Friday, August 14, 2009


It's that time again.

The time when the airplanes zoom overhead, scaring half of the city who forgets every year that the Air and Water Show has come to town.

It's that time again, when the opinions of how horrible the A&W show is come out.

I've heard them all, I've been going to the A&W show my whole life. There's this one:

"Why are we spending all this money to do this when we have two wars going on?"

And this one:

"Why do we have to show off our military might like this?"

And this one: (my most hated one)

"It's just a recruitment tool for the Army"

And this one: (the most valid)

"It scares my pets"

Well, I for one am madly, passionately and surprisingly in love with the A&W show. I just love it. Every year I go if I can and every year I am completely blown away. The years I was a River Tour docent I would plan my river tours so I could be out on the boat as the planes zipped by overhead.

I have no interest in planes or boats. I don't know anything about bombers or little put-put planes that go high into the air. But every year, my little heart goes pitter-pat when I see those jets zooming overhead.

I think what it is for me, is not America showing off or bragging or recruiting, yet a celebration of this fantastic city and it's lake and it's skyline. It's also a testament to the human brain. It's a show for innovation, for human fucking beings and what they can do. Not only the men and women who build and design these things, but to the men and women that fly them. Watching those Blue Angels cruise over the Hancock does not make me want to join the army or fight an unnecessary or necessary war, watching them causes me to marvel at our brains and hearts and our beach and our buildings and the beauty in strength.

Tomorrow I will be front and center at North Ave. Beach, I like to listen to the explanations of what everything is, even if I forget it by Sunday morning. I like to feel the sand in my toes and eat warm peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from home while I look to those massive black buildings against a bright blue sky. I like to watch the dads teaching their sons about planes, and the dogs frolicking about. I like to feel pride in my country and all my fellow men knowing that men and women from all countries have a hand in this design.

Call me naive and call me sentimental, just don't call me tomorrow, I'll be at the beach.

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