User Tools

Site Tools


the_vacant_chair

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Both sides previous revision Previous revision
Next revision
Previous revision
the_vacant_chair [2018/03/23 10:16]
tom
the_vacant_chair [2019/02/13 21:27] (current)
tom
Line 15: Line 15:
  
  
-Grave site marker: Union Cemetery Newport, Tennessee. Erected: September 2014+//Grave site marker: Union Cemetery Newport, Tennessee. Erected: September 2014//
                                   ​                                   ​
                                                                        
Line 23: Line 23:
 {{:​playground:​02-spo-152.jpg?​400|}} ​ {{:​playground:​09-spo-111.jpg?​400|}} {{:​playground:​02-spo-152.jpg?​400|}} ​ {{:​playground:​09-spo-111.jpg?​400|}}
  
-Above Left: Sam Orleans with daughter, Alice. Right: Sam Orleans with daughter Alice and wife, Jane.+//Above Left: Sam Orleans with daughter, Alice. Right: Sam Orleans with daughter Alice and wife, Jane.//
  
 ====A Remembrance==== ====A Remembrance====
  
  
-One of the strangest things, that fascinated me, was all the last minute changes to be on that flight. I always said if I had been an adult, I would have written a book about why every person was on that plane along with their back story. I am convinced everyone was fated be be there that day--probably the only way I could accept what happened. My Dad met a friend at the airport--they had an early supper--he called Mom and changed his ticket to the later flight. I know some other last minute changes that I will share later. The strangest thing was meeting Richard Yancey from the Tri-Cities area when I was in college. He befriended me--turned out he had a ticket to be on that plane and his Mom called and told him not to get on it because the family was driving to Washington to pick him up. He was already at the airport waiting to board the plane when he got the message. I always wondered what happened to him.+One of the strangest things, that fascinated me, was all the last minute changes to be on that flight. I always said if I had been an adult, I would have written a book about why every person was on that plane along with their back story. I am convinced everyone was fated to be there that day--probably the only way I could accept what happened. My Dad met a friend at the airport--they had an early supper--he called Mom and changed his ticket to the later flight. I know some other last minute changes that I will share later. The strangest thing was meeting Richard Yancey from the Tri-Cities area when I was in college. He befriended me--turned out he had a ticket to be on that plane and his Mom called and told him not to get on it because the family was driving to Washington to pick him up. He was already at the airport waiting to board the plane when he got the message. I always wondered what happened to him.
  
 Please remember I am reaching back 50+ years in my memory. I am basing all of this on the stories my Mother told. She went to the hearings [Knoxville Public Hearing January, 1965 TD.] and met most of the families. Please remember I am reaching back 50+ years in my memory. I am basing all of this on the stories my Mother told. She went to the hearings [Knoxville Public Hearing January, 1965 TD.] and met most of the families.
Line 224: Line 224:
 While I thought I wanted to see a scarred hillside, I realize now, seeing the new growth and healed earth, that I was wrong in thinking I would have become a better man if my father had not perished that fateful day. I am beginning to look back on my life not as a child robbed of a parent and defective, but realize I, like the hillside, did move forward with three wonderful children to prove it and a career rich with fulfillment allowing me to enter retirement with another full life ahead of me as a whole person. While I thought I wanted to see a scarred hillside, I realize now, seeing the new growth and healed earth, that I was wrong in thinking I would have become a better man if my father had not perished that fateful day. I am beginning to look back on my life not as a child robbed of a parent and defective, but realize I, like the hillside, did move forward with three wonderful children to prove it and a career rich with fulfillment allowing me to enter retirement with another full life ahead of me as a whole person.
  
--Jim Hobbins+Jim Hobbins
  
 ====Captain Oliver E. Sabatke==== ====Captain Oliver E. Sabatke====
Line 242: Line 242:
 {{:​playground:​vintage_mchale_0020a.jpg?​500|}} {{:​playground:​vintage_mchale_0020a.jpg?​500|}}
  
-John McHale with his wife, Mary, on their wedding day.+//John McHale with his wife, Mary, on their wedding day.//
  
 ====Robert R. Cramer, Sr==== ====Robert R. Cramer, Sr====
Line 265: Line 265:
  
 --LeAnne Cramer Haverstick --LeAnne Cramer Haverstick
 +====In Remembrance:​==== ​
 +====Mary Chesney====
 +====Elizabeth Chesney Richardson====
 +{{:​playground:​aza_gramparents_mom.jpg?​600|}}
 +
 +//Back Row: Vince Richardson and his mother Elizabeth Chesney Richardson. Front row: Grandparents Mary Chesney and Alex Chesney//
 +
 +"My Grandpa and Grandmother,​ Alex and Mary Chesney, along with Bill Whittaker, moved from Knoxville, Tennessee ​ to Donora, Pennsylvania for work in the Steel Mill. 
 +
 +Bill became blind from an accident in the mill and moved in with my grandparents. Even though he was blind, he kept the coal furnace in my grandparent'​s home full of coal and emptied the ashes. He also did the laundry and hung them up on the clothes line. He helped where he could with house work.           
 +
 +My grandfather had died in March of 1964. My grandmother wanted to go to Knoxville to take care of some family paper work. 
 +
 +I had just gotten out of the Army in June, so I was going to go with my grandmother,​ my mother and Bill to Knoxville. Then about 3 days before we were to leave I got a call for a job interview for the day after we were supposed to leave, so I decided it was more important to do the job interview and I decided not to go.             
 +
 +I drove them to the airport and I thought my grandmother had talked to the airlines about the flight, but she hadn’t, so we went to counter and I helped them get the tickets. I stayed with them until they boarded. The three of them could board first because Bill was blind. ​            
 +
 +My father, my brother and I saw on the 11:00 pm news that the plane had crashed. At 2am United called and informed us they were on that plane and they had died. I remember that I had trouble sleeping until United called and said they had identified the body of my mother. We had my mother'​s funeral on a Wednesday and my grandmother'​s and Bill Whittaker'​s on Thursday. ​
 +
 +My brother and I were pall bearers at my grandmothers funeral. ​                                                        
 +
 +About two weeks after the crash, two men came to ask questions about what they may have had in their suitcases and what they may have carried on the plane. They also said they were going to question the neighbors. ​                                              
 +
 +When we moved to Crossville, Tennessee in 2002,  I thought about finding the crash site, but I thought it was so long ago, there wouldn’t be anything to identify the site. Then Rob Bible informed me, in 2005, about finding my mother'​s class ring. When we went to meet with him I thought that we didn’t need to go to the crash site, but we did. I was moved that I was there where they died. My wife said a prayer which was very comforting and appropriate. ​             ​
 +
 +Out of this tragedy there were some good things that happened when three men decided to take on a project and followed through with it. When Rob Bible started the search for the owner of the ring he didn’t know how much time, trouble, frustration,​ and disappointment he would have in his search. At each dead end he was determined to continue searching for the family. Then he was able to get Bob Hurley [writer for The Greeneville Sun] to help him and they came up with the ring's owner, my mother Elizabeth Chesney Richardson. After searching for a while they were able to track down myself and return the ring.   
 +
 +The memorial in 2014 was very well done and I was impressed with the effort and time given by the people involved. I also was pleasantly surprised with the number of East Tennesseans who attended. ​         ​
 +
 +When Tom Dier heard about the crash, he decided to investigate its cause. In his investigation he didn’t leave any stone unturned. He did a complete and thorough search. The time, money and effort he put into it was great and it gave me an understanding of what went on with the plane and the investigation [that followed]. Tom brought up about the pilot having a plan about where he could land the plane [in Douglas lake]. I now feel that the pilot, with his experience and time in service, and if he had enough altitude and time he would have landed it, so there may have been some survivors. He would not have given up on a controlled landing. ​               ​
 +
 +Through these three men, I have become more satisfied, understanding,​ and accepting—with a comforting feeling about the plane crash. Also I have got to know and visit with Mae Edith Trentham and Denver & Lavonda Trentham ​ who have enhanced my life with their friendly acceptance of me." ​
 +
 +                                                                                                          ​
 +—Vince Richardson ​                                                                                              
 +
 +{{:​playground:​aze_family.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +//From Left to Right: Vince Richardson, Elizabeth Chesney Richardson, Vincent Richardson Sr. and Dale Richardson//​
 +====William Whittaker====
 +{{:​playground:​bill_whittaker.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +//Bill Whittaker (left) and Vince Richardson//​
 +
 +A Note From Vince Richardson:
 +
 +Tom,
 +
 +I attached Bill's picture. Bill did all that work at my grandparents house. My brother and I visited often and stayed overnight a lot of times. We knew a lot of the neighbor kids there. Bill and us two boys would walk down to the bank, which was about 12 blocks away, so he could cash his check. The clerks had a routine where they would give him a 5 instead of a 10. He was blind but he could tell the difference by rubbing the bill with his hand. He would tell them that's wrong and everybody would laugh. As soon as my brother or I took two steps in the house he would know us. We enjoyed him and of course we called him Uncle Bill.
 +
 +—Vince
 +
 +[[start|United Flight 823]]
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
  
  
the_vacant_chair.1521800200.txt.gz · Last modified: 2018/03/23 10:16 by tom