Champguy, just so there's no confusion and so that everybody understands, around here, among my pilot buddies and at my favorite hang-out fields, at watering holes and maintenance hangars alike, my status is no different than anybody else's...only a tiny number tiny
number ever see anything with my byline, an equal number only kinda-sorta understand what makes my monthly rice bowl. And among the ones who do ever see or somewhat kinda-sorta understand my work, they fall into a couple of stereotypes: (a) the ones who can't get past how "neat" it must be to go to so many events (true, but...) -- with no inkling of the work side, only the "gee-whiz" factor; (b) the ones who think I think my s*&# doesn't stink because (refer back to (a)...) because i'm supposed to be some hot-stuff writer/photog and so-freakin' what...
No special privileges, no secret preferential treatment, no nothin'.
The wrenches who've always flown the acceptance flights with me do the same for everybody -- unless the pilot happens to insist otherwise, and those guys are, well, to be genteel about it, idiots
Oh, gotta share one along the lines of a fellow who for years told me, "If I ever need a gopher, bag-fetcher or just someone to get me coffee..." at one of the funner shows on my calendar, "Just holler, guy! I'd LOVE to do what you get to do..."
Well...time came in the Spring of 2001; needed cataract surgery, urgently in one eye, not as urgently in the other...doc agreed to do 'em a week apart so I could endure one healing period and one -- instead of two -- months ineligible to act as PIC until after the final follow-up and form-signing by the surgeon...
Second surgery was a week before Sun 'n Fun...so...at a pilot's get together a couple of weeks ahead of the first operation, I offered a free ride to and from Lakeland, a free ticket to the show and a chance to camp -- for free -- with me next to our old, belove Comanche, in Vintage. Later that night, a close friend who I'd let use the Comanche to get his Commercial, called to ask if the offer was still open. It was. He served as PIC, then flew the plane home alone when another gig sent me to Vero right after Sun 'n Fun...
First day, he hung out, followed me around, saw what I did, put in the hours I put in...and this was two days before opening day; he seemed a step slower the second day, but he marshaled on...third day -- opening day -- he begged off about midday...Believe the parting line that day was something along the lines of, "You're nuts if you do this all show long and don't have to -- and I'm not nuts..."
Since he told his story to our mutual club members, not one has ever
offered to be "a gopher, bag-fetcher or just someone to get me coffee..."
nuts...and before Jeb comes back with something
what that says about me