Jul 5, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Got word from his family a couple of hours ago. Kent landed in Idaho. The third time was truly a charm.
I got up early this morning and walked down to his gas station from the diner. All of his Model A buddies were out helping along with many other friends. I got to go into the inner circle which felt real good especially since I was having a hard time finding a place to watch. I talked shortly with Kent and he seemed so calm. I would probably be on such an adrenaline high or so anxious that I would not want to speak to anyone.
It was fascinating watching them hook up the last of the balloons. When they were all hooked up, you could barely see Kent. After a couple of tries to figure out the right ballast, Kent calmly shot up into the sky. Now that might sound like an oxymoron but Kent seemed very calm as the balloon rose very fast.
I went back to the diner and went out to my office for a short rest. I put my feet up on the garbage can and woke up an hour later. When I went out to the diner, I found that many of the crew had come down for breakfast and I got to speak to the last bunch of them.
Around 11, after not being able to track Kent online, I stopped by Stop and Go. A pilot had drove in and said that he saw the balloons and that Kent was not with them. This did not seem possible so I called his father in law, Stan up on the phone. Stan was able to get ahold of his daughter and found that all was well and that Kent was over John Day just slightly north of track. I then called Stop and Go to assure them that all was well especially since I figured that most would call them for an update.
Stan called me later this afternoon and informed me that he would be landing somewhere around Weiser. I then called Stop and Go to fill them in. I later called one of the Model A guys who was very happy to hear the news especially since he had heard of the pilot who felt that something had gone wrong.
I am very happy for him and for his family. Kent is a very good down to earth type of guy who is always a pleasure to talk to. I guarantee that even with all of the notoriety that he has attained, he does not consider himself famous. Even though we do.
Congrats Kent. Well Done!