Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bob!

By any measure, the first annual Bob Johnson Birthday Campout Fly Fest was a monumental success: three days of great flying and camping weather, 15 tents, 33 pilots, 40 friends and family members, and numerous canine companions. The main event and highlight of the weekend was the flower drop on Saturday, where we managed to get 15 wings into the air at once, with two of Bob's family members as tandem passengers, and all of us scattered flowers into the air over the bay on a signal from Ray. Even more cool was that some of the flowers drifted down to land on the beach right in front of the audience assembled there, which included Bob's mom. It was a moving spectacle for all participants and onlookers.


It's hard to believe that we scheduled the event a month in advance and we still got such nice weather. It makes me wonder if someone doesn't have an arrangement with the powers that be. Hard to say if it's higher or lower powers. Perhaps Thom made an arrangement to dunk his wing at Pounders in exchange for great weather. Or maybe Ginny arranged to offer her thigh to that centipede to guarantee good conditions. Or Pete sacrificed his boom box and ipod. Or Joey agreed to sleep in a puddle. Or maybe it was simply Bob pulling strings for us upstairs. Whoever it was, thanks!


I always say this, but this time I swear it's really true. The scale of this event was truly historic. We had more pilots flying, more pilots camping, more crazy fun in the water and on the beach, more tandem flights, more feasting and celebrating than at any prior club flying event I can remember. And I know my memory is reliable because I have gone to great lengths to preserve my brain cells - they're pickled and smoked to perfection.

It was great to get reacquainted with some of our expatriate members: Jetflap from Oregon, Nightshift from Canada, and Don from the Big Island. Plus visitor Gary from the Big Island graced us with his flying presence.

Thanks to Ray, Thom and Ginny for dreaming this up and making it happen. It was the greatest 50th birthday party ever.

Thanks to Dave and Jorge for taking Bob's family members and friends up for the flower drop. Thanks to Duck, LeeAnn, Sharky and Larry for helping me and Joey work on our tandem ratings. Thanks to Bob's film buddies for the impromptu jazz session. Thanks to everyone who came out to be part of the fun. Happy Birthday, Bob!

The pictures and videos in this post are from Jim, Jen, Sharky, Andrew, Mad Dog, Thom, Karen Archibald, and Berndt. If anyone else has pictures or video from the weekend, please post a note here and I will include them in this article. Or write your own article and include them in it! I'm sure there are some interesting stories to be told.


JeffMc said...

Whole family had a blast this weekend! Let's do it again this summer!


Anonymous said...

Ditto Jeff! It was a great weekend with a great bunch of people! Nice recap Alex!


Ashley said...

Just sitting here in California, reading this post about your lovely weekend and being reminded of what a wonderfully kind, generous and sweet group of people the Hawaii paragliders are. Looking forward to seeing and flying with you guys again soon :-)

Ashley (from the Bay Area)

sandy said...

Bob's wing has found a nice home and happy, friendly, well-loved pilot (aka Shaddo) here in SLC. I think Bob would like these photos (and the abundance of pups at our flying site!).

Playing together near the edge

Flying solo

sandy said...

Credit to Ryan Voight, owner/instructor of Wings Over Wasatch, for the pics:

Ryan's blog