LC Van Savage
Last week we who live in this area were treated once again to the sights and sounds of the fabulous “Blue Angels” jet plane air show choreography. Whether you are pro or con, you have to admit that the sight of those shining blue and gold entities ripping up the skies while performing impossible, death defying tricks is a pretty awesome sight, and for once that tired and overused adjective “awesome” fits, whereas it does not when kids use it to describe a new and disgusting flavor of bubblegum.
The big macho planes show up a day or so early for practice to make certain they don’t annihilate any of our local buildings as they swoop and blast above us. Roads are closed. People begin arriving from everywhere.
And loud? Oh man, those flying machines rattle my Aunt Helen’s Waterford goblets (all three) and tip the pictures on our walls. Like many of us, we are convinced those pilots are about to blast our homes off of their foundations, and we instinctively duck and cover. I was in our driveway with our tiny grandchild Hannah when one lone pilot shrieked overhead causing her to scream, hold her ears and grab onto me in a death grip until the danger had passed. That one was way, way too close. It pushed down branches on our trees and rattled those little thingamahoochies in my ears. It was pretty scary. I could just about see the color of the pilot’s eyeballs, and dreaded going to check on Aunt Helen’s goblets, knowing they’d be smashed to splinters on the floor. They survived.
I hustled the frightened Hannah into the house, soothed her and assured her I would make “those bad planes” stay away, and like all very young little girls, if her Gramma (in my case her “Bucky”) promises her something, it jolly well is going to happen.
And of course I’m looking pretty good about that because in fact the tittle-tattle is that the boys who drive those mighty Blue Angel machines have shattered their last Brunswick/Bath/Topsham/Harpswell etc. windows and eardrums, since the Brunswick Naval Air Station will one day soon be no more, the land covered with I don’t know what. So many rumors are flying about. (Sorry.)
Mongo and the boys and I attended a few Blue Angels spectaculars years ago, but in time gave up fighting the traffic and just watched from our street where we could most assuredly hear them, and could see about 2/3 of the tricks or at least the remainders of them. Alas the trees in our neighborhood have grown so tall that all we can see now are the planes at their highest point, flipping over and roaring back to earth.
Yes, they’re obnoxiously loud but something must be working. I read that because of those mighty air shows young kids are signing up in great lots to join the military and maybe even go to war one day. Is the enormous amount of money needed to keep those planes aloft worth it? Is it true they use up gigantic amounts of oxygen to keep themselves airborne? Do I know? I do wonder.
By the way, are the “Angels” the planes themselves or the young people flying them? I never did get that figured out. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about those planes and that fabulous, stunning, unforgettable air show they put on. The deafening noise overhead is really rather terrible, but then smashing a couple of Aunt Helen’s Waterford Crystal glasses is pretty small potatoes compared to what planes like those do in other parts of our world, where people not only don’t have three Waterford Crystal glasses, they have no glasses at all, and no water to put into them even if they did have them. I think a lot about those mighty planes and how they frightened a tiny girl named Hannah out in our driveway and forced me to remember that there are children from all around this world who have spent their lives running, terrified, their hearts, ears and eyes filled with horror from those hideous, thunderous sounds coming from planes and falling bombs that are too often ours.
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