How I got started in aviation: making airplane videos
I was eight years old, standing in the middle of endless miles of sagebrush, all alone, defiant, angry, with a three foot stick of wood in my hand that to me, looked like a pretty formidable weapon aka: sword. The sky was blue and the afternoon wind was blowing hard, as it always does in the northern Nevada desert. Standing there, still, coiled, like a snake ready to strike, I lowered my eyes menacingly to a patch of yellow dried up tumble weeds… “Give her back” I muttered with a venom from deep inside my soul (I may have even spit a little). The weeds didn’t reply. I tightened my grip on my sword, “Last chance . . .” Still no compliance. With the imagined grace of a siberian tiger and all the might my many hours experience (and there were many) at hacking weeds with sticks, I utterly destroyed those tumble weeds. They came apart like clay slate under a boot, exploding in shards of stickers and stem. I swung left, ducked, rolled, then came up with a mighty overhead swing… my sword came down on the head of their leader, BAM!!
On one knee, slowly looking up, my blade (albeit wooden) still embedded in the earth where the once proud leader of the sticker bushes lay, my jaw clenched, my eyes slanted like all the pictures of eagles and falcons eyes, I saw what I had come for, what I had fought for. Laying on a pyre looking beautiful in her light blue dress was the love of my life. She had been stolen from me by those BASTARD weeds and been taken back to their homeland! I had traveled, I had fought, I had bleed (no, it’s true, a huge splinter from my sword jabbed my hand and made it bleed…. a little) and finally there she was. I dropped the sword, stood and walked over to her pyre, I lifted her into my arms, her lifeless body limp but warm stole my breath, the agony of being too late to save her wretched me to my very soul.
“NOOOOOOOOO!!!” I screamed at the sky till my throat felt as if it would light afire and then fell to my knees with a whimper… “nooo…”
The journey home was long. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, to be able to stay a good man, and not let the anger corrupt me into a vengeful villain of epic proportions, the likes the world had never seen before! In fact that sounded pretty cool, so I decided to be that. An evil grin spread across my lips when I saw an unsuspecting ant hill, ready to receive my wrath. With a battle cry I lept into action . . . (I believe in that encounter the ants won by power of sheer numbers).
Ahhh… good times. I loved the emptiness of Mark Twain Nevada growing up. In fact it’s days like those that started a craving inside me that would last forever an insatiable, irreconcilable, need for the lonely places on earth. No matter what I have done, went through, feared, or faced in life I have always been searching for and been restored by empty spaces where my mind can once again search for the meaning in it all.
So when I first was introduced to aviation, you have to imagine with me, the way it felt to look on a big ole Piper Cub, with huge Tundra tires and oversized wings . . . I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was holding my breath. “Just imagine what I could do with one of those, where we could go . . . the things we would see, the adventures to be had.”
Today I make videos for a living. I do love it but it’s usually promoting a product or service that some corporation or group is excited about. One day Jim and I decided to do a little video expressing the idea that I fell in love with that day, when I was first introduced to aviation (by Jim), looking up at his Cub, and dreaming of the possibilities. Here it is, and keep in mind we made this back when the blog was known as Skypark.tv: