The Landing

[December 01 | 0 Comments | 8065 views]

Jarvis likens himself to international legends!

Dear Rotarians and friends,

If you were at last week’s meeting, you know that I took a nasty spill over the base of the fireplace in the Hobler House.  Many Happy Dollars came out of the woodwork regarding this “Swan Dive” and it was said by a few that I “nailed the landing”!! (Thanks to Jimmy B for getting this started).  In French one would say "une sortie parfaite"!!   So I did a little homework and this is what I found.
Charles Lindbergh (Lucky Lindy) nailed his landing in Le Bourget Field in Paris, France after his historic 33-hour transatlantic trip in the Spirit of St Louis in 1927. He won $25,000 for the flight; six perished trying to accomplish this trip before him.

In 1947, Howard Hughes proved that his Hughes Flying Boat (nick-named the Spruce Goose) could fly by taking it out in Long Beach Harbor, CA. The flight was one mile in length, the ship reached a height of 70 feet and he nailed the landing when it returned to the water, having completed what would be its one and only flight. The airship was wooden, had a wingspan of 320 ft and was commissioned to carry troops in the war. The war was over before Hughes Aircraft Co completed this effort.

In the heyday of the space race, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin nailed the landing on the moon that we all watched closely.  The year was 1969 and orbiting the moon watching them was oft-forgotten astronaut,  Michael Collins.  This mission was Apollo 11.

Stunt performer Evel Knievel (aka Robert Craig) failed in his famous jump in front of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 1967. He also failed in his well-publicized attempt to cross the Snake River Canyon in 1974.  But many forget that he was very successful on many occasions jumping over 11-15 cars and/or trucks where he was able to nail the landing. Over the course of his career, he broke some 433 bones and became totally uninsurable.

Who can forget the famous boxing call “Down goes Frazier, Down goes Frazier, Down goes Frazier”. Undisputed heavyweight champion ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier was unceremoniously dethroned in the second round by George Foreman. This was a  January  1973 match-up in Jamaica. Frazier was never the same after this fight. Did he ever nail the landing.

In 1996, US Olympian Dominique Dawes fell twice on her Vault attempts. Her teammate Kerri Strug, hobbled by injury, also fell on her first Vault. But on her second attempt she nailed the landing on her one good leg, scored a 9.712, and won a gold medal for the team. 

More recently (2015), Elon Musk’s  SpaceX team was able to return a Falcon 9 reusable first-stage rocket to earth when it nailed the landing onto a floating dock.  It has proven to be much more efficient than the Space Shuttle.

So maybe, just maybe, I am in good company.

Yours in Rotary,


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