On Saturday, June 25, 2022, my mom and I braved the crowds, the heat, the lines to witness the return of the airshow. This event occurs every 2 years. The last one was supposed to be in 2020 but it was canceled. You know why. I watched the show from my backyard in 2018 since I live about 2 miles from the base. I only went the show one other time. I don’t recall the year.
Anyway, after about two-and-a-half hours of standing in line waiting for the shuttle to take us to the base plus a short walk from the bus stop to the airshow entrance and standing in queue for over 30 minutes, we were through. The time was 9:55 AM by the time we made it through. Right before our turn to pass through the gate, however, I just had to whip out my camera, swap my 17-70 mm lens for the 70-300 mm lens with the hope of getting this shot as my 70-300 mm isn’t always the most reliable lens.
I actually didn’t know what it was until I peeked through the lens. It was a person parachuting in mid-air. That’s so cool, I thought. Actually, what’s more cool was the auto-focus on my camera was working because I often have trouble focusing using the 70-300 mm lens.
From afar, it looked like something gliding toward the surface but upon closer inspection, you can really see the detail of the parachute.
The show began at 9:55 AM. When we got past the gate, we thought we’d be one of the first ones there but, boy, were we wrong. The airfield was already lined with blankets, camping chairs, and umbrellas. Meanwhile, food stands were already lined with people and the smell of hot dogs and sausages on the grill got me absolutely hungry and considering I was not yet fully awake and haven’t had my coffee of the day, the wonderful aroma sure perked me up.
We walked farther down the airfield, looking for a stand that would sell coffee as the farther I drifted from the smell of sausage, the droopier my eyelids got. Unfortunately, there were no stands selling coffee, not even iced coffee. Meanwhile, I could feel the heat beginning to penetrate my legs as the temperature crept upward while feeling thankful I remembered to slather on SPF 70 before leaving the house, knowing it would be another hot day.
We decided let’s go watch the show for now, maybe watching the planes and taking pictures would make me more awake. Carefully maneuvering our way among the temporarily abandoned camping chairs, we found ourselves standing in the best spot to witness the show with nothing in our way. Once we found our spot, I turned my attention to the sky and there it was a yellow plane doing loops in the sky.
In a way, I was glad the camera’s auto-focus kicked in when I needed because I wasn’t sure if I had wanted to do manual focus at all that day being half-awake and all.
After a while, we left our spot and continued to walk around, still looking for coffee. Ultimately, we couldn’t find any but I somehow did it, I somehow managed survive the day in a sleepy haze. I think it was photography that kept me awake.
We ended up seeing a lot beside the action in the sky. In a way, part of airshow felt like going to a job fair or some kind of fair where companies set up booths to introduce the companies and try to recruit potential employees. My mom certainly seemed interested in the prospect as I waited for her while she visited the booths. I have a feeling, though, she wasn’t asking for herself.
We also saw a wide variety of colorful painted jets, helicopters, planes, and we even witnessed robots in action. As the afternoon grew hotter and I could feel my skin sizzling in the heat, we decided it was best we headed home. As we headed home, I couldn’t stop scrolling through the pictures on my camera. I hope they’d turn out as good on a larger screen as they are on the tiny screen on the back of my camera.