Wow. What a weekend for Fort Smith — and our entire region.
Saturday afternoon as the Thunderbirds performed, I wandered through the crowd taking photographs and shooting little video snippets. At least 100,000 necks were craned — looking up into the skies. Snapping photos, listening to the radio chatter from the demonstration team.
Right now I’m uploading those images to Flickr. There’s a photo essay in there somewhere — about place, and experience. Community and patriotism. Freedom and hope.
Meanwhile, I thought it would be funny to upload my attempt to capture Brett Hunter‘s Saturday performance in his Magnum Pitts Special. I didn’t make it to the show line before he took off. Plus, I kinda wanted to have some room to get silly, just in case I couldn’t contain myself. I was back behind the chalets, and in front of the volunteer tent.
Full disclosure — during Friday’s ride, Brett was great about telling me what we were about to do. He fed me more and more g’s with each maneuver. I handled them pretty well and asked for more. But the wind and the excitement prevented me from hearing or comprehending all the maneuvers he described. And when you’re IN the aircraft doing all those twists, turns, dives and rolls, it’s very difficult to get a sense of what the plane looks like from the ground. Oneathem perspective things.
So from the ground Saturday, my perception was that I’d done ALLLLLL of those crazy things. Of course, that wouldn’t have been possible. Brett pulls lots of g’s every day. Sustained. So his tolerance is far greater than mine. If I remember right, we didn’t pull that many negative g’s. We did pull what I considered some hefty positive g’s.
Now, here I am trying to keep track of a speck in the sky, and absolutely coming unglued…I’m pretty sure since I couldn’t keep track of Brett that I used the camera as an imitation of the rolls and flips we did over the skies of Greenwood.