“17 Days of Christmas”

Day 17 of the Christmas gift countdown. Today’s gift doesn’t fit under the tree as it is more of dream, but I have to ask anyway. Can any of my friends or family arrange a ride for me in either a Navy Blue Angel F18 or an Air Force Thunderbird F16? Please?

I fell in love with airplanes at an early age. I still have memories from about the age of five of my cousins Ronda and Desi, my aunt Bobbi, my uncles Freddy and Larry, my grandmother “Mommie” and mother Thelma buying me all kinds of toy planes. Model planes, remote control planes, electric planes, gliders, you name it. Like every week someone would walk through the door and place a new plane in my hand.

I loved watching them glide through the air. As often as I lost or broke one I’d have a new one to assemble and play with. Probably numbered in the hundreds. Of them all I had two favorites: the wooden gliders that you could purchase for $1.00 at convenience stores and the custom remote control Blue Angel bought by one of my uncles.

This R/C Blue Angel was special even by today’s standards. Three foot wing span, real engine, super fast! My Uncle Larry would actually fly it for me as I was too young to maneuver it without crashing. I was hooked for life.

As a child I lived about a mile from the U.S. Naval Academy. Saw the Blue Angels fly right in my backyard every Memorial Day. I still remember distinctly some years later, in 1986, watching them fly and noticing the different planes that were used. I didn’t like the new jets. They were oddly shaped compared to the older ones I was accustomed to. Turned out that those new planes were FA18 Hornets, now one of my favorites. Along with the F16 Falcon. Which are the two jets pictured here.

Each of these have two-seater versions and occasionally allow people to ride along on flights for a “small fee”. I really wish “Santa” would let me be next in line. What’s up family and friends? ‘Tis the Season…..

R.I.P Chuck Yeager

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