Everett, the Linotype operator, who converts this daily drivel into type is worse than an over-active conscience. If I stroll in like civilized people ought to, about mid-morning he fixes me with a cold and accusing stare that fairly shouts: "Where's your column?"
As a result, the battle of the bells begins at my house about six o'clock a.m. This painful phenomenon starts its unlovely cycle when my clock hops up and down in furious temper, demanding in shrill voice that I begin the day's obligations.
Shortly thereafter, at about my second cup of coffee, Kenny's alarm unwinds itself. This is an enthusiastic little bell, just tinkled pink over the chore of awakening a ten-year-old.
The third sadistic clangor nudges Helen out into the cold world, only minutes ahead of the 7:30 Winona bus. Some day I'm going to stick around to see how she gets out the door and on that bus in the time allotted. Maybe she uses roller skates or a bicycle.
The most unusual feature of this unpleasantness is the way the survivors of the battle sleep blissfully on, bells or no bells. It must be wonderful.
Just before this anvil chorus begins, I always smile in my sleep, dreaming of huge clocks with giant bells, thousands and thousands of them, encircling linotype Everett, at not six o'clock, but five, yes even four. a.m. Ringing too!
I'm a sucker for charts and timetables, quoting wonderful facts about places I'll never go. At hand this morning is a dandy little book laboriously prepared by the Air Transport association. It quotes such imagination stimulators as this:
You can fly from Washington, D.C. to Bermuda in just four hours; Havana in five hours, forty minutes; or Rome in 16 hours. Miami is only six hours and 45 minutes from Chicago; Dallas and Fort Worth are within three hours and 55 minutes, and Mexico City is yours in 13 hours and five minutes. to Los Angeles is only eight hours.
Once on the west coast, you can make the jaunt to Honolulu in 12 hours from San Francisco; or wing your way back to the east coast and New York in only 10 hours and 55 minutes.
New York is the jumping-off place of the world, I guess. For, from there, you can reach London in 13 hours. Paris takes 40 minutes longer. New York to Buenos Aires is 40 hours and 45 minutes distant; but flying down to Rio only requires 32 hours. Anchorage, Alaska, (don't take this on, we got it) is just 18 hours and 55 minutes from New York. You can shake hands with MacArthur in Tokyo in 39 hours.
With unusual candor they (ATA) quote passenger fatalities per 100,000,000 passenger miles, flown, driven or choo-chooed. Of interest is the fact that you are twice as safe in an airplane as an automobile, for 2.5 folks are killed in every 100,000,000 miles of travel by automobile or taxi-cab, but only 1.20 in airplanes. Trains led the safety list in 1946 with a safety factor of .18 while busses, they admit, trim airplanes with a figure of .19.
I don't know how these wonderful people did it. Maybe they counted eyes and divided by two. Anyhow they say there are 2,465 pilots employed on domestic airlines and 674 pilots on international airlines. There are also 3,567 co-pilots; 3,950 stewards and stewardesses; 20,074 mechanics and riggers; 17,089 dispatchers and field employees; 25,052 office employees; making a grand total of 84,102 airline employees.
In 1947, a total of 793 domestic airlines average 903,715 revenue miles per day, flew a total of 329,856,142 revenue miles, came up with a back-breaking 40,000,000 freight ton miles.
Our national mail man received in net revenue from airlines for airmail service $139,201,582 in 1946.
In the nation at the end of 1947, there were 2,725 Class I airports. These are the little fellows with runways 1,800 to 2,700 feet long. There were 1,524 ports like Warsaw, Class II, with runways 2,500 to 3,500 feet long and so on down to Class VII airports with runways of 7,700 to 8,700 feet. There were 19 of these giants.
Altogether, there were 5,343 airports in the United States last year as against 2,484 in 1941. Who used these airports? The ATA says the army and navy made 1,402,909 flight operations from them, airlines 2,630,472 flights, and civilians made 11,262,191 flight operations from these fields.
So there, and goodbye until week. You, too, Everett!
(Note--What a relief!--Signed: Everett).
Warsaw Daily Times Feb. 20, 1948