The C-130 Dream

It began with innocent travel planning with my wife and her family. One or her sisters and her daughter were there, but honestly, these folks changed throughout the dream.

First, we’d talked about where to go, details which I don’t remember. Then, we were trying to pile into a sky-blue station wagon. As there were so many people, this required some strategizing about how to pack the luggage and where everyone could sit. I was in charge.

Then, in an eye-blink, we were off, and then arrived at our next destination. This happened to be my military unit in Germany. We were there to arrange fight via a C-130 to cross the ocean.

First, though, we needed to coordinate with someone for support. Now, getting a little weird, I found a listing for a Major Ward. Major Ward was a U.S. Navy F-4 pilot, according to the listing in small, black, bold print. The problem there is that the Navy doesn’t own a major officer rank. That didn’t occur to me in the dream, and I contacted him via telephone for help.

After explaining that I needed clearance and refueling assistance, he curtly told me, “No. It’s a holiday.”

I said, “Okay, but I’m going to tell the higher powers that be that you declined to help because it’s a holiday.”

After a pause, Major Ward said, “Fine. I’m not happy, but I’ll do it.”

I then entered a series of delays trying to herd everyone together, get the crew going, filing flight plans, and getting launched. Discussions were undertaken about which of the three C-130s to take, 1819, 1822, or 1828. These are the real aircraft’s abbreviated tail numbers. With my patience strained, I was suddenly airborne in the C-130.

Looking out the windshield from the cockpit, I was flying over ocean. The sky ahead was darkening blue with dark clouds limned by the setting sun. Off to the right was a Navy aircraft carrier and another ship.

The flight was bumpy, and we were low. Wondering about the crew and pilots, I remembered different pilots from my assignment and knew none of them were flying the aircraft. Feeling surprised, I thought, am I the pilot?

I think I was. As I’m not a pilot, I worried about what was going to happen. As the aircraft was dipping and bouncing around, I also worried about being too close to the aircraft carrier and other ship, and basically commanded, “Pull up. Climb.” The aircraft did, but sluggishly. We passed those ships and flew on.

We arrived at a beautiful tropical destination on a bright and sunny day. From the water, it looked like the Caribbean. Excited, I followed the landing instructions. We ended up landing in the water about a hundred yards from the beach. Speaking with someone on the radio, I learned that this was because Major Ward had ordered it. He was behind these flawed landing instructions. I suspected he was being spiteful.

Going ashore and into the terminal, I met Major Ward, a square-jawed tall and broad white man with thick black hair. He said with a flippant air, that the landing site was an error, probably because it was a holiday. His pettiness amused me.

Returning to the aircraft, which was floating on the sea, bobbing with the waves, I decided I could take off by turning it into the wind and surfing across the water until I achieved the required air-speed. I executed my plan. The aircraft climbed and banked into the sky, carrying me on toward my destination.

The dream ended.

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