Thumbs up - Air show
An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people took in last weekend’s 11th annual Olympic Air Show sponsored by the Olympic Flight Museum. Director Teri Thorning said, “We had close to 10,000 people inside the gates when you add up all the paying customers, volunteers, the pilots and their crews, and another 10,000 watching on the perimeter of the airport. That’s pretty impressive for Tumwater.” We agree. The featured attraction in this year’s show was the B-25 Mitchell Pacific Prowler bomber out of Fort Worth, Texas. It was used in the “Doolittle Raid” on Tokyo after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in World War II. Thorning said tours of the cockpit and cabin brought back a lot of memories for WWII veterans who related stories about the bomber to family members. The plane, which was built in 1944, has a tail gun, a nose gun and guns on its sides. The Pacific Prowler is one of just a handful of B-25s that still fly today. Since the 1960s, the Prowler has been on active duty in Hollywood and has been in more than 80 movies – including “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Catch-22,” “Flight of the Phoenix” and “Memphis Belle.” Other aircraft at the show included two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. Two Russian “Yak” aircraft put on a show dipping and diving in unison, leaving smoke trails as they crossed each other’s paths. Other pilots in attendance showing off their planes during the show included Olympia pilot Bob Fitzgerald, who sat in front of his 1948 Navion he has had for about 30 years, and Bill Pearson, who brought his Piper Cub. Planning is already under way for next year’s air show.
Thumbs down - Posse
A 76-year-old woman was driving on Libby Road to pick up prescriptions at Albertsons one recent evening when her vehicle was struck from behind by a car that accelerated toward her quickly from a distance. The woman said the car that struck her stopped “for a nanosecond” after she pulled to the side of the road. Then the vehicle struck the front quarter panel of her 2004 Kia Rio before driving off. Cost of the repairs was $2,300. The woman may be a victim of the same driver accused in an alleged hit-and-run spree that damaged three other vehicles and a patrol car on a different day. The driver, who admitted that he was intoxicated, claimed to be a member of the “Bump and Go Posse.” The 45-year-old man, who was jailed on two counts of second-degree assault, first-degree malicious mischief, driving under the influence, hit and run and attempting to elude a police vehicle, told officers he slammed into other vehicles “for excitement.” Sheriff investigators have concluded that the alleged assailant appears to be the only member of the Bump and Go Posse. Sheriff Dan Kimball said, “We’re still looking into it, but we haven’t found anything other than this one idiot and I don’t think we’re going to.” That’s good news for drivers. The thought that such a posse could exist on our roads is absolutely horrifying.
Thumbs up - Veterans
World War II veteran George Narozonick of Olympia was honored on Father’s Day at the International Military Band Concert at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. It was the culmination a whirlwind month of activity for Narozonick and his wife, Vila. Narozonick, 83, and one of a dwindling number of veterans who participated 65 years ago in the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach in France, was among the 37 U.S. servicemen invited by the French government on an all-expenses-paid trip to France to receive the French Legion of Honor medal and join in June 6 D-Day anniversary ceremonies at Normandy Beach. With every passing year, the number of D-Day veterans eligible for special honors diminishes. Narozonick, a former Navy seaman, participated in the war-altering invasion at Normandy when he was just 18 years old. He was aboard Landing Ship Tank 501. He also was at the historic beach head for the 50th and 60th anniversaries of D-Day, but this third trip was extra special. Narozonick would be the first to share the honor with his fellow veterans. “With the passing years, some of the memories from D-Day are starting to fade,” he said. “But the importance of what we did is still with me.” And the importance is still with a grateful nation and world. A big thumbs up to all veterans who have defended and preserved this great nation.