My Old Man met Johnny Smith during an act of of immeasurable kindness. We were finally able to relocate back to Henry’s hometown of Canton, Georgia, in the early 1980s. With our few worldly possessions moved, it was time to fly the Luscombe 8A to her new home.
I drove Henry to the grass field a couple of hours west of our new home where she was based, saw him off and started the drive back to 47A, Cherokee County Airport, now CNI. About an hour into the drive, I was hoping he and Lucy were safely on the ground. Rain was pouring, lightning was cracking and thunder was booming. It was so bad I finally pulled off the road to wait for the storm to pass.
At Cherokee, Johnny had come by to make sure his Champ was properly secured against the impending storm when he saw the little Luscombe land just ahead of the deluge. He rushed to help the pilot tie her down, and when he grabbed the wing strut, lightning popped and he was knocked to the ground. The Old Man was jolted as well.