What a beautiful day. This was a day for shooting picture postcards or travelogues. The sky was a pure blue without a hint of gray. The clouds were scattered and puffy. The air was warm and crisp at the same time.
Oh – it’s Father’s Day.
I’m not sure why we’re being feted, but we are. After all, in the hierarchy of parents, I think moms have it tougher. However, I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Steffie had handmade a card for me. Even at age 17, when she’s part child – part adult, this effort on her part warms every part of me. It is a collage – an abstract from magazines. It is a style in which she has shown great talent. I envy her skills as an artist.
Helaine bought me a few gifts: a book on poker (Doyle Brunson’s “Super System,” considered the classic in its field), cuff links made from small pieces of a computer motherboard, and a trip in a balloon over Las Vegas.
A good daughter-in-law, she got my dad that too. He’ll be joining me as we fly in wicker!
I love to fly. Once, a long time ago, I even took lessons… though I quit before I soloed.
I have flown in nearly anything you can think of from an ultralight with two chainsaw engines for power, to a Piper Cub J-3 with fabric covered wings, to a C-5A big enough to hold a Greyhound bus. I’ve had a few minutes stick time in an F/A18 with the Blue Angels and in a military full motion simulator. I’ve also flown through 2 hurricanes in a C-130 Hurricane Hunter (not as scary as you might think). There have also been flights in a few helicopters, one blimp and some time in Houston walking through a Space Shuttle trainer.
My first balloon flight was in the 80’s during my PM Magazine/Buffalo days. The pilot was Einer Wheel (a name you don’t easily forget) and the balloon was festooned with ads for a local Western New York bank. Later, with the SciFi Channel crew, I flew in the Canadian Flag balloon during a mass ascension at the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
I’m looking forward to this balloon trip because it’s over Las Vegas (though probably not over the Strip), which will provide an immense panorama, and because it will be with my dad. This is the kind of thing he’d never do on his own and something he’ll really enjoy a lot.
This being Father’s Day, I went a little nuts and went off my diet. Helaine and Steffie took me to The Rusty Scupper for brunch. With today’s weather, and its location right on New Haven Harbor, it was the perfect spot.
Father’s Day ends at midnight. I’ll be dieting again tomorrow, trying to gain a cushion for our Vegas vacation. I was king for a day. It’s good to be king.