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A daredevil experience with Martin Litton

To the editor: When I graduated from USC way back in the 1950s, my first job was with Sunset magazine, which had its headquarters in Menlo Park. My first assignment was to cover Santa Barbara Fiesta Days with the travel editor, Martin Litton. ("Martin Litton dies at 97; passionate wilderness conservationist," Dec. 1)

He called and told me to meet him at Santa Monica Airport at 9 a.m. sharp. (I didn't even know there was a Santa Monica Airport.) Once there, a big burly man came over to me and said, "Get in the plane, behind the wheel." I complied, and he said, "Let's get this plane up to Santa Barbara; you drive."

He gave directions occasionally but mostly slept. Somehow, we made it. It was my first and only piloting experience. Describing the experience as terrifying would be an understatement, but we made it to Santa Barbara.

Later, Litton's fellow editors said he did this to every girl who would fly with him. He continued on with Sunset for many years and took part in so many great stories.

He will be missed.

Carla Chandler, Burbank

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