The Baton, The Legacy, The Gift
By, Tracey Steele
As I venture forward into the extreme sport of Wing Walking, I am welcomed by the support and care of extraordinarily kind, divine Dreamers, Doers and Soarers.
At the same time as I enter the airshow world, others are exiting. Some leave for family reasons, some with health concerns, some due to quests for new jet-ways of life. But sometimes it’s simply because something unknown and unforeseeable happens.
An event in California at the Travis AFB Airshow a few weekends ago brought reality and pure sadness to the airshow family. Eddie Andreini died in his Stearman after an inverted ribbon cut.
I knew the kindness of Eddie Andreini. He was ultra-welcoming to me at ICAS last December and has been a cornerstone of camaraderie for my pilot Rich Perkins and many many others.
He was aerobatic both inside the cockpit and upon the wings. He will forever be admired as a brave man and an inspired flyer. He flew with gusto, and those who flew with him and followed him, learned from him. His wealth of wisdom was an instrument of learning, his passion to fly an instrument of inspiration. I am only now understanding his vast allegiance and loyalty to aviation and the airshow community.
All of us who soar the skies with chutes, sail planes, jets, props and wings of all shapes and sizes, are Doing what We Dream.
How wonderful it is to Live a Dream. To propel the entirety of your hopes and wishes towards a level of bliss is beyond Dreamy!
As I allow the realization that this week, and days forward, will be like no other week, nor days forward, in the lives of his loved ones, I value that I met him. I value the respect, honor, courage and width that his adoration of aviation encompassed. I value the appreciation that aviators have for him.
Eddie and others who leave the airshow world believed in living their Dreams. They were actualizing their realities in fabulous form, esteemed grace, and, as if on a magnificent mission. They remind us we should not tip-toe through life. Like them we should Carpe Omnia. We don’t want our skies to be fearful. A great quote that I adhere to is by Anais Nin: Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” It takes Courage to invest your heart in your passion!
We look at the Sky as our Home Sweet Home. We understand the reality implied with the beast of Courage, Bravery and Ballsiness.
The Skies are a Gift, and we unwrap that gift every time that we are wheels-up. We keep some snippets of wrapping paper, and curly ribbon as a reminder of the gift, but without those scrapbooks and heirlooms, we still know that the Gift is ours. It is a Gift to be relished, rejoiced and revered.
Some say it is better to have loved and lost rather than never to have loved at all. That is true, and the love is worthy of the heartbreak, especially if it was a full-bodied, four chambers of the heart, mind, body & soul Love. To live within the passion of love is to Fly within Yourself! Eddie loved the Skies. Eddie loved flying.
The love affair with Flying never ends. Even when the show stops, the love affair continues!
To know that Skylovers perished within the realm that rang true to their heartbeats is a treasure that we all carry and that we polish with storied awe of their endeavors and lifetimes.
To know that Adventurers will always and in all ways be affiliated with their Passion is an Enduring Love and Steadfast Connection to that which brought Bliss!
May we all Live in Bliss. May we all Believe in Bliss! May we all Stay Safe within our heartbeats, our cockpits and upon our wings!
To those who have passed, you are cherished. Many knew you and loved you. Some will only read of Your Love of aviation and flying. Your journeys broadened aviation. Your endeavors beckoned our abilities to Fly! You soared. Your Spirit, your Joy & your Bliss reign within Us!!
To Die as You Loved Living, is a reminder to all of us to Live Fully and Embrace Our Bliss!
There is a baton that passes when Aviation Adventurers are transformed from the here-and-now to the brilliant blue skies above and beyond. All the Joy and Passion that they possessed does not perish. Their distinguished lives are distinguished legends and legacies. It is our duty to keep their stellar abilities alive with our faith in Aviation, our presence in Aviation and our Pursuits in Aviation. God Speed, Eddie.
Tracey Steele, aviation writer http://20thCenturyAviationMagazine.com