An August weekend -- 08/05/12

A busy weekend... Jill went up to Boston Friday afternoon via Amtrak (yes, bearing cookies) to hang out with some of her online game playing friends. Just a quick trip -- she was back on a Saturday afternoon train, just in time to go to work. Around here this was the 30th annual Leapfest weekend and the sky was filled with helicopters...

Leapfest is a combination parachute jump training and competition sponsored by the Rhode Island National Guard. There are teams entered from army and National Guard groups from all over the country and from various other countries. (This year includes teams from Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and Morocco.)

It always makes me think of Woodstock. Yeah, the rock festival. Seriously. You see, I was living in Monticello at the time and there were helicopters in the sky all weekend -- Sullivan County Sheriff's dept, New York State Police, etc., plus chartered helicopters bringing the music stars in and out -- and then there was the food shortage because there were hundreds of thousands of hungry kids there and it was exceedingly difficult to get trucks with supplies through the traffic gridlock (not impossible -- a friend in the food wholesale business did manage to get a truck of food through, but it took him almost all day Saturday to do it) so donated food was being brought in by National Guard helicopters. There were dozens of volunteers at the Jewish Community Center in Monticello making sandwiches, mountains of sandwiches, and the National Guard would land in the community center parking lot, load up with sandwiches, and fly them out to Max Yasgar's farm. An hour or so later they would be back for another load. So, at any given time, there was at least one helicopter in the skies over Monticello. Anyway, Leapfest always brings back memories -- goodness, 43 years ago this month.

Teams of four jump from Chinook (CH-47) helicopters at 1500 feet. In some previous years they had been landing on the URI campus, but this year they were landing behind West Kingston Elementary School.

And today Jill and I ran in the Run4Kerri 4-miler. I suppose I should say Jill ran, but I walked a mile or so of it. It was a warm and humid morning, very overcast -- until race time neared and the clouds went away and we ran in bright (hot!) sunshine. I was doing okay for the first couple of miles, but I began to melt during the third mile and finally decided that I'd rather walk. So I walked until about a quarter of a mile from the finish when I decided that I could probably run that distance without falling down. My hope is that next year I will have been able to train -- and that I won't catch a cold like the one that hit me a few weeks ago and gave me that bronchial congestion. After all, I will be running in a new age group next year.

And here is the traditional father-daughter post-race picture:

There was a documentary video being done about the race and Jill and I were each invited to participate in brief interviews. Here's Jill...

By the time we were in my car and on the highway headed back home, clouds moved in and replaced the bright sunshine and it has been cloudy all afternoon. And that was my weekend.

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