In 1965 Jerry Leggio designed the motion picture casting system for the Louisiana State Employment Service (today's Louisiana Workforce Commission). In 1969 he was awarded a State Science Foundation contract to Develop the Motion Picture Industry in Louisiana and In 1975 he led a multi-state committee to form the National Cineposium .
Jerry is the recipient of the 2014 ANNE PRICE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in recognition of his pioneering efforts to grow the film industry in Louisiana.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Let's go "Joy-Flying"
was Bill, who was hired by GSRI around 1968.
GSRI (Gulf South
needed to staff highly pedigreed PhD economists
to satisfy its institutional eligibility for issuing RFPs (requests
for proposals) and conducting Louisiana-based economic feasibility studies. About a year after Bill was added to the staff then came Bob, another PhD
economist. Though highly qualified in
their respective fields of economics, both were party animals when not on
been a jet fighter pilot during the Korean War.
Bob had not. Bill had
recently purchased an 8 year old single engine Cessna and relished “joy-flying”
every chance he got. Bob was not a joy-Flyer.Other than each having expertise in their
respective fields of economics and the fact that they loved partying, they
otherwise had very little in common.
Then came a
major research contract and both Bill and Bob were assigned to it. Actually it was a 2-part project and Bill and
Bob each had been designated project leaders.
At one point
in the course of this contract a major conference (pertinent to this research
study) was scheduled to take place in Shreveport. Bob was about to book a
flight to this conference when Bill said "Bob, don't book a flight. We'll
fly up in my little Cessna."
This sounded practical to Bob, so it was agreed that they would attend this
conference via Bill's private Cessna.
On the date
of departure Bill and Bob arrived at the Baton Rouge downtown airport where
Bill kept his little 2-seater Cessna. Bob
helped Bill move the plane from its mooring onto a taxi strip. Now able to better survey this mode of
transportation, Bob began to harbor some misgivings. The Cessna's landing gear was badly
worn. In fact there was no tread on the
wheels. The aileron hinges were rusty and
the cockpit interior was tattered and torn and generally disheveled. Bob said "Are you serious?" to which Bill replied "What do you mean?" Bob said
"This thing can actually fly?"
"Hell, Bob, if it couldn't fly why
would I be bringing us out here?"Bob gulped, then allowed his tentative and disquieting trust in Bill's judgment
to impart some measure of relief on his concerns.Surely Bill would not fly a plane that was
ready for the junk yard.....WOULD HE?
further reassured when he buckled himself into the passenger seat. At least the seat belts were not tattered. He breathed a little easier. He asked Bill how long he had had this
plane. Bill said he had bought it about
6 months ago for $2500. OMG! Bob asked
"Why only 2500 bucks?" to
which Bill responded "Well, LOOK at
it. Do you really think its worth more
than that? I'm pretty mechanical and I felt like I could fix it up and make it
But now they
were in flight and Bob's tension eased somewhat until SPUTTER! SPUTTER! went the
engine. Bob yelled "What's wrong?" while Bill
frantically pumped something that resembled a bicycle pump. Bill said "This plane doesn’t have a fuel pump.
On a climb I have to manually pump fuel.
Once we level off it will be OK." Realizing he was captive, Bob
tried again to relax, but he vowed NOT to return home in that wreck once the conference
an hour into the flight Bob's composure was once again shaken when suddenly the
plane began severely vibrating. Before he
could express his concern to Bill, he was asked by Bill to "help me find a place to land." SAY WHAT! Bob yelled "What do you mean 'a place to land'?" "Just what I said. The cable to
the vertical stabilizer has snapped."
SAY WHAT! Bob was now in a state of shear panic when
Bill announced "There's a spot"
indicating a long, deserted stretch of cow pasture in a remote area just
outside of Alexandria. He calmly said
"Just hang on till we touch
down." Bob hung on alright, white knuckles and all.
touch-down was pretty rough. The little
Cessna bounced and bobbed until Bill was able to safely bring it to a
stop. He cut the engine, then opened a
toolbox. Planning to find a stretch of
barbed wire fencing, Bill pulled out a pair of wire cutters when suddenly he
looked around and was not able to see Bob.
Peering out the windows, he
scanned the horizon and saw Bob jogging eastward. Bill yelled "Where the hell are you going?" to which Bob yelled back "I'm going to find a highway."
was not going to find a highway, Bill shook his head and started his quest for
some barbed wire fencing. Not finding a highway,
his way back to Bill and the plane. Bill quipped "What, no highway?" to which Bob responded "Hell no. Why didn't you tell me?" I knew you'd find out for yourself." Bob said "What are you doing?" "I
found a stretch of barbed wire fencing and cut out this piece which I'm
splicing onto the snapped stabilizer cable."
Still not at
all comfortable with this aerial misadventure, Bob asked "What happens if we can't take off?"
"We'll take off" "BUT WHAT IF WE CAN'T?!" "THEN
WE'LL DO A LOT OF WALKING." Bob shook his head and patiently sat down
on one of the plane's tread-bare wheels. "Shit!" Bill asked
said SHIT!!" Bill said "You
worry too much." to which Bob
replied "NO SHIT!"
completed the splicing task, returned the wire-cutters to his toolbox and
said "ALL ABOARD". Bob said "It's done?" Bill said "It's done."
soon airborne again with Bill pumping the manual fuel pump until they
leveled off. Realizing they were now
some 40-50 minutes from their destination, Bob was able to settle back and
endure (not enjoy, but endure) the rest of the trip. The vibration was gone and it was smooth
sailing into Shreveport. Whew!
conference ended, Bob, carrying his overnight bag, was seen by Bill loading
into their boss's company car. Bob announced "Bill,
no hard feelings, I hope. But Charlie is giving me a ride back to Baton Rouge."
Bob and Bill
remained friends though Bob never again chanced a ride in Bill’s little Cessna
or any other aerial contraption Bill might soon be toying with. Whenever they partied after that, it was by
ground transportation ONLY. Back to HOME page and TABLE OF CONTENTS