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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Tennessee Aviation Days....


Tennessee Aviation Days

Well, the air show has come and gone again. Seems like only a few weeks ago that I was writing a column about how to go to the air show: "Get your tickets early to save money, go early and take a lawn chair, remember to take the sunscreen," and all the air show essential information and inside tips.

Apparently, most of you people did not heed my advice, as usual, and a lot of you were standing or sitting on hot asphalt and are probably still sporting a nice sunburn. Well, sorry Ďbout that, but I tried to tell you.

If I close my eyes itís almost as if Iím still there:

It is a great air show year because the fabulous Air Force Thunderbirds are making an appearance. The crowds tend to swell when the top attractions come to town, and who can blame them? Boy, are they ever super! Everyone is on their feet watching and applauding the various maneuvers, as if the pilots can really hear us over the roar of the jet engines. Heck, Iím so carried away with them I think Iíll even split for of those $14 Thunderbird T-shirts.

Course, it is a long standing tradition with me to go to the air show every year. I went to one a long time ago and I am hooked for life. I LOVE air shows! You donít need to know a thing about aircraft or the military to enjoy the thrills. Fortunately, there are people who do know all about things like G-force, and they explain everything patiently over the microphone to the crowd who pretends to understand, but really doesnít care.

We just like the flying! Yeah! Hammerheads, Cuban loops, spirals, upside down passes, dives, twists, turns, smoke, bombs - yeah! Thatís what we like!

Another great flying team, the Red Barons, are here this year too. They fly those old bi-winged WWI planes and do everything in formation that the other planes do solo. They are really something to see.

And the Thunderbirds, well they are just magnificent - thatís all. So graceful, so precision, so fast - man, it makes a tear come to my eye to know they are trained just like all the other Air Force pilots and perform the same maneuvers, only at a lower altitude and in a tighter formation.

Well, what can I say? Great public relations gimmick! They shoulda brought a recruiter. Heck, I would sign up on the spot, if the Air Force was taking grandmothers this week.

The announcer assures us that the planes, F-16ís, can be made combat ready, if needed, in a matter of a mere 72 hours, and all the pilots are trained for combat. Darn, I wish I had a flag to wave right now!

Yep, it is one big thrill. Can you believe that diamond formation loop? And while everyone is entranced watching them, a solo plane shoots by at low altitude from behind and catches us all off guard. Pretty funny, guys!

And the exploding bomb maneuver, the way they fly up and split off in different directions, looping around and passing back close to each other. Four planes all coming directly at each other from four direction and passing within what seems like mere feet! Gosh, I may faint. That one is their most famous maneuver, the all knowing announcer tells us.

Well, it is just another memory now, another year, another air show. The traffic jam after the show is pretty memorable too. Took about 50 minutes to get off the parking lot. Seems like they could have planned a bit better than that. Wasnít like they didnít know we were coming. Before the show, every Boy Scout in town is out directing traffic. Afterwards, you are on your own, babe!

But, I just try to forget that part and think of the flying. Maybe Iíll just slip on my new T-shirt to see how it fits. I can dream, canít I?


Copyright 1999 Sheila Moss

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