Friday, October 18, 2002
Air Force One

It's not every day that I get to see a 747 take off from DBIA, but the odds are good that if I do get to see one, it's going to be Air Force One.

When I was getting ready to leave work yesterday, I heard a jet take off; looked up and saw that it was some military model that already had too much altitude for me to ID it easily. Then, I saw folks lined up along the fence where DBIA butts up against one of our parking lots, and I figured that the President must be fixing to depart.

So I hung out by the car for a minute and, sure enough, Air Force One comes lumbering down the runway. I'd seen it just after takeoff the last time GWB was here, sometime last year, I believe. The relative scale of a 747 compared to the usual assortment of Riddle planes and Delta's three-or-four-times-daily MD-80s to Atlanta made Air Force One look positively huge. Its takeoff was graceful and direct; beautiful.

I quickly called Mack, and he was able to see the plane headed eastward, crossing the Halifax River toward the beach and then the Atlantic.

I'm no Republican. I have fairly high regard for much of GWB's foreign policy and conduct of the various conflicts we find ourselves in, largely not of our own doing. I'm strongly opposed to his economic policies, particularly his income and estate tax policies. But I have great respect for the office of President of the United States, and I guess I'll always get a thrill out of seeing the President's plane take off and fly by.