Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mangus Family Lore: Marv in his Prime

That's marvelous Marv Mangus, in the vest, leaning on the helicopter, c. early 1960s, photographer unknown.

Marv looks very relaxed for a guy who'd survived six plane and two helicopter crashes. The topper for me was the bon mot my mother, Jane, layed on me last summer while we were reminiscencing about Marv. It really says just as much about Jane as Marv.

It seems while were living in Calgary, Canada in the early sixties, dad went down in a 'copter crash  somewhere way, way, waaayyyy out in the Canadian wilderness. My dad's boss at Atlantic Refining Company, John Sweet, glumy phoned mom to drop the devastating news bomb, "Marv was killed in the crash."

This is so typical of my mom, who takes real convincing in most matters. She actually had the presence of mind to counter with, "Did you find his body?"

Mr. Sweet, taken aback, admitted, "Well, no, but we know he's crashed."

"Then he's not dead," she concluded. This is what comes from being a lawyer's daughter -- No body, you say? -- circumstantial evidence -- mere hearsay. As Perry Mason might intone, "Incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial."

Sure enough, Marv had survived and soon effected his own rescue by building an enormous signal fire which was spotted by a commercial airliner. Marv never seemed to have any fear or trauma about flying whatsoever that I can recall.

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