|Jed had taken the
day off from his Java
programming job and asked if I wanted to go for a nature walk, but
was already backed up so, after a quick detour to Ivar's Salmon House 4 o'clock
happy hour, we settled for Discovery Park. On the sandy bluffs two men were
flying expensive 78" wingspan
controlled gliders. The two gentle ridgelift jockeys were joined by the
hardflying Ted Turner lookalike we'd seen months before (at that time he'd
stood with steely gaze waiting for a favorable updraft which never came).
His plane was angled more sharply and he flew it with
Chuck Yeager daring--rollouts, tailspins, and even holding
it upside down for so long I was sure I'd seen it wrong until he pulled out
of the loop. One of the gentler jockey's rudders locked and he nosedived,
the balsa wings snapping off and shredding the shrinkwrapped plastic sheath.
There was some suspicion brewing about overlapping frequencies. Ted said,
"Maybe you shouldn't have been standing so close to me," without ever taking
his eyes off the sky which his raptor dominated with the muscular grace of
an F16. It was clear he ruled this turf, the thin shriek of his swooping
bird occasionally drowned out by passenger jets on approach to Sea Tac.