First Down Jan13

First Down

January 13, 1982. So remember that Polar Vortex we experienced last week? Well, imagine being stuck in that with no coat. Add that your clothes (and entire body) are soaked in ice water and that snow is falling hard . . . all this because the plane you were on slammed into a bridge and hit the river you are now drowning in. That happened on this day 32 years ago. Amid that tragedy is a guy who might be called a hero. Now, I am not someone who has many heroes in my life. The list is short and includes my father, my eldest son, Malik El-Hajj El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), the unknown postman (he is for another day), and a guy named Lenny Skutnik. Now while the first two might be understandable and the third is well-known, there is Lenny – Martin Leonard Skutnik III to be exact but I have always known him as Lenny although I have never met him. Just a guy. On his way home from work, he became one of many bystanders on the side of the Potomac River watching a tragedy unfold. A passenger plane had crashed amid afternoon traffic and was sinking into the river. Air Florida Flight 90 had just taken off from Washington National Airport but something went horribly wrong and it stalled, careening into the Potomac, killing four people who were in their cars just sitting in traffic before bulleting into the river. As the snow fell, the crowd that instinctively gathered saw about a half dozen people floating in the water. What no one knew then was that all but one of those people in the river were going to be the only survivors of that crash. 79 people on board, 5...