Talking to students at Inglewood High School, noted jazz drummer Albert (Tootie) Heath explained that his nickname did not come from any experiments with wind instruments.
The name, the 54-year-old Heath said, came from a grandfather who apparently had a passion for tutti-frutti ice cream. “I’m glad I wasn’t born in the ‘80s,” the drummer said. “My name would be Haagen-Dazs or Frusen Gladje.”
Two old Spitfire pilots dropped in on the Museum of Flying at Santa Monica Airport on Friday to wax sentimental over the two flyable Spitfires there and dredge up a few memories about their days with the Royal Air Force’s 127th Fighter Squadron in World War II.
They saw each other this week for the first time in 44 years.
Ted E. A. W. Smith, 66, manager of radio station KLBJ in Austin, Tex., and David Fyfe, 71, a retired Bel-Air developer and apartment house owner, were two of those few to whom (Winston Churchill said) so many owed so much in the Battle of Britain.
They made contact a while back when Fyfe answered an aviation magazine ad placed by Smith, who was writing his book, “Spitfire Diary” and was looking for old squadron mates. They finally met again in person Wednesday when Smith came to Los Angeles.
As far as they can tell, they are the only two members of the 127th living in the United States. Perhaps another five are still alive in England. “We’re survivors,” Fyfe said.
The Museum of Flying, incidentally, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed fighter plane at 2 p.m. Sunday with demonstration flights, displays and a big cake.