August 29, 2004 |
In the middle of a bright afternoon in August 1944, Sgt. John Bodnar found himself perched at the door of a B-17 bomber, staring down at a patch of hard alpine earth. Within seconds, he would fly out into the mountain air and plummet to a spot 400 feet below. Surviving the jump would be tough enough - it was an absurdly low altitude for parachuting out of a plane - but the mission ahead would be downright perilous. Bodnar and six other Americans were to work behind enemy lines to arm and train local pockets of the French Resistance, or Maquis, in territory crawling with almost 4,000 German troops.
June 3, 2004 |
On June 6, 1944, legions of paratroopers jumped from the sky and deep behind enemy lines in France, launching one of the grandest, gutsiest invasions in war history. Tom Morrison, then a 20-year-old soldier in the Army's 101st Airborne Division, was not among them. Back then, he had not even jumped out of a plane. He got into D-Day by ship. Morrison, of Ambler, will be back in Normandy next week. But this time the 80-year-old veteran - now a veteran sky diver - will approach by air. On Monday, Morrison is scheduled to lead a jump of half a dozen veterans at the town of Sainte Mere Eglise to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the World War II battle that gave Allied troops a foothold in German-occupied France.
March 21, 2004 |
If you go to the crowded, cluttered hangar that is the Air Victory Museum, prepare to do more than gawk. It will dazzle you to see the massive F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, the reliable A7 Corsair II bomber with its 12-foot-long nuclear-gravity bomb, and the gleaming blue and yellow A-4C Skyhawk II - all under one roof. But there's more. Crane your neck and slowly do a tailspin so as not to miss the hang-glider, the ultralight, the experimental helicopter with rotors beneath its seat, and other aircraft dangling from the high ceiling.
October 22, 2001 |
It was just a matter of time before the American flag became the rallying point for those seeking to make a buck off the patriotic fever that has swept the country since Sept. 11. Or at least to extend advertising potential in light of the decided unease and lingering sorrow that grips the nation. Within hours of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, the pre-attack postcards were reportedly selling briskly. A cottage industry of T-shirts sprang up soon after, offering sentiments such as "We Will Never Forget," "Fear No Evil," and the ubiquitous "September 11, 2001," with the towers standing in for the numeral 11. Stuck at home recently, waiting for the plumber to call back, I had the dubious pleasure of watching daytime TV. First, a commercial for a collection of sturdy flags that mount easily to car or truck.
October 10, 2000 |
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have promised to restore honor and integrity to the White House. Yet Cheney is receiving a "golden parachute" worth millions of dollars from Halliburton Co., the nation's largest oil service company. Halliburton's payment of the huge sum to Cheney raises the question of whether this is legitimate executive compensation or an attempt by the nation's oil industry to purchase access and influence in the White House. Cheney is voluntarily leaving the company, where he worked only five years, to run for national office.
August 17, 2000 |
It was supposed to be almost 10 minutes of pure, adrenaline-pumping excitement. But when Daniel Pavic jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet yesterday morning, he didn't touch ground until more than two hours later. And after about the first 60 seconds of free fall, the thrill was gone, Pavic, 27, admitted. The resident of Roslyn, Montgomery County, was on his fourth skydive - and first solo jump - when he drifted about a mile off course from the landing spot at Cross Keys Airport in Gloucester County, sailing east into a wooded area near the border of Winslow, Camden County.
August 3, 2000 |
Veto B. Mickus, 62, of Abington, a highly decorated Army veteran who served five tours in Vietnam, died Friday at Abington Memorial Hospital of complications from his service-connected disability. "He served 18 years in the Army," said his wife of 33 years, Anna L. Diena Mickus. "Even after earlier wounds, he went back to Vietnam and spoke proudly about his time in the war. " For his service, he was presented the Silver Star with a V for valor, three Bronze Stars with a V, and four Purple Hearts, as well as awards from Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan.
September 15, 1999 |
"We're getting to the point where we should be feeling pretty good about ourselves. " - Terry Francona, on Aug. 5, 1999 The Phillies were on a roll. Fresh off a sweep of the Marlins at Pro Player Stadium, they returned home to test their mettle against the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks. And the magic continued. Domingo Cedeno hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 11th on Aug. 6 to give the Phillies the win that moved them to 13 games over .500. Feeling pretty good about themselves indeed.
July 14, 1999 |
Somehow my desire to make photographs outweighs concerns about my own personal safety. The opportunity to test the limit of this desire came last week on a sky-diving assignment. When I was sent out to take photos for this story, nobody forced me to do any actual sky diving. My boss said, "You're no good to me if you get injured. " My fiancee cautioned, "You better not get hurt before the wedding. " My twin brother, who had tried to convince me to go sky diving on our birthday a few years ago, said, "Awesome, dude!"
July 14, 1999 |
Do you realize summer is half-over already? If you are still just thinking about enjoying all the things there are to do when the weather is warm, there's no more time to waste. Before you know it, cold and snow will be back. Think hiking, biking, packing a picnic, going for a swim, strolling along the Wissahickon or Pennypack creeks in Fairmount Park and dipping a toe in, heading for the Jersey shore to bounce in the surf, sit on the beach and walk on the Boardwalk. You could jog along the West River Drive, explore the gardens behind the Art Museum, poke around the shops and sights of Manayunk, Old City and Chestnut Hill.