Day 37: Longmont, CO
In another day escaping my Destiny (pool),
I looked up my best flying buddy Art Annecharico
at the Longmont airport where he keeps his biplane.
We had lunch with Dan Murray,
a builder of flying machines,
a true artist in wood and metal,
and, like Art, a most excellent pilot,
and, like Art, wingman on some
of my flying adventures.
We hung out at Dan's hangar,
and told some of our true but amazing flying stories,
some of which we have told many times together,
but they never grow old,
because they keep us young.
Art has a Maserati Quatroporte,
with a V-12 engine of 425 horsepower,
so he was eager to see what my Vette would do,
and encouraged me to open it up on the airport taxiway.
It's a small airport, so the taxiway is not very long,
but I got to 120mph before I figured it was time to brake.
That was with the transmission in automatic mode.
Next, Art wanted to see how fast I could go
using the paddle shift (manual mode).
I should have suspected something right away,
as Art and I like to play practical jokes on each other.
One of the things he taught me
early on in my flying career,
is that you can get away with almost anything once,
but never, never, go back and do it again.
(this in regard to flying under bridges, etc)
I had always taken this very good advice,
and played a very nasty practical joke on him
which involved him flying under a bridge in Cairo, IL
TWICE, in the summer of '96 on our USA tour.
For that story, click here.
That's one of the stories I re-told at lunch,
and we all had a good laugh about it,
so when Art wanted me to take a second high speed pass
with the Corvette down the taxiway today,
I should have been more tuned in to the situation.
But I did it anyway.
When we got back to the hangar,
Dan mentioned a police cruiser had shown up just 5 minutes later.
But Art and I had already exited the area.
Art is one of those "most unforgettable characters".
He is truly generous, compassionate, funny, open,
and full of life.
I have learned a lot from him.
He had one errand to do, and I tagged along.
We went to the home/office of Louie Psihoyos,
an extraordinarily celebrated photographer.
Here's one of his more famous shots
taken in 1995 of Bill Gates demonstrating
the capacity of a CD:
Louie was in the South Pacific at the moment,
on board the sailing ship of Jim Clark
(one of the founders of Netscape)
working on a five year Hi-Def video project
designed to help raise global awareness
of conservation and protection of our oceans.
Art was there to review the early video clips
and to offer advice on how to proceed with the project.
Click here for story about Louie Psihoyos
Click here for story about Jim Clark's awesome $30 million, 289' sailboat
(it is the world's largest privately owned sailing yacht)
This was just a small part of
just another day in the life of Art Annecharico.
Did I mention that Art is "highly connected"?
That was a real kick seeing something so big, and yet
in the embryonic stages.
Look for it in 2011...
Too soon, it was time for me to head back to Denver,
and on the way out of the airport,
Art pulled alongside in his Maserati,
ready to test his V-12 against my V-8.
I pulled ahead by a car length before
we had to rein it in for the stop sign,
and Art claimed he missed a shift
and wanted a "do over"...
Yeah, right, Art.
I'm not going to fall for that one again!
Posted by Michael McCafferty