Monday, October 5, 2009

The Thunderbirds

When I was growing up, my parents would occasionally take us to air shows. I never really understood the point.

There was always a lot of concrete and the sun was beating down on us on that hot concrete and we walked into a dozen airplanes and looked at the five million and two gages in every cockpit. All the planes, cockpits, and gages looked exactly the same to me, so I never found this as fascinating as everyone else around me seemed to.

Then some planes would fly by and everyone would ooh and aah. I just didn't get it. Had these people never seen Star Wars?? Planes just flying didn't seem like that big of a deal when you'd watched star fighters battle it out in close combat using amazing aerial maneuvers.

So, I wasn't that thrilled when someone told me there would be an air show here on the island. But everyone seemed really excited about it and another family offered to give us a ride, so we decided to go.

There was a lot of hot concrete. There were a lot of planes. There were a lot of long lines to get into the planes. I bought the kids water bottles for $1 a bottle. As the day went on and got hotter, they raised the price of water to $2 a bottle. Yay.

I was once again asking myself why I had come to this event.

And then..........

And then the Thunderbirds flew.

Oh. My.

They were amazing. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

Those planes flew so close together it looked as if their wings were going to touch at the tips. Two planes would fly by with one right side up and one upside down. A plane flew by that was so loud I had to plug my ears. They flew with smoke coming out making patterns in the sky. Two planes flew straight at each other and turned sideways at the last moment, passing belly to belly.

It was incredible. I was astounded that people could fly planes like that and not crash into each other.

I looked at the kids in delight. They yawned. They talked to their friends. They said, "How much longer are we going to be here?"

Then I got it. They've seen things in movies which makes this sort of flying pale in comparison. They don't realize the movie flying isn't real. They don't realize this sort of flying is rare and takes amazing training and phenomenal talent. They don't realize that not everyone can do this. They think this must be easy and anyone can do it; they wouldn't be doing it at an air show in front of all these people if it wasn't perfectly safe.

Just wait until they grow up and they realize they aren't immortal or gifted with the ability and opportunity to fly like that.

Then they'll be impressed.

1 comment:

  1. Glad that you saw this phenomenal group. I'm impressed that you were impressed. :0) GG