My "friends" told me that I was key to the event for I was the one who dropped the ball! The plan was to fly to Lincoln yesterday pick up Tom Osborne and return to McCook so that he could speak at the banquet for Project 31. The plan also included a return trip to take him back home. Well the plan was foiled by weather, cold, windy with lots of ice in the air, low ceilings and a icy runway in Lincoln. I elected to not risk life and limb and Coach Osborne concurred. All was not lost as the gracious Coach prepared a simulcast speech and delivered it electronically. Not quite the same but we will all live to see another day.
Project 31 -- you've never heard of it? It is a local effort put together by Johnny Walker of Trenton. The concept is for men to start the new year by each having a quiet period of daily devotion. The guide is to read at least a chapter a day from a book praising the life and faith of John Wooden, "The Greatest Coach Ever."
Each short chapter was contributed by other coaches and associates that knew the man and Coach Tom Osborne's is chapter 39. On the 31st, yesterday, some 300 of us gathered in the Community Building to dine and celebrate together. Three hundred men, from rough cut to polished, gathered in fellowship paying homage to the blessings of a common faith to rule and guide our lives.
There are no more loyal fans in the nation than the Huskers, even Pastor Bruce Lester came in a red jacket and that is saying a lot for one accustomed to the proud purple of K-State. Coach Osborne pointed out that athletics and military service are two endeavors that draw men to do their best to attain the success of the team as a whole. Coach Wooden, I understand that Coach Osborne followed his example, never talked to his teams about winning but of how each individual doing his best and supporting each other is what brings success. That too was the example of Christ who lived not for the rewards of trophies or money but for each of us to live our lives the best way we know how to serve and support our fellow man. All things are possible through Him who strengthens me.
Last weekend I joined 150+ other pilots at the Nebraska Aviation Symposium held annually in Kearney. Ranging from the newest student pilots to seasoned airline, military and agriculture pilots all gathered to celebrate aviation, especially in Nebraska. The FAA was there stumping for their "Next Generation" bill which is presently before Congress and they can be forgiven for being proud. Little known is that fact that all year, 2010, commercial aviation the United States airlines, suffered zero fatalities. It is a fantastic record and one that the FAA is intent on keeping! Now general aviation didn't do as well but we are working on it through better training and better services such as weather and air traffic control.
A highlight was the induction into the Nebraska Hall of Fame of the 16 ladies who hailed from Nebraska and served as Women Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) pilots during World War II. One, a spry 90-year-old, was present in her World War II uniform to represent the group and she was a real spark. An honor well deserved.
Did you notice that a judge just ruled Obamacare unconstitutional? I am wondering how our own airport namesake, the Honorable Senator Ben Nelson, feels about that action. He is a lawyer and should have known better than to have voted for that monstrosity!
That is how I saw it.