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  • Mike Nelson


Updated: Jan 9, 2021

On this day in 1956, sixty-four years ago, the heavens hosted a horrendous catastrophe. At 11:29 or 11:30 a.m., Mountain Standard Time, (1;30 p.m. Central Daylight Saving Time), two of the largest airliners of their day collided in midair over the far eastern end of the Grand Canyon. Both planes were so seriously damaged that they fell from the sky, one with nothing to hold it up in the air, and the other in an irreversible descent. All 128 persons lost their lives.

At the time, it was by far the worst airline disaster that had ever occurred, anywhere in the world. And it remains immeasurable, despite accidents in more recent times with much greater loss of life. How could it not? Two things that are in estimably great cannot simply be said to be unequal, even if their scopes can be weighed. Its not that simple. Here in America we value life beyond all measure, and we would risk a hundred to save one. Where are we then saying that the hundred matter more than the one?

My uncle, Jack Groshans, was one of the victims. His portrait is in a modest shrine we put together. The cowbell that he rang and clattered ay his college's football games, wearing a full-length raccoon coat in the cold of the late fall, is there with him, with its long-since deteriorated leather handle missing.

I have to wonder where all those souls have gone. I picture them having left the worldly realm and I also picture them out in Grand Canyon where the planes crashed. I see no contradiction between these beliefs ~ the Spirit has no bounds, and is not confined to man's "rules," like that the soul could be in only one place at one time.

Mike Nelson

June 30, 2020

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