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Up in the sky ...

September 29, 2008 - Jim Bartholow
AWESOME!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!! Those are the only words I can use to describe Sunday's Air Expo at the Mid-Ohio Valley Airport. I admit a life-long fascination with airplane watching. Flying is another thing, but watching them is really neat. Living in Marietta, though, really limits aircraft viewing, except for the occasional medical helicopter that flies right over our house on Adams Street.

But Air Expo was fantastic. I loved the precision parachute exhibitions. The older plans were fun to watch, as was the "Screaming Eagle" show filled with twists and turns in the air. I even liked the relatively tame flight of the "Sky King" plane, which took me back to the TV show of my childhood. I got to wear a parachute backpack during a tour of the cargo plane on display.

But, for me, the biggest kick, was the jet fighter show. It was loud, fast, and full of tricks. Really, words can't describe it. Unfortunately, our grandson, Braeyn, didn't like the noise. But all I could say with each pass was WOW! Thanks to anyone responsible for bringing the show together and thanks to my son-in-law Rick for alerting me to the show and to my wife, Leslie, for making sure I attended. As I said plane watching was a big hobby for me as a kid. Growing up in suburban Cleveland, passenger jets regularly flew low over our house. I loved to watch them with my binoculars.

And on our frequent trips to New Philadelphia to visit my aunt and uncle we'd always jump in the car and race to the airport when the daily flight to the Quaker City's airport flew over their house. We knew we had about 5 minutes to get to the airport once the plane flew overhead.

There there's our trip as teens to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. I asked Leslie if she'd like to go watch the planes land from a parking spot at the end of the runway. We did, but in her circle of friends that was an invitation to "make out" with your guy. In my narrow mind, an invitation to watch planes land was an invitation to watch planes land.

Boy, was I dumb.

Finally, the neatest place I've seen to watch planes land is Chicago's Midway Airport. The road is right at the end of the airfield, just like in the movie "Wayne's World."


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