Jack wrote this in November, 2005:
Writing the entry about the flu stuff got me thinking how often we humans tend to worry about the wrong things. Reminded me of a guy I used to fly with a bit during the late 1970s named John Rynertson.
John was a man who flew a blue Cessna 120. It was a lot like the 140 Helldragger I flew. But he was also a man prone to introduce himself to people around the Killeen, Texas airport as ‘one of the best pilots around’.
Naturally there were those who didn’t favor his self introductions involving pilot skills. John wasn’t a man who could claim a lot of friends. But he did have a wife almost as desirable as that 120 he flew. So pretty, she was, that whenever he wasn’t flying, John was worrying about her. He fretted over what she might be doing when he was off flying, or when he was almost anywhere he couldn’t keep an eye on her. Which was a good bit of the time.
Old John just worried himself silly about that women.
Then one day he was flying with some Warrant Officer from Fort Hood and managed to get more airspeed than that old air frame was willing to put up with. The 120 wasn’t rated for snap rolls. But being one of the best pilots around, John just naturally figured they weren’t referring to him when they rated the airplane.
Wings came spang off that mama at about 3000 feet above the ground.
Turned out John didn’t need to be worrying about what his wife was doing. If he was going to worry, he needed to be focusing on learning to stay alive and fly at the same time.
Whatever his wife might or mightn’t have been doing while he was alive, she certainly did after he was grease scattered over an acre of ground.
Similarly, I recall all those kids who used to spend all their time worrying about getting drafted for Vietnam, then took too much of the wrong thing and ended up corpses right here in the good old US of A with never having been fired at in anger.
A person needs to use a lot of care, consult an internal map, look at the compass and GPS, picking things to be worried about. Otherwise he’ll spend all his time worrying about things that don’t happen while the things that do sneak up behind him and tap him above the ear with a ball-peen hammer.