Children are a blast. I took my son Michael, Co-Author of Air force One “The Final Mission” and his son (my grandson) to an air show last Sunday. We had such a wonderful time. To be terribly honest I wasn’t really looking forward to spending a whole day in the sun and wasn’t sure just how much fun it would be, walking the midway, eating stuff that really isn’t that good for you and, after all, I have seen my share of these shows in the past, including the ones with the Navy’s “Blue Angels” and the other one what’s their name again? Oh yeah, the one that our friend Colonel Chealander had lead for about three years, the Air Force’s “Thunder Birds”. I mean how many barrel rolls, loops, Immelmann turns, thatch weaves, Lumshevaks, and Cuban Eights can you watch? The only real difference is the color of the planes and the pilots that fly the planes – and you can’t really see the pilots.
But, what you can see is the face of a twelve year old with his eyes popping out of his head and imagining what it would be like to be the pilot of those powerful aircraft. The shear wonder and joy, and fascination he had for the people at the controls. The questions on his mind. The respect he had for them and their talents was overwhelming. He decided he wanted to meet the pilots of those planes. Yes, meet the pilots of those planes. That’s what he wanted to do… and he did.
I remember seeing the same sense of wonder on his face the first time he saw, and boarded, Air Force One. There was also the day when he sat in the cab of the diesel rig that pulled SAM 27000 into the Air Force One Pavilion for the first time; the beginning of its final mission.
We didn’t just walk the air show mid-way that day. It was more than my meek written word could ever muster. We had a really great day. I hope I get the chance to take the sons of my grandson to some air shows. I hope you do too.