Tumble Weed and Sheamus…
Busy week at home, but who am I fooling? They are all busy weeks. On Tuesday, I ran into an old buddy down in Memphis. Before I welcome Tumble Weed into the online family, please allow me to introduce him. We first met in October 1995, I was interviewing for a pilot position in Charleston, WV with the Air Guard. There were six of us on that interview board. Mentally I ranked the guys and I really didn’t like my chances.
Tumble Weed was the number one pick in my mind. When he interviewed he had over a thousand hours, he was a Certified Flight Instructor, he had a couple years’ worth of experience flying passengers over the Grand Canyon and he was working in the Flight Records department for the Guard Unit. They knew him, I had just met him and I knew that he was a great dude.
The next guy up was John B. John was a local guy, he was the personal assistant to the Commander but he didn’t have any flight experience. I put John as tied for the second choice.
Jamie A was also number two. His Uncle was already a pilot in the unit. Both he and his Dad were mechanics in the Unit as well. It was a family affair and I figured a clinch for a pilot spot.
At this point, I was praying they had three spots and I couldn’t figure any scenario where I could be selected above these guys.
The fourth guy was also in the unit as a mechanic and the fifth guy was like me and off the street. But he lived just down the road in Huntington.
I figured that I would be the sixth choice. I did have some good experience but I wasn’t a local guy and when a unit interviews candidates they want a local guy before they take someone who lives three states away. A couple days later, I got a phone call saying that I had been selected. I couldn’t believe it but somehow I made the first cut.
Back to Tumble Weed, he was the number one choice and over the next year we became good friends after hanging out on drill weekend. Because I was older and closing in on the age cutoff, I got pushed to the front of the line while Tumble Week kept plugging away waiting for his time to go to pilot training. Before long, the airlines called and then he started putting off the Guard. About a year later, he and I had a great talk about airlines/military flying. He had a job at a Major Airline and it was time to make the decision to go to military pilot training or to be an Airline Pilot. My advice was to be an Airline Pilot. I don’t think I had anything to do with his decision other than I just validated what he wanted to do.
He went on and stayed with the Airlines, he left the Guard and has had a great life. Now he is a pilot with the same company that I work for. We saw each other in the operations room at the airport and laughed for a few minutes. He told me that he heard that I was writing and asked a few questions about why I started doing it. I gave him the link to the blog. Everyone, we should have a very warm welcome to my friend and really good dude, Tumble Weed.
On to business now, last Thursday I was working and awoke from a great sleep at three in the afternoon by the hotel fire alarm. That is never a fun way to wake up. A few years ago it happened and I was sleeping so hard that I jumped out of bed and started pushing the buttons on the alarm clock trying to get it to stop. Another time it happened and I answered the phone. Not all fire alarms sound the same. Last week, no buffoonery but it was annoying all the same and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I worked that night and then stayed up on Friday trying to get back home. It was the day of delays and missed flights so I didn’t get back until three in the afternoon. On the flight, I saw a familiar face and after we landed I delayed walking to baggage claim. The familiar face was a professional wrestler named Sheamus.
When he walked up, I nervously asked if he would take a picture with me to show my son. To my surprise he said yes and we took the picture. We walked out of the small terminal together and even more to my surprise, that Sheamus was actually a very nice guy. Later, when I showed my son the picture, he started laughing. He was so excited to see one of his favorite wrestlers.
My wife was with my daughter going to an away volleyball game and my son and I had boy’s night out. A part of his birthday present was to go to WWE wrestling. After we got home, I got a quick shower and we headed out the door. We ate a nasty meal at McDonalds and went to the Civic Center. We had such a great time that I actually forgot that I had been awake for thirty-six hours. I went into the wrestling event not sure of what to expect. I hoped that I wasn’t surrounded by a bunch of backwoods guys that were loaded up on moonshine and weed. I didn’t want my son exposed to an environment like that. But they were not selling beer and there were kids everywhere, it was respectful and pleasant environment. To my surprise, it was a 100% completely clean, family atmosphere, well as clean and family as it can be when everyone cheers when the bad guy gets hit in the head with a table or a chair.
We DVR Monday Night Raw every week and every week some on the show will say a work or two that we don’t want the kids to repeat. But not once did I ever hear any of those words from the crowd or the wrestlers. Those guys do put on a good show and it is most definitely not fake. It may be staged and they knew who is going to win before the match, but you cannot fake a 6-5, 235 pound guy jumping twenty feet into the air and landing on top of another big dude and you cannot fake being slammed onto the mat. I stood next to Sheamus and I can attest that he is huge. I am not a big guy but I know what a big guy looks like. He had to lean way down to fit into the picture with me. Anyway, it was a great time and I honestly say that I will be taking my son to another WWE match because it was very enjoyable.
Until next time, keep on rockin.