Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Blue Angels Were Here

Last year because of government budget cuts they did not appear, and in fact there was no airshow at all, disappointing thousands, but now the annual airshow is on again, and even at the sparsely attended first local farmer's market of the season, at 9 a.m., people were talking about going to see the Blue Angels exhibition that afternoon, clearly a point of pride. I wasn't planning to go -- the show attracts huge mobs and creates giant traffic jams -- but a friend offered his hillside, which has an excellent view. With a bottle of chocolate milk and a blanket I lived the life o' Riley on a perfect afternoon in May and watched stunt pilots looping, barreling, flying upside-down  and diving, and two slow-dancing helicopters. Then we all clapped our hands over our ears as the Blue Angels team roared over, scaring the daylights out of every creature within hearing distance.

Curious, I looked them up, and learned: The crafts' wings are just 18 inches apart when they fly in close formation. The Blue Angels exhibition team, affiliated with the Navy, dates back to 1946. The pilots' average age is 26. Yes, there are female pilots. The Army's exhibition team is called The Flying Tigers and I have seen them perform as well.

All highways and byways were jammed for miles with cars all trying to get near the airport and watch, so folk just got out of their cars where they were and watched the show because they weren't going anywhere.

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