You’ve heard the old question: “If you could have dinner with anyone who would that be?” Well, I met a man this past weekend that I could hang with for a month and just let him talk at his own pace and have enough material to write a dozen books. I won’t embarrass him by revealing his name, but when he flew with the Navy his callsign was “Burner” which should give you a clue to his personality.
Here is a man who flew jets in the military, was in one of the first groups who flew as the “Blue Angels,” then he flew and retired from Delta Airlines – and in his spare time he flew in air shows. Oh, and he also rode a motorcycle for fun.
In the air shows Burner flew the BD-5 and if you ever saw it you’d never forget it. It is a tiny one-person jet that the pilot squeezes in. I think the correct terminology would be, you don’t fly it you, “wear it.” Imagine a jet powered little airplane with a wing span about as long as your neighbor’s Toyota with a fire burning jet engine right behind your head.
What I have found about people like Burner is (and this is a common trait) that they are extremely modest. They are not the “Aw, shucks, mam” kind of phony person – they genuinely don’t think of themselves as being extraordinary. But they are a rare breed and, in America, they are becoming increasingly scarce.
At a time when our country is in turmoil and anxiety and we are graduating thousands of mealy-mouth, politically-correct wimps there are no heroes for our children to look up to. Our athletes are egotistical woman-hating assholes. Our politicians are worse than that. Although, I must say, I would be exceedingly suspicious of a kid whose ambition was to be in politics. Where are the “Supermans” and “Lone Rangers” and “Dick Tracys” and ANYBODY who still fights for “Truth, justice and the American way.?”
When a kid in grammar school cannot celebrate his birthday with a cup cake with a plastic replica of a WW-II soldier on top and another is expelled because he takes a bite out of his “Pop Tart” and some weenie Principal thinks it “resembles a gun”- this country is severely lacking in moral leadership and courage. Come back, Burner – we need you! And, bring some pals with you before it is too late.