another post coming up soon about how being too risk-aversive can also hurt us.

      I’m glad you are getting some warmer temperatures! I keep reminding myself that spring HAS to arrive sooner or later…

  12. michael

    My dad used to fly C-47’s in India over the Burma Road-so called- and would tell stories about looking down and seeing the carcasses of other transports on the mountains. That does sound like a good read- Aviators. Car wrecks are also horrific and I had a classmate in high school whose life was altered in a very negative way when he- the driver- tried to beat a train with three other friends -through a rural crossing. Only he survived, and though he eventually recovered enough to regain his sporting prowess, he was never really the same. He was an all state track athlete. He became a pariah for his foolish and reckless act.
    My favorite movie car scene- quasi crash is Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd going off the ferry handcuffed to steering wheel in “Double Jeopardy.” That is my nightmare- being in a car under water unable to get out.
    I may have already posted this. Today in Seattle 51 degrees- slight drizzle with occasional sun breaks. Here we live for our occasional sun breaks.

    • Cars being hit by trains are a true phobia for me, though I really don’t know why. I get almost hysterical if I’m in a car that stops too close to a track when a train is going by. WOW, what baggage for your classmate to go through life with; having been responsible for the deaths of three friends. As you may have figured out, I have all sorts of literal and waking nightmares about car crashes, but the one that I have literal nightmares about most often is the car going sailing off the edge of a cliff (usually over the water someplace). I think I always wake up before we hit, but it always terrifies me and I wake up with my heart pounding. I hope I never give myself a heart attack that way. I am scared to death of riding in cars driving on cliff-hugging roads.

      We have 57 today and sunshine. If you do end up moving to Atlanta, you will find the sunny climate very agreeable, although you might have a hard time getting used to the HEAT and humidity in the summer. But for me it’s a very worthwhile trade-off for the gorgeous springs and falls.

  13. michael

    I am sorry I mentioned that movie. Maybe a better one is “Planes, trains and automobiles,” which I found to be kind of poignant this year- watching it again over the Thanksgiving holiday.

    • That so funny you mentioned that one! Drew gave Matt that DVD for Christmas and they loved watching it. Jeff and I watched it years ago and really enjoyed it, but I don’t remember much about it. Drew is very picky about movies and he really liked it. So we should probably watch it again. I loved John Candy’s acting and can’t remember ever NOT liking a Steve Martin movie.

  14. michael

    It is really quite a poignant movie at the end when you find out the background story for Candy’s character. Just for fun I punched in my son’s address in Canton from our house on Map Quest. It is a 43 hour drive and 2762 miles. It goes through some interesting places from Montana on 1-90 for 536 miles, down through Omaha and Springfield -Missouri and eventually through Nashville and then coming out from the Northside through Chattanooga into Georgia. We actually have some friends on the route in Montana and some in Nebraska. But not sure my old Subaru will make it and on second thought I think I will fly. Can you imagine a drive like that?
    We are supposed to visit Chattanooga on our next trip out and see the wonderful Aquarium and I want to see the Volkswagen plant there too. The aquarium is supposed to be amazing and we have not seen any of North Georgia either and Helen is also on my list.
    I can’t think of a Steve Martin movie I did not like. However, I did not think his novella,”Shopgirl” was that great.

    • Michael, that drive would probably be very much like our four cross-country moves to and from California during Jeff’s military career. Only one of those was all the way to the east coast, though. (The others were to/from Texas or Tennessee). They really were not nearly as bad as we expected them to be; actually kind of fun, but I would not recommend taking a very old car. As often as we’ve been in or near Chattanooga, we’ve never seen the famous aquarium, and I’ve only been to Helen one time in my entire life. But I’d like to go both places.

      I had forgotten Steve Martin wrote a novel. I can imagine that he would not be as funny in print. His delivery is 100% of what makes him funny.


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