Blue Angels roar overhead, thin specks of blue fire spiraling white smoke splitting clear blue sky. The F/A-18 Hornet delta pattern morphs into a diamond formation, bright yellow wing tips separated by 18 inches, at 400 mph. Knife edge passes and 360 rolls keep the earthbound crowds cheering, gasping, and screaming with the afterburners.
For a few moments we all soar high and hang in sunlight silence in the untrespassed sanctity of space. Floating beyond terrestrial form, we could, with WWII pilot, John Gillespie Magee, Jr., Put out our hand, and touch the face of God.
Merlin usually watches the October Air Show from the Marin Headlands where it is a bit less ground-shaking terrifyingly loud. A few years ago the US Navy Blue Angel Boss team leader was also named Merlin. Our telephoto lens tracked plane #1, Aussie dog Merlin barking for Captain Merlin. Smoke on! Ready BREAK! The sparkling echelon salutes center point, converging on show line at a combined 1,000 mph. We hold our breath, then explode with approval. Human and machine defying gravity, denying death another day.
My dad was in the Air Force and Fleet Week San Francisco is our annual local celebration of American services' dedication to precision, excellent, and preparedness. Thank you for responding and protecting. Be safe.