SANDERS STUDIO

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE AVIATION NATION AIR SHOW

Yes, I'm guilty....I never did grow up, so when I had the opportunity to indulge two of my passions in life, aviation and photography, I jumped at it. After last minute email and telephone communiqués I was ready. I had taken a week to pack, leaving the suitcase open and adding things as I went to insure that all exigencies were covered. I didn't need an alarm clock the night before. Three hours was more than sufficient when you are wired and full of anticipation. The clouds were
gathering that morning and by the time I hit the Mount Baldy area in Riverside I smelled the ozone shift in the air. The rain followed with escalating intensity, drumming nervously on the roof of my Tahoe accompanied by the dysrhythmic rocking from the wind gusts. I WAS REALLY BUMMED! Here was my once in a lifetime opportunity and Mother Nature was mad at me. I chanted the Cherokee Sun God prayer that I learned in camp as a youth, "O Wa Tannas Iamm" and miraculously the
clouds turned puffy white, the rain abated and the sun came out. O.K. maybe not a miracle....it took until the next day, but it DID happen. After hooking up with "all the guys (and girls) at the North Las Vegas airport the fun began. I was immediately impressed with the professionalism of this group called Team Oracle as well as the Patriot flight team. I was immediately made to feel like one of the team and I have been smiling ever since. Let's face it, if I was a cop, I'd make me take a drug test. I can't say enough about how warm, friendly and expert this group is. After that, I got to fly with in the L-39 to Nellis AFB in preparation for the show that weekend.       WAS I EXCITED OR WHAT!!!! I later got to fly in a Piper Seneca with the doors off (yes, I did have a harness and leash on.....my wife would like to keep it like that) to get pictures of Sean's special biplane and the Patriot jets as we flew about the Las Vegas country side.
O.K. Let's cut to the chase and see some of the pictures. I'm still stoked about the event, the people, and shaving forty years off of my life as I imagined myself back in the Air Force again. I met and dined with former astronauts Bill Anders and Frank Borman of Apollo XIII the members of the Thunderbird Squadron and hob-knobbed with CEO'S and two star generals. I got a tad emotional when "America" was sung by a young airman on the last day.   Unlike forty years ago, when the time did come to pull out, I was very sad as I exited the main gate for REALITY.

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