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Saturday Afternoon Chess thread 05-02-2020 | Main | The Occasional Fishing Thread, Mysteries of Life Edition [Bandersnatch]
May 02, 2020

And right there, just for a minute, this felt like America again

This morning the USN Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds graced Baltimore with a flyby. They are touring the country, doing flybys as a "salute to the health care workers of America". I got no beef with that, I respect health care workers at anytime, much less during a pandemic, but there was more to it than that.

The flyby was announced, with an attached map of their route. People were cautioned to "stay home and see if you can get a glimpse of them". Nu-uh. People were out. Oh, not throngs of people, but there were a couple of dozen families hanging at the overpass of Providence Rd. (I hope they got a glimpse, I think they were too far east) and they lined York Rd. Again, not a throng, but about as dense as you'd expect to see maybe 60-90 minutes before a 4th of July parade. Everyone was politely maintaining distancing (but with more than a couple of instances of groups chatting), but I was gratified to see that only about 30% of them were wearing masks. I had calculated the Galleria in Lutherville as the optimum place to watch (and I was right, they went right overhead), and at about 11:36 we all heard the rumble of approaching engines.

Angels trailing smoke, the 'Birds cut theirs a few seconds earlier. That speck at the bottom below the Zoomies is a single plane following, I think that's the Coast Guard demonstration squad

The planes flew over our heads, and we all turned to watch as they looped wide over the Maryland state fairgrounds and headed back downtown. It wasn't a splashy show, there were no acrobatics or high mach passes (TBH, that's how I would have done it. High enough to protect windows from the boom, but screaming by at supersonic speed), just 12 planes flying in 2 formations overhead, but the crowd smiled at each other, and a smattering of applause broke out. Someone pumped their fist and exclaimed 'F*** Yeah!". Little kids squealed and pointed at their heroes.

And right there, just for a minute, this felt like America again.

ETA You know what's really funny? How cropping the picture changes the perspective completely. It looks like they're over head, doesn't it? Nope, they are oncoming. Here's the uncropped pic:


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posted by WeirdDave at 07:23 PM

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