I went to the Dayton Air Show 2011 on July 23. Okay, it's more than a few days overdue, but meh.
I always loved going to the air show. Even when I lived here before. I've always loved planes, in fact. Might have something to do with growing up in an Air Force town. No, my parents weren't Air Force; Dad was Navy and Mom was in the Marines. I loved planes beginning at a very young age. For many years, I'd find my way to the air show, and it was always by default. One year, about nine years ago, and the last time I was there, I actually paid. Before, I always got in for free for one reason or another, free ticket, volunteered. You name it.
This year, I wanted to go, and it was a last minute decision to go, but my father, the irony, said hey, you should go because you might not be around here next year, you might not get another chance soon, so go while you can. I had debated spending the 30 bucks for a few hours, but it was worth it to me. I knew I wouldn't need all day, just a few hours at that. So I headed out on Saturday afternoon, and it was so HOT. And all the planes, where were they parked? Oh yeah, on the hot blacktop. It was almost 100 that afternoon. But I trucked along, snapping all my photos and such. The last time I was there, a Liberator was there. I got to sit in the cockpit. That was pretty cool.
This year, it was too hot to wait in the lines in these dang planes to try to finally squeeze up into a cockpit, so I settled for crowd watching, picture taking, and drooling over the men in the flight suits. I mean really, is there anything better than a guy in a flight suit?
So are you wondering, did I go alone? I sure did. Is that strange? Why? Why not go alone. I've traveled around this country alone; I moved myself, a truck of furniture, a car in tow, and a Jack Russell, alone. I celebrated my last birthday alone. Meh. Comes with the whole "life after marriage and divorce" thing. Some things you just have to see if you can do, and going to an airshow in public, alone.
Not a big deal. On my birthday, back in June, I went to the movies alone. First time ever. Saw The Hangover 2. I didn't mind one bit that I was alone. In fact, I asked myself why I never went to the movies alone before.
Now, do I like being alone? Well, no. Doing some things, like writing, tweezing my eyebrows, sure. Some stuff I'm going to have to do alone. That's just how it is right now.
I'm back "home," but it's not my hometown, and even if it were, who would I still know? Heck, I don't know anyone in the area now, except for one gal I was friends with years before I left. I'm currently not interested in tracking down people from Ohio past. Anyhow, some people are really hung up on doing things alone. I figure I'm in a new phase in my life, so I have to get out there. I have to see what I'm still made of.
Years ago, when I was younger, I had a huge complex about doing things alone. Wouldn't do a thing by myself. I always had alot of friends, did alot of stuff, I was young and in college, you know? Miss Party Gal. But times changed. I grew up. Friends parted ways. Jobs changed. Whatever. And there was a period of time when I found myself more and more staying home with not a lot to do. It really depressed me.
I don't want to fall into that again.
So, I went to the air show. Hey just last weekend, Dad and I went to that Dragon's game, but he left early, because it was so friggin hot, so hot I could barely stand it, but I stayed after he left. I didn't mind it a bit.
Dawn of a new age.
Back to the flight suits, erm, planes.
It really only took me an hour or so to walk the field and snap my photos. Then I parked in the grass area as the Thunderbirds were beginning their warm up for their show.
Behind me, I have video too, huge storm clouds started rolling in. The Thunderbirds had to come back down. The joint pretty much closed up at that point. People started rolling out to the parking lots. I mean, there was one of the biggest crowds there that day than I ever recall seeing before. Massive amount of people, I tell you.
The Thunderbirds said they'd do autographs to make up for cancelling their show, so I stuck around in line to get a few signatures. Plus, it gave some time for the crowd to thin and getting back to my car wouldn't be such a nightmare.
Standing in line, omg, felt like such a groupie, but I wasn't drooling or anything. It was the women behind me, older than me, I might add, who were really pushing my buttons. To be fair, I think I look a bit younger than I really am, and don't ask my age, I'm hung up on that right now, but these chicks had me at a good ten years, and they were just pushing and drooling and yammering the whole time.
I had a choice at that time. *laughs* There was a time, and I'm sure she is still in me somewhere, when one Christy Lynne would have turned around and slapped the snot outta the woman. My other choice was to say nothing, and just ignore her. Not wanting to make a scene, and if you knew me, you'd be shocked that I pass up a chance to make a scene, I just picked up my camera, said not a word, and moved up in line.
Just common sense, you know? Some folks don't have it in the company of aircraft pilots. I however, did. *laughs* And the pilots were nice enough, but it was not like you could stand there and say hey, how ya doin? They just wanted to get out of there, I think. I did catch some convo from the very first person in line, some young chick. The first pilot greeted her, they exchanged some words, and then she broke out in this God awful loud laugh, and then all I heard was, "Yes! I'm the Facebook stalker."
This is what I was up against. Her and the drooling 50 plus chicks behind me. *sigh*
Aside from that, it was as eventful as I thought it would be. As I was waiting for the shuttle to go back to my parking lot which was like 5 miles from the field, I Facebooked about being able to find my car, not realizing most of the crowd had left by then (and it was very easy to find my car). One year, I went with a girlfriend, and we got so lost in the parking lot, like we walked around for hours in the rain and heat trying to find my car. Eventually I had to stand up on someone's hood, a few actually, to try to find my car. The same friend caught my comment and referenced the time we were lost. Good times. Air Show. That's me.
Why do I like planes? I dunno. When I was a kid, I worked at the Air Force Museum. Still one of my favorite places ever. If I end up leaving this area again, I'll go and snap some photos of that, or might just anyhow. They have added like three or four new wings since the last time I was there, and that was about three years ago.
There's just a powerful mystic about planes. So much of our recent American History is based on planes and their role in wars and such. Dayton too, is the home of the Wright Brothers. Flight was invented here!
I think I'll need to expand on this a bit, maybe make a blog just about planes.
Remind me to tell you about my experience in learning how to fly. Too long to share here, but remind me. It's a hoot.
So, the photos. Like I said, I have some video of a stunt plane and of the Thunderbirds, but it's not great. I'm a writer, not a video taker person LOL and the air show as NOT the place to practice. I need to figure out if I can edit the film or not; the clips were taken with my camera. Good investment, my camera. I love the video feature, but forget it's there! Maybe I'll toy with the film this weekend.
Oh, and I actually didn't have to buy my ticket. Hahaha. I pull into the parking lot to pay for parking, and it was like almost 2 in the afternoon, right? So I ask the nice lady taking money, hey, I said, I don't suppose it's half price parking for the last four hours? No, I'm afraid not, she said. Okay, I said, that's cool, I didn't think so, but thought I'd ask. No biggie. So I pull up a bit and she comes back to my window like a minute later. Do you have a ticket to get in, she asked. I thought you could get them at the gate, I said. You can, she said, but here, she handed me a ticket. Free ticket for you to get in, she said, if you want. Oh, I said, wow, you sure? She nodded. Wow, that's awesome, I said. Thank you so much! I wasn't trying to skimp out on paying anything, mind you, but it never hurts to ask while an event is down to the last few hours, I guess.
Thanks for reading!