Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

You can go back to your childhood for one day. What day and age do you choose?

When I was 10 years old my Dad got his pilot's license and I was his very first passenger. From that point on...I was obsessed with airplanes and flying. I spent every available moment at the airport with my Dad and we went to many air shows.

The summer of 1981, we attended the Weld County Air Show in my hometown of Greeley Colorado and my Dad bought two raffle tickets for a chance to ride in the Coors Lear Jet. We waited around in the sweltering July heat, waiting for the crotchety old men running the show to start calling out the winners. I sat against the wall of the terminal in the shade and I held my orange ticket in my sweaty palm, occasionally opening my hand and stealing a peak at my numbers. They called the first five set of numbers and I felt dejected. There was only one seat left and I just knew it wasn't going to be me.

As they began calling the numbers for the that last seat and I noticed that mine were matching up, I began to get excited! Oh my goodness! Dad! Those are my numbers! I won! I ran up to show them my ticket and they escorted me to a waiting area. My Dad had to sign some forms relieving Coors of all liability should something happen during the flight and then they let me inside.

The jet was like a long tube with tan leather seats. I took the last empty captain's chair and sat nervously waiting for something to happen. I was the only kid and the adults were chatting amongst themselves. Finally, one of them talked to me and asked me if I wanted a beer from the built in cooler. I was so nervous that I didn't even respond....I just thought he was stupid for asking me that.

Soon they closed the door and the jet began to move! I stared out the window and was shocked at how quickly the runway was disappearing as we left the ground and blasted into the sky. I had only been in my Dad's little Cessna 152....this was amazing!

The ride lasted about 20 minutes, heading west to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and back. In my head, I was singing my favorite John Denver song while shaking like a leaf from the exhilaration and the freakin air conditioning....and I felt like the coolest/luckiest/happiest girl in the world!






This post is part of Mama Kat's Weekly Writing Assignment. Click here to see the prompts, pick one and join in!

23 comments:

  1. Wow! What an amazing memory!! You repaint it with such detail it's like I was sitting right there with you!!

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  2. i'm with MamaKat...I can almost smell the leather seats!!!

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  3. great story...I wanna go on a jet now!

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  4. I remember going to airshows w/ my dad too. great memory. thanks for sharing.

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  5. What an awesome memory! So cool!!

    Hey I have an award for you over on my blog! The Mom of the Year award!

    Have a great night/day!

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  6. What a wonderful experience for you.

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  7. Wow, that would be quite an experience!

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  8. How lucky for you.

    Great story, I enjoyed reading it.

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  9. Visiting from Mama Kats...

    Wow! What a memory -- I'm sure there are not too many people who even have this memory in their whole lives! Pretty amazing.

    And I love the title of your blog -- very clever!

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  10. That is awesome! You can still hear the excitement!!!

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  11. visiting from Mama Kat's workshop. That is a priceless memory....I'd want to go back, too!

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  12. WOW!! that is a great story!! i love it!!

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  13. Thanks for sharing such a great memory!

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  14. Very cool!!

    And I love John Denver!

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  15. I don't remember that particular airshow, seeing as how I was only 5, but I'm sure I was there.

    Do you remember the one where I put that balloon animal between my legs and it looked like I had a twig and berries?!

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  16. You told the memory so well I felt excited and I don't even love flying.

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  17. What a great story! You know I'm partial to pilots... and your dad.

    Neat that you were your dad's first passenger.

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  18. hey, the thunderbirds will fly at HAFB this june (i think)... you should go! it's loud as hell, but it's TOTALLY fun.

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  19. That's a cool memory! I'm way too scared of planes. lol

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  20. What a cool memory! Isn't childhood grand?

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  21. What a beautiful memory! I can't believe all of the details you can remember. Dad's are the best aren't they?

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  22. How awesome is that! We have airshows at the Jeffco airport, I'll have to take the girls.

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I love you. You are my best friend! Your hair looks fantastic today!