walters family blog

Well, its just Walters' family stuff. That's about it, for that's its sole purpose.

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

Husband, dad, grandfather, brother, entrepreneur, artist, writer, publisher, ad guy, teacher, musician, and dreaming of being a farmer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Helen's & Millard's Birthday Present (75th and 80th)

Mikki and me gave Helen and Millard a ballooning trip in Santa Fe, New Mexico for their recent birthdays. Mikki and Darlene joined them on their voyage while Mike and I worked with the crew and took pictures. Helen had always wanted to fly in a balloon. Well now she has!

The custom is to have a champagne toast with the pilot when, and if, you land. This was similar except substituted with water and Coke. The guy on the right is Johnny Lewis, a 40 year experienced pilot and one of the first modern day balloonist. He started with a home-economics course 40 years ago at Mary Hardin Baylor College and a bunch of fabric that he sewed into a balloon. He got his friends to help him inflate it with a blow torch and he rode it up with two ski ropes under his arms. Doesn't seem to be spooked by heights.

Here they come landing. Mike Barnett, me and a crewman named Rick Dodson (and former Nashville bass player) caught them on the ground and got Millard, Mikki and Bitti out, then we got the balloon down and tipped the basket over on the ground and Helen crawled out on all fours and stood up. It was a sight to behold. But the real sight was when we got her in the basket. 

They are off and flying into the wild blue yonder! It was a beautiful sight. Quite peaceful! 

This was as they were going to take off. Everyone was excited to go! To get Granny into the basket, we had to lay it on the ground on it's side where she crawled in. Then Johnny put gas in the balloon and we tilted it up carefully. She just stood up. It was quite the sight to see her crawling in that basket. We had to get up and meet the pilot at 5:30 am. 


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