Originally created 10/26/02

Wellstone mentioned discomfort with flying



BRAINERD, Minn. - U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone was known to speak warily about flying, and remarks he made to a crowd at Rippleside Elementary School in Aitkin five years ago now seem prophetic.

At a July 1997 gathering in the school's music room, Mr. Wellstone, D-Minn., apologized for the absence of his wife, Sheila, and said he had a bad feeling about the two of them traveling together in a small plane.

On Friday, Mr. Wellstone, his wife, his daughter and five others were killed in a plane crash in Minnesota.

In 1997, Mr. Wellstone attended a roundtable discussion on children and poverty in Aitkin, and he toured substandard and rehabilitated housing and spoke with residents.

Roger Corbin, the executive director of Lakes and Pines Community Action Council, attended the 1997 event. He remembers Mr. Wellstone's sentiment about flying.

"I know he stated that upon other occasions," Mr. Corbin said.