Navy pilots get mouthfuls of corn goodness


The heavenly sweet aroma that wafts out of Joe Brown's Carmel Corn, 520 S.W. Fourth Ave., has found its way onto the aircraft carrier USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf. And a crew of Navy pilots is scarfing down the golden nuggets between missions.

Ron Ertler, owner of the shop, says that when a Beaverton woman came in last month to buy a case of the popcorn for her son, she mentioned that he was flying F/A-18s in the gulf.

Ertler couldn't resist adding another case of 96 5-ounce bags on his dime Ñ worth $57.60 at wholesale. 'I just thought it'd be nice,' he says.

Three weeks later, the pilot, 34-year-old Lt. Cmdr. Rick 'Lucky' Thompson, e-mailed word that the caramel corn was a hit. 'Everyone in the ready room is chomping it down,' he reported. 'I don't imagine it will last much longer.'

Ertler says he'll duplicate the gesture for others sending care packages to loved ones in the military overseas: 'If they buy a case, I'll donate a case.'

Ñ Jennifer Anderson