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Posts tagged: balloons

Up, up and away

At about 2:30 this afternoon, four rogue helium balloons flew away from the decorative festivity of a car dealership at Third and Jefferson downtown.

As they climbed toward the overcast sky, they seemed to be headed in the direction of the airport. You had to wonder how high they would go.

This reminded me of a time many years ago when one of my numbskull childhood peers planted a seed of anxiety. He suggested that our kite flying was a danger to air traffic.

Ridiculous, I know.

But consider this. We lived near an Air Force Base. A lot of planes criss-crossed the wild blue above our little chapter of “The Wonder Years.”

And we really did get our kites way up there. I can remember on at least one occasion connecting so many spools of string that I had to tie off a still-flying kite on a porch railing, go in to have dinner and then come back out to continue reeling it in. I'm not exaggerating.

So the notion of one of our Hi-Fliers getting sucked into a jet intake, while ludicrous, was not without some basis in kid-brain plausibility.

Of course, what I didn't know at the time is that some children are destined to grow up and become the sort of people who revel in saying “This could go on your permanent record, Chip!”

I think that explains the little fearmonger in our midst.

In any event, we didn't down any aircraft.

But I'll have to admit. It was kind of fun to imagine a pilot looking down and seeing one of our kites dancing just a few feet below. You could picture him saying to his co-pilot that some kid down there obviously had the right stuff. 

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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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