1. That you could fall in love-at-first sight with a 505.
2. That an instructor could be cheerful enough, to whistle “Climb Every Mountain” while you follow your dream, er…tow.
3. Steep turns and spins are not scary once you have been flying UPSIDE DOWN.
4. Big air days are totally fun.
5. That it takes so many volunteers to get into the air.
6. Instructors have seen it all. They have many tricks up their sleeves to help.
7. The hours spent at SOSA would introduce me to a whole new set of entertaining buddies.
8. No matter whether the weather is bright and sunny or wildly windy, there is some fun to be had, on the way up and on the way down.
9. No work on my house might get done unless there was a blizzard. I would pray for rain in order to not feel compelled to get in the car and go to SOSA.
10. SOSA could become addictive.
Some people are fixated upon soloing. I was not in a hurry to solo, but someone sent this out to their buddies:
"Here is my theory re solos: I think the beer lists are too numerous. When the beer lists are down in number we will all get to solo.” Just look at the poem circulated – somebody stole this from B Cockburn’s “Waiting for a Miracle”:
Look at newbies stumbling in the fall sun
The time keepers and the wing-running ones
Working and waiting for the flight to come
And waiting for a solo
Somewhere out there is a sky that's cool
Where peace and balance are the rule
Working toward a thermal like some kind of mystic jewel
And waiting for a solo
Here is my day, by the numbers.
2,000: Tow release height
1,000: The number of feet I pretended to do exercises till I sank to circuit height.
300: feet of altitude.“In case of a rope break….”
110: percent help and enthusiasm from Joe, Hans, Dale, and the c-c-c-cold wing runners.
50: The number of times I checked over my shoulder during flight, to be sure SOSA had not moved since I last looked.
24: names on the list. Need a longer list.
18: the runway.
16: minutes alone! Where was my friendly, cheerful, whistling instructor?
10: out of ten for Dale the tow pilot who wished me luck after my release.
9: out of ten for me concentrating so hard that I did not respond to Dale.
6: November 6 was a SOSA work day. First we moved trailers, pickled the lawn mowers,got very dirty with used motor oil, shopped at Canadian Tire, put away barbeques and ate pizza and donuts. Who would have thought a solo would have come out of this day?
3: degrees out. The kind souls who helped were shaking.
1: thing I know for certain, if you bought a beer for everyone that helped and included all of the behind–the-scene volunteers, you'd need to buy the brewery.
With thanks to all, Margaret Voorhaar.