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Letter To Mom & Dad 

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HAM License 

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Cost of Powered Paragliding 

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Trubutes to Passed Pilots

Letter To Mom & Dad

2014-03-01 This was written some time ago but is even more applicable today

Sitting here in the Enterprise, overlooking San Diego's gorgeous Mission Bay, I'm enjoying writing and listening to my favorite music. It seems I've already lived more than I ever thought possible. This is a cherry on the topping of life.

Outside a kid is playing with his Dad in a situation of some mild risk. The kid is loving it. He could get hurt though.

Watching the scene made me further appreciate my lot in life and what you've done for me. Like that parent, you did not hole me up in a risk-free tent. You let me play in the tree, climb the tower, fly gliders, ride my unicycle to school, etc. In a nutshell, you let me risk life, even participating in it. Both of you.

At the time it didn’t seem strange; after all, I didn’t know any different. That you enabled your 13-year old son to take glider lessons is impressive, driving him 35 miles to the Marion gliderport nearly every summer weekend is amazing. That Dad would tolerate your absence, Mom, is impressive, but riding his bicycle with me for the 35 miles is over the top.

You made judgments as to which risks were worth it while being careful not to stifle desire. I still remember the comments about early hang gliding (“if I find out you’re flying one of those things…”).

And yes, of course it could have had a tragic outcome. But what tragedy is worse? Being relegated to the cocoon of a “safe” existence or being allowed to come out, spread my wings and risk getting swatted?

Well I didn't get swatted and my life is sooo much better as a result of the opportunities. If I do get smooshed tomorrow, or worse, you can know that it was the fullest of existences. Of course I sure hope to keep going, exploring new dreams and maybe even reaching new highs. But you should know that this is how I feel, this is what you’ve wrought.

Anyway, I'm feeling like a pearl in Earth's oyster right now and want you to know how much I appreciate your enormous part of that.

Thank you!

Be careful out there but…

1. In March 1999 I was anticipating my first high flight from Marshal near San Bernardino. We did fly that day after the fog lifted and I was scared *&%less for the first minute. Then I fell in love with paragliding.

2. February 2014, "Reverse" launching a paramotor at Flanders Field (4fd7). Photo by Jim Yeager