Airport 1970,

Minute 007: A $50 Wrenched Back

August 09, 2016

Guest Host: Brian Fies

Brian Fies is a writer and cartoonist who created the award-winning graphic novels Mom’s Cancer and Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow, as well as the Eisner Award-nominated webcomic The Last Mechanical Monster. He’s been a newspaper reporter, environmental chemist, science writer, husband, and dad to twin girls. He also saw “Airport” in a theater during its first run. He lives in California.


“Could be a long time,” says Doug, the Tower Chief.

“All right, I’ll be right out there.” A man in a tuxedo looks at the white courtesy phone in his hand before hanging up. Meet Mel Bakersfeld, General Manager of Lincoln International Airport.  Mel walks along a balcony corridor overlooking the ticket counters of Lincoln International, while a janitor vacuums the balcony carpet. Bakersfeld removes his bow tie as he steps into his empty office anteroom. He steps into his main office and turns on the lights.

Meanwhile, Trans Global 45 is still stuck in the snow as the emergency vehicles arrive on the scene.

Back to Mel, now dressed in a suit and tie, hat, and coat. He struggles with his galoshes as his office phone rings.  “Bakersfield,” he says into his speakerphone.

The screen splits. Meet Tanya Livingston, TGA business agent for Lincoln Airport. “How about some coffee?” asks Tanya, “I’ve just found something…”

“I’ve just lost something,” replies Mel, buckling up his other snow boot. “Runway Two-Niner.”

“Oh no!” says Tanya. “Snow?”

“One of your jockeys missed a turnoff,” says Mel, “buried the wheels.”

“No one told us,” says Tanya.

“Well, it just happened,” says Mel. “Flight 45. I’m on my way.”

“Any casualties?” asks Tanya.

“Just me,” laughs Mel.

“There’s bound to be a passenger with a $50 wrenched back,” replies Tanya. “I’d better get out there with some release forms and plenty of sympathy and understanding.”

In This Minute

John Denend as Tower Chief Doug
Burt Lancaster as Mel Bakersfeld
Jean Seberg as Tanya Livingston
Unknown as Lincoln Janitor



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