Yesterdy I signed Nugget on the Flight Deck at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museums–both on the National Mall and at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. Few book signing venues provide a more receptive audience to a book about airplanes and the lingo used by pilots! Surrounded by planes from the past and present, space capsules, historical exhibits like the Wright Brothers, and flight simulators, I knew my book had found the perfect home. Everyone who approached me–kids, active and retired military, airplane enthusiasts, parents, teachers, docents–told me a story about how their lives had been impacted by the miracle of flight.
|Space Shuttle Enterprise|
My favorite was the former Navy sailor who worked on the flight deck of the USS Nimitz. With his two school-age nephews in tow, he told me about his job as the yellow shirt or “shooter” on the Nimitz giving aircraft the go-ahead to take off. When I signed their books, I found the page with Aaron Zenz’s illustration of the “shooter” and wrote, “This is Uncle Brian!” What a great way for those boys to connect with their uncle and the important job he held on a US Navy vessel !
|The Apollo 11 space capsule that carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins in their historic 1969 journey. “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”|
|Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird–the Wright Brothers’ longest flight was 7 feet longer than this plane!|