Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Great Dad and a Great Air Show

We're at an air show. With lots of macho Texans wearing their cowboy boots, sporting their tattoos, standing tall with sultry women hanging off their arms. And lots of families with kids, Vietnam Veterans. Current military men and women in combat camouflage.

This  is a big show, one  that celebrates the 100th anniversary of Naval aviation and thunders through the sky above the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. And it's free.

We're watching amazingly skilled flyers recreate the sounds of World War II as they motor about the heavens in B-25 bombers, a Curtiss-Wright sb2c (its nickname is flashier - Helldiver), and the bentwing Corsair. We're awed as the massive hulk of  Fat Albert (a Lockheed-Martin c-13ot Hercules) lifts itself skyward slowly, without groaning.

Barnstormers entertain and frighten us as they loop-de-loop and engage themselves in screw-driver turns across the skies, cut power and  nose-dive toward Earth.

Contemporary fighter jets wow us with speed and sound.

Momentarily, I'm just as entertained by the family in front of us. The dad's model-perfect, and stand more than 6-feet tall. He wears a white muscle T-shirt and baggy, dusty bluejeans that tumble out cowboy boots. He sports a tattoo of Frankenstein on the rear side of his upper left arm and a tarantula opposite it on the right. He's sucking a lollipop and -- this is what's so entertaining -- he's sitting in his little boy's stroller.

Yup. This hulk hunk of a man is wedged in a kid's stroller. Just sitting there, watching the show, sucking on that sucker.

Six kids swirl around him, playing ball, gigging, plopping down on a blanket. He breaks his skyward concentration easily to offer up a juice box. Another kid gets a sippy cup. He unfolds one of his long arms and hooks in his little boy,  smears suntan lotion on his face, then lets him go. He tends to those kids just as easily as he sits in that stroller.

I need to stop staring. It's getting rude. So I take a picutre (above) to remember the scene, and look up again and enjoy the show, the one up there in the sky.

And it's a big one. We stay for hours.

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