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Sunday at the air show

Sunday, we packed up the diaper bag, saddled up Sandyanna Lakshmi, and set out for the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay to see the big airshow. Owen has been pretty stoked about the concept of "airplane really fast" ever since the Thunderbirds were in town last month, and this weekend's two-day air extravaganza promised to be even bigger.

We parked and rode the "shuttle" (a commandeered school bus) down to the flight line and arrived just before the Blue Angels were set to take off. We found our friends Adam, Marsha and Scarlett near the climbing wall and sat in the shade of a sparkling new Mazda SUV that was for some reason on display amid the recruiting tables and beer stands. Sign up for your guided tour of Iraq and check out the new line of Mazdas while you're here!

We stood around chatting, catching up on the latest parenting news until "Highway to the Danger Zone" began blaring from the speakers and the jets started warming up (because let's face it, what else would you play to accompany jets taking off?) One by one the planes lifted off, afterburners thundering, producing a sound that you felt more than you heard. Owen was pumped. Scarlett was crying. Man, let me tell you, there's nothing like watching four F-18 fighters execute a synchronized barrel roll to make you forget your antiwar sentiments. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Owen had a blast. He watched the jets fly by, seemingly inches above our heads, with a mix of awe and excitement that I haven't seen since the steam trains at Tilden Park. Half way through the show he started reenacting the planes' movements with his fingers, tracing out their aerobatics while making guttural rumbling noises in his throat (see video below).

At one point, one of the jets skimmed over the runway at about 100 feet. It was a cool move to be sure, but it turned out to be just a diversion. Right as the first jet faded off in the distance another flew in on a perpendicular path that took it right over the crowd. No one saw it coming before it pulled a flyby right out of Top Gun, buzzing our collective towers. Oh Mavrick, you iconoclastic trouble-maker, you!

Owen was startled like everyone else, but he quickly composed himself and tried to relocate the jet that had buzzed us. Poor Scarlett, on the other hand, was sobbing like a child forsaken by her loved ones. She literally started pounding the ground with her fists, looking at her parents as if to say, "Why in the name of god have you brought me to this horrible place?!" Owen looked back at her with a quizzical look on his face, seemingly saying, "Woman, gather your wits. How can you cry during such exciting times?!"

Don't worry. Scarlett was fine once the noise stopped. She and Owen had a great time playing on the fire truck display and riding in the pilot's seat of the Huey. After we walked through the cavernous interior of the C-5A Galaxy transport plane, we all dined on Papa John's personal pizzas (4 tickets, buy one get one free since they were closing soon). Sated and happy we visited a bit more, and then parted ways to our respective parking lots. All in all, a great afternoon at the Marine base!

Epilogue: On the shuttle ride back, the driver was trying to get around another bus that was unloading its passengers. Owen and I were in the second row, right behind the driver when she yelled, "C'mon, guys, let's go!" Owen stood up and screamed, "C'MON GUYS, GOOOOO!" Everyone on the bus started cracking up. He got this little self-satisfied grin on his face and proudly sat back down. Yes, this day belonged to Owen.


jcom said…
With those hand gestures, looks like Owen was preparing to give Iceman the smackdown.

"No he was man, it was a really great move. He was inverted."
fayebean said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
fayebean said…
Man, that reminds me of sitting in your room in Torrance and looking at your jet pictures. Funny how things come full circle. Do you think Owen will have a paper route too?
JohnJohn said…
I don't know if he'll have a paper route, but he'll know the value of an honest day's work. Maybe he'll play online poker...

Great Top Gun quote, Julie! Owen's call-sign is ReallyFast, as in "ReallyFast, you can be my wingman any day!"

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