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56 U. S. AIR SERVICES August, 1931 (Continued from Page 54) rest stayed right in that town of pralines, good coffee, and what have you-Jimmie Doolittle dashing after the "first division"- All other official, two contestants and your correspondent being nearly 300 miles away from the rest of the gang-The consequent dubbing of our gang as the "durability" division of the reliability tour-the separation being caused by a decent of wicked weather which was to dog us for a week-A new and whiter tinge appearing in Ray's hair-Starting out to Shreveport that morning and being waved back by Ray because of the storm closing in-Sudden realization by your correspondent that this day, July 14, was just one year to the dot since cracking-up with Frank Goldsborough in similar weather-And a frank feeling of relief at being ordered to "sit down"-The patient plodding of George Dickson in the Aeronca Collegian-Going through the next day catching the crowd at Houston-And having worse weather than they-400 miles ten or fifteen feet up and going "blind" even when cutting the grass-The night we arrived in Houston-Jimmie's announcement that Ray Collins was in Beaumont, Texas, "Pop" Cleveland in Shreveport, Lon Yancey and Dickson still in New Orleans-The appearance of our beloved manager the next morning-His hair now entirely white and beginning t disappear-The realization that this is the first time in seven years of the tour that trouble has dogged it so persistently or that a serious accident had occurred-The arrival late that night in San Antonio of "Pop" and Yancey-The noon stop in Corpus Christi where the skies opened up to welcome us with the heaviest rain in years-Slushing around in two feet of water at the airport-Wishing for an amphib-Dashing into San Antonio and meeting a blinding rainstorm-Dodging Eddie Stinson and Eddie Schneider by inches and wondering where the Fords were-Coming out of the muck with the Cessna appearing less than fifty feet to one side- Visiting the Alamo and the old missions for which San Antonio is famous-Looking forward to the next stop, Fort Worth, with a complete day of rest-and a chance to have some laundry done-Reading about a projected round-the-world race-The excitement of the boys-Wiring (collect) to Publisher Findley and learning that N.A.A. knew nothing of it-But it was a good story-Passing Joe Meehan and his Great Lakes entry, his cigar held at a jaunty angle-His figuring mileage by the number of cigars consumed en route-Bill Lancaster's enjoyment of Suburban Gardens at New Orleans-Watching a pilot win $40 at roulette and lose $80 on snake eyes-Watching Carr's snake to see it didn't escape from the Sun God-The snake's popularity at each landing-The willingness of everybody to be bitten-For the cure-Bill Gould's invitation to take one of the laps with him in his Stearman-Accompanying the tour as the Pratt & Whitney service ship-Jack Story's broadcasting at each field-The welcome given Jim Smart at Memphis by his mother-Ollie Walker's attack of "appendicitis" at Houston-And being cured by Jack, "Doc" Collins-The famous Italian Pilot-Here and There-The hop to Fort Worth-Rain, fog-Being told that the tour had brought more rain to all parts of Texas than they had had in a long time-Our amazement at sight of the sun later that day-We had not seen it for a week- Watching herds of Texas steers stare at us as we would come racing across the fields then turn tail and run after we had passed within a few feet of them-Watching Jack Neville being greeted by sisters at every stop in Texas-His home state-Watching Ed Crocker and Ralph (brother of Clarence) Young compute the scores each night-Standing in awe of Harry Slater-The Tour Treasure-And at times its most popular member-Hearing a loud wail of "Wa-c-co!" at one of the small hotels and finding Pop Cleveland dashing around the hall ala b.v.d. in search of the one bath tub-Our salt water swim at the New Orleans Athletic Club-When Smart joined the "Allah Allah" brigade by missing Gulfport, Miss., by several miles-And leading several others astray, incidentally-HEL-lo-Spurning a jug of "coan whisky" and wishing for it the next night-Learning that beer is against the law down south-Really-But that said "coan" is the recognized drink-They drank it like lemonade-We drank it like dynamite-That extra day in Fort Worth-Frank McKay gazing at the lobby-sitters, and wondering if he had wandered into the cemetery by mistake-The Bourbon de luxe presented us at the same stop-The anxious vigil for Elaine-And her aunt-Ken Boedecker and his role as Solomon-Not his wisdom-Old Sol was famous for other things as well-One thousand of them-Ken went him one better-In spite of his partner in crime, Ray Leedom-Incidentally, all the contesting ships used the spark plugs that Ray represented-To be frank, A.C.'s-And that pays Ray for the lifesaver in Detroit-Although it was belated-The jump to Oklahoma City-In front of a powerful tailwind- Admiring the Stinson ambulance ship there and wondering if it didn't belong in the tour-As a novelty, not an adjunct- Work is now under way in the shops of the Boeing Airplane Company of Seattle on the construction of thirty F4B-3 Wasp-powered single-seater fighters for the Navy. With spare parts, this order is valued at $494,415 and deliveries are schedule to be completed early in 1932. The Boeing F4B-3 will differ from previous Navy fighters produced by this company in that its fuselage will be all-metal monocoque construction. As usual, the plane is being equipped with arresting gear to permit operation from aircraft carriers and will also have flotation bags. The F4B-3, while its body will be metal, will have the standard fighter wings which are of wood construction, fabric covered. Reaching Ponca City-The home of Conoco-The chunk-wagon supper served by Colonel Miller and his "101" Ranch cowboys-And girls-That evening at the club-With "Dusty" as host-Listening to the pilots as their temperatures rose-Marveling at their ability to start out the next morning-And deciding they must be related to newspapermen-The thousands of people we shook hands with and the two or three we remember-And hope to meet again-Getting out of the Ponca City port-Wallowing in mud-Planes stuck, planes skidding-Rae Brown and "Pop" Cleveland hopping around trying to duck the ships-Props buzzing madly-The whole scene laugh-Except to the contestants-Reaching Chanute, Kansas, for lunch-Also in the rain-Watching George Dickson sail, or float, serenely down through the rain-A smile on his face, as usual-The next jump to Kansas City, Mo.-Arriving there as a terrific storm broke-Our welcome there, Jack Story's home city-And your correspondent's home state-Meeting Mrs. Story and the youngster-And wondering why Jack spends so much time flying-The reception that night-No banquet, no speeches-But "don't forget 514-E. E. Porterfield"-The same E.E. of Eaglet frame-That famous stop in Lincoln, Nebraska-And wondering when, as and if we would make Omaha the next day-Ray Collins losing nine more hairs-All-night conferences-But we went to Omaha-Where your correspondent was met by a flock of relatives he had not seen in twenty years-And imposed on the good nature of Ed Schneider to take them for their first "hop"-And spent that night on their farm in Blair- Arising at four A.M. to milk the cows-The next jump to St. Joseph, Mo., where Country Club special is made-Then to Cram Field, Davenport, where the town turned out to welcome home our own beloved Ralph-His pride in the reception given us and his sorrow at leaving us-And ours, as well-The gang's appreciation of the oasis in Davenport-A welcome relief after the southern corn-Stopping at Joliet, Ill., where Water Carr ran a flying school long before most pilots stepped out of high-chairs-1914 to be exact-Lou Foley, flying with Long Yancey as the "Champion's" representative-Charlie Bunch, the shiek of the tour-No matter what the conditions, his white flannels, sport coat and shoes, always spotless-Running Rae Brown a close second-Bob Dake, flying "Doc" Kincaid-The jump to Kalamazoo, Michigan, an air-minded city, if there ever was one-The next day to Akron-Examining the gigantic Akron-World's largest dirigible-Tremendous-The last leg into Detroit-Cheering thousands-Squadrons of army ships-The banquet at the new Ford Inn-With George Haldeman again with us-Bill Stout as toastmaster-A fitting climax to the year's most important commercial aeronautical event-And now thinking of the year's most important sporting aeronautical event-The National Air Races-at Cleveland-I'll be seeing you!
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