By LARRY M. JONES
For years, I’ve heard that bad things come in threes. This prediction of 3X doom and gloom was especially prevalent in the world of Naval aviation. While obviously a mere superstition, I have indeed seen mishaps or aircraft accidents happen in sets of three.
Although so out of touch with today’s “no smoking mindset,” I recall another similar superstition about lighting three cigarettes with a single match, or with a lighter without re-striking the flame. I personally know it was a true and valid concern, because I saw it happen in a Korean War era comic book. Third cigarette lit on a single match, and GI Joe took a direct hit from a Chicom sniper.
As you are quietly reading this highly acclaimed and award-winning local “fish wrapper,” my wife Helen and I are madly scurrying to board a plane heading for Fort Meyers, Fla., to test the theory of “bad times three.” While I can count the number of vacations I’ve had in the past two decades on one hand, we will be attempting to enjoy a little of the good life that the far south Gulf Coast of Florida has to offer in January.
We will be doing this despite the fact that two previous attempts for a quiet vacation have been destroyed by hurricanes. In 2008, Hurricane Ike dashed our plans and sent us fleeing with our travel trailer from the beach in Corpus Christi. In 2012 we were relaxing on the beach of Destin when, again, we were forced to evacuate because of Hurricane Isaac. With hurricane season officially running from June 1 through Nov. 30, no way can a lousy hurricane get us again with more than four months before the season’s start.
About a month ago, while sitting in front of our huge flat-screen television channel surfing through the hundreds of worthless, offensive, irritating viewing choices, my phone rang – not a common thing when it’s just before 9 p.m. It was an old Navy buddy with whom I had gone through flight training in Pensacola in 1967. Like a bolt out of the blue, he said, “Jones,” he always called me Jones, “You and Helen get on a plane and meet Susann and me in Bonita Springs, Florida, for four days of goofing off.”