Look! Up In The Sky!
The Navy Blue Angels Aerobatic Team was in town for the 2018 Terre Haute (That’s French for Awesome.”) Air Show.
I love Air Shows. They are a living display of Aviation History, the Present, and a peek into the Future. In the air before your eyes are planes from the World War II era, the aircraft defending this nation today, and the cutting edge technology like the F-22 with Stealth capabilities.
It is a History lesson that should be taught to everyone because our History is the best way to understand and prepare for the future.
I didn’t go to this year’s show. My legs were just not up to it. With everything there is to see on the ground as well as in the air I would be on my feet for hours. Twenty years ago – no sweat. These days – nothing but sweat.
This year my ringside seat was in our backyard. We live about three miles from the airport so the Angels flew right over our heads. My wife, the lovely and technologically appreciative, Dawn, was out there with me. She had never seen the angels before. When the jets screamed right over us she could only say “Wow!” And that sums it up. “Wow!” is the ultimate description. You see the planes. You hear the planes, and you feel the planes as they roar by.
Seeing it all from our yard allowed me to see something I had never noticed before – the reaction of the animals and critters in the neighborhood. There were squirrels sitting up on the roof of the garage. They were not scurrying away to hide. Birds were lines up on the power wires watching their bigger kin zoom past. Two large Red Tail Hawks soared overhead in lazy circles. The Cicadas in the trees chirped their opinion every time the jets flew overhead. One truly surprising to me was the number of butterflies in our yard. They were everywhere flittering about. I don’t know if they were there for the show, but they did not seem to be disturbed by the noise.
The Air Show was a two day affair and the weather was a factor. The days preceding the show had been rainy and that impacted the allotted parking areas set aside for the visitors to our town. Mud made a lot of the planned parking area inaccessible.
Parking is always a factor at events like this show because there is no way to conveniently handle thousands of cars. I have been to much bigger shows than this one and, good weather or bad, parking is always an issue. In Reno, Nevada they have a week-long show every year that draws over 100,000 people.
The congestion and parking mess is always astounding, but every year the people return.
This year’s Air Show in Terre Haute was the first one in about ten years. I hope that the organizers don’t let the unavoidable problems discourage them from holding this wonderful event again and again. It is something to bring people and attention to this town.
I read that the attendance for the 2018 Terre Haute Air Show was about 60,000 people. That is the everyday population of Terre Haute. There were visitors from all over the Midwest. They had a great time and our town has benefitted in a number of ways from their presence.
Let’s do it again next year!