Friday, September 2, 2011


Bell 407 N723PH landing at Ontonagon, Michigan, Sept. 2, 2011

You know all those sentimental stories about octogenarian former B-17 crewmen once again riding, with mighty lumps in their throats, aboard a preserved Flying Fortress, the bomber in which they survived enemy fire over Europe during World War II?

Something a little like that happened to me this afternoon when a Bell 407 medevac helicopter visited Ontonagon, Michigan, for a little show-and-tell at the town's annual Labor Day festival. N723PH is the very same aircraft that almost exactly two years ago, on August 23, 2009, ferried me from Ontonagon Hospital to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin. I had just had a heart attack and two days later would undergo a triple bypass.

Not that I wanted to ride in her again. Once was enough. But it was nice, very nice, to say hello again to a machine in which I had survived a memorable—to say the least—morning of my life. Lump in the throat? Sure.

My "battle station" in the helicopter.


  1. Well I surely am glad it got you where you needed to be on time!!

  2. Definally NOT the plane to have "Frequent Flyer" miles nor the free nites stay at their hotel with room service... ;-) ;-)

  3. What a grin on your face in this picture! Thanks for sharing! My mother (died in her sleep 3 weeks ago) was one of the "Rosie's", installing bomb racks on B-25s ("Billy Mitchells").

    Changing the subject (sorry this is long), but letting you know that for years, I've had your book "What's That Pig Outdoors". Today's mail brought a used copy of "One TV Blasting and a Pig Outdoors". It is to give to the family of Connor, who is 7, has had brain cancer since he was a baby, and likely because of some treatments, has several other problems, including deafness. His speech is such that even his mother sometimes has trouble understanding him. My audiologist (I wear HAs) is in touch with his audiologists to try to help him. Family knows a bit of ASL but he needs more than that - needs speech therapy. I hope your book is a bit of a light in the darkness for the family. Thanks to you and your wife for writing it.

  4. Hi Henry, I sent you an e-mail to the address on this site, but I wasn't sure if you got this. Anyway, I work with Aspirus and was hoping you may be willing to participate in an interview about your experience with MedEvac. If you could contact me, I'd be happy to fill you in on the details. Even if you aren't interested, please let me know.