Some seem to linger, huh, lifelong…they don’t affect you day-to-day but they rest, unanswered, in the back of your mind, simmering away in the juices of the What-The-Heck-Happened-To-These-Dudes fry pan of Life…
Jimmy Hoffa - C’mon…wasn’t he allergic to cement dust?
Amelia Earhart – Women NEVER ask where the next gas station is…sigh…
The Crew of the Mary Celeste – Is THAT where they all went to? *snicker*
And, of course, no disappearance list would be complete without old D.B. and of late, Mr. Cooper is back in the news…
Seems the FBI may have uncovered the identity of the now infamous Nowhere Man-turned-hijacker-turned-northwest parachute jumper with $200,000 in ransom, man and money never to be seen again…they are holding their tongues until fingerprint and DNA analysis can be completed.
Yes, I know, not exactly hot off the presses, we’ve known about this new suspect for weeks now, but it’s not the news that has me down, it’s the discovery itself.
Do we hafta know?
Can’t we just not?
Can’t old D.B. remain, just as he’s always been, that mild-mannered fellow who paid his drink tab on the plane, didn’t ask for more than one pillow or blanket, left his tie on board but didn’t leave pretzel pieces on the floor, yeah, sure, asked for ransom by threatening the lives of the rest of the passengers but nary a hair was harmed?
His glasses, his suit, his haircut…a straight-laced fellow with just a need for dough and and urge to jump…
I secretly rooted for the guy in ‘71, praying the storm didn’t take him off course, hoping the Brylcream kept his hair neat and tidy as the elements overtook him in his bold bid for financial freedom.
Sure, my Dad was a cop, so I didn’t say a word, but c’mon, a guy that determined, that polite, that darn-tootin’ successful at his dastardly plan…if the dry pretzels or the watered down booze didn’t “get” him on that Northwest Airlines ride, you just had to root for the dude with the dough and the cajones to do what he did, the primal and unforgiving northwest forest underneath him be damned.
I quietly prayed for D.B. to land on a bed of feathery soft moss, beside a babbling brook…sure, all the money, those tidy bundles of American cash spewed out from his duffle bag…but the friendly forest creatures all sang as they helped him pick it back up…just like in a Disney movie…the squirrels, the bunnies, that giant grizzly bear and the man-eating wolves…yep, all singin’ a happy tune, a Blue Jay lifting ol’ D.B.’s horn-rimmed glasses off of his tired storm-streaked face to gently wash them in the pristine mountain water.
Yep, that was me and D.B. back then…and I was gunnin’ for the guy…
Sure, tons of ways to die, tons of ways to lose that cash, tons of suspects along the way…and what a long way it has been…
I’ve grown up but in my mind, D.B. is still jumpin’…
Now, science, and maybe, as always, a guilt-ridden relative, offers a way to unmask our Nowhere Man…and although I’m supposed to be happy…I’m not.
Is this him? Does he hafta be found? And worse yet, did he hafta lead just an ordinary life and die an ordinary death when I had him doing so much more?
D.B….we’re still rootin’ for ya, around northwest camp fires everywhere, flames flickering over spots you may have camped, sand bars nearby, upturned with shovels where you may have stashed your cash…we’re there, we’re singin’ and we want you NOT to be found…Cumbaya for Old D.B. Cooper and pass another marsh-mellow, will ya?
LEAVING FROM A JET PLANE
Melody - John Denver’s Leaving On A Jet Plane/Lyrics – N. Kinnin
My bag is stacked, it's ready to blow You just do, as your told I hate to do this to you, as you fly But my mate is waiting, I can't be long He probably thinks I'm already gone So get me two hundred grand Wrap it in an elastic band Put it in a bag and tie it tight
Chorus 1 Cause I'm leaving from a jet plane Your never gonna see me again Hope I haven't caused too much pain
The cabin crew are calm I think May I have just one more lousy drink Make it quick then, I'll be on my way Now I'm idling here on the aft stair I don't have time to stand and stare It's time to leap ten thousand feet below Thank you God for the heavy snow
Chorus 2 Cause I just left from a jet plane Things will never be the same Cause I just leapt from the plane Everyone will think that I'm insane
This is where the story ends The rest is up to you, my friends I can't stay, I've got to go The police will be on my tail I know Dream about the days to come You know they'll be full of fun I don't know what else to say As I walk away