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You’re All Wet to Fret About Air Race, Veteran Says

--For the next eight days at least, Nancy Toon is trading her Atlanta home for the Atlantic Ocean as she competes in the transatlantic air rally. Toon, 50, who has been flying for four years, and 69 other pilots have embarked on the 4,781-mile adventure in hopes of winning the $20,000 prize in the best precision flying performance and an optional speed competition. The event, which runs from the Statue of Liberty to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, is sponsored by a French firm, Voyages Ariel Prive. Toon removed the rear seats from her twin-engine Beechcraft Duchess to add an extra fuel tank and stuffed the aircraft with high-frequency radios and a mandatory life raft. When Toon was asked if she was nervous, she replied: “I would be a fool to say I wasn’t.” Bob Moriarty, 38, of Miami, a veteran of 226 ocean crossings, set a world speed record last year and completed his flight by maneuvering his plane through the 185-foot opening at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Moriarty, a former Vietnam F-4 fighter pilot, discounted dangers in the crossing: “If people use their heads, it’ll be a safe race. The airplane doesn’t know it’s over water anyway.”

--David J. Sasserville, 18, of Lynn, Mass., and William R. Smith, 21, of Manchester, N. H., were no ordinary truckers barreling down Interstate 93 in New Hampshire. The two Merrimack County Jail inmates--Sasserville was originally charged with drug violations and disobeying a police officer, Smith with attempted robbery and assault--had just used a modicum of ingenuity in escaping from the facility after scaling a 12-foot fence and swimming 100 yards across the Merrimack River into Canterbury. They then confiscated a state dump truck for their getaway. But as Concord police pursued the pair, it was only natural that confusion would set in. Sasserville and Smith raced through six communities and made their way into Manchester, speeding down one-way streets and alleys. Obviously unfamiliar with Manchester, the inmates made a wrong turn and ended up cornered in an alley--right behind the Manchester police station. “They sort of corralled themselves,” said state Police Sgt. Douglass Call. “They inadvertently turned into what they thought was a back street and it turned out to be a ramp in back of police headquarters.”

--Lori Sidoti and Chuck Krause of Greece, N.Y., started life together and now they’re planning to spend the rest of it side by side in happy matrimony. They met--well, not really--at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, 33 years ago. Sidoti was 25 minutes old when Krause came into the world, and they shared the same hospital nursery after their deliveries. They ran into each other 10 years ago but it wasn’t until two years later that they found out their mothers had met in the hospital’s maternity ward. “I’m still amazed by it all,” says Krause, who is an insurance salesman. "(It’s) unique,” says Sidoti, who is a banker. “Only once in a lifetime would you marry the person you were practically born with.”


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