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Supporting documents are as follows: Postal, Thursday, 13th. “Dear Dorothy Dix: my weather beats me constantly and is rarely friendly when I go out with it. It starts out in a friendly manner, but as soon as we are away from the house it turns on me and makes my days miserable. What can I do to win it back to the sunny side as it used to be? I am about 20 miles south of South Bend. Disgusted.”
A newspaper clipping from the Draz’s local paper headed “Correction, Please!” A story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer entitled Airplane Here to Stay, on Wednesday, told about an airplane landing in Bainbridge Township during the snowstorm. We go on to state that it landed on Paul Frohring’s farm and the pilot made a call to Cleveland Airport from the Thomas home. Upon receiving notice that it would snow all afternoon, the pilot, who turned out to be a friend of the Draz’s, said he couldn’t wait for the snow. Enlisting the help of youngsters, he turned his ship and took off in a foot of snow for the Chagrin Airport where he had his ship defrosted and then took off for Norwalk, Ohio. Oil City, Pa., was his starting point and he just dropped in on us. Thus it can’t be said the airplane “was here to stay”.
Postal, Sat. Dec. 15th from Minneapolis. “Journeyed from St. Paul to Minneapolis today (20-mile trip). I had a pair of skis installed on the plane, also a floormat. Bought some weatherstrip and frost shields, and before you know it I’ll be in Anchorage. Temperature went to -15 last night with a 20 mph wind. Ohhhh. Stayed last night at Uncle Frank Peabody’s in St. Paul. The night before at Plymouth, Ind.. Wed. night at Larry Peabody’s (they are all fine and want to be remembered to you) where I gave Alan his first plane ride. The night before that I spent at Draz’s in a snow storm.”
Letter Dec. 17th, Great Falls, Mont. ”Left Minneapolis at 10 A.M. Sunday morning. Weather perfect. Stopped at Willman for gas at 11:30 and went on to Aberdeen for more fuel. Took off and flew till nearly dark and then as my reserve tank top was on backward, I couldn’t get the gas to drain into the main tank so I landed on a lake (frozen) at McIntosh. Fixed the cap and went the next 20 or 30 miles to Lemmon, S.D. where I tied up for the night. A typical Western town on one main street. Some fellows from the airport came in just behind me from a coyote hunt. They had one and had killed another, but it had been too late to pick it up. They (the coyote, I mean) looks like a police dog. As the fellows told me to be ready to go with them to the airport at 6:45 A.M., I got up at six and hurried around, got over to the grill at 6:45 — and it wasn’t even open. Guess what. When I went back to the hotel I found my watch was an hour fast. The time had changed back about 125 miles. The temperature at this wee sma’ hour was -20. Well, I fooled around until 6:20 then went and ate at the grill. At 7:15 the guys finally picked me up and we drove out to the airport. It was so cold that the engine would hardly turn over, and as they had started warming a Waco for an emergency hospital case, I had to wait until nine put heat on mine. Gassed, oiled and running, I finally took off at 9:55. The first stop was Miles City and here I bummed a ride into town for lunch. Had the dicken of a time moving the ship up to the gas pump, as there were large gravel areas which the skis hung up on. At last we were ready and off again at 1:50.
The rest of the week will be filled with the remainder of Ced’s travels and quick notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave.