Tuesday morning, October 11th, I’m in the green room at the NBAA Conference (Nat’l Business Aviation Association) in Las Vegas about to go on stage to receive the Combs Gates Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Next thing I know, I’m being introduced to the last man to walk on the moon, astronaut Gene Cernan. The introductions continue as I meet the first African American Thunderbird pilot U.S. Air Force general Lloyd “Fig” Newton, legendary pilots Clay Lacy, Bob Hoover, aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker, and the FAA administrator Randy Babbit! And this is just the start of the day!
Truly, I never imagined that following the dreams of twenty pioneering women in aviation’s history would lead to my meeting the quint-essential aviation legends of today. What a joy, honor, and thrill to meet these incredible men and share the stage while representing 20 women who shared in their passion for flying!
Of course a personal thrill is when I look up and see Harrison Ford and next thing I know, I’m talking to him and he’s telling ME he’s looking forward to seeing MY film! Holy Cow! It just doesn’t get better than that!
While I was star struck and certainly having the time of my life, I kept remembering that the reason I was there was to honor the story of the women in the derby and all they did to allow the men to do what they did. I would not be sharing that stage with today’s legends if it weren’t for the women pilots of the 1920s.
I continued the day by having lunch with General Newton and the president of NBAA, Ed Bolen along with other impressive and interesting people, talking to AOPA President Craig Fuller and having a wonderful conversation about women in aviation with EAA president Rod Hightower. My father, a pilot for over 40 years, attended the lunch with me and got the chance to meet some of his aviation heroes as well.
I will be posting more stories about the day and some professional pictures as soon as I receive them but wanted to share a little bit of the day with everyone asap as I am still riding on cloud 9 myself!
Meanwhile, BTTC will be showing tonight at the Chagrin Film Festival in Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Saturday at noon at the Maryland International Film Festival in Hagerstown, MD; La Femme Film Festival Sunday (I won’t be attending this one but others will be there representing me) as well as the Utopia film (Md), Reel Independent Film Festival (Washington DC) within the next two weeks and potentially a showing in Houston, Tx. Check my website for the schedule: http://www.breakingthroughtheclouds.com/
Again, more pictures and stories forthcoming but I wanted to share some of the day with everyone asap.
It really was one of the best days of my life and one I will cherish forever. Thanks to all who helped get me there as I certainly did not do this alone!