Monday, June 3, 2019

I Can See My House From Here!

I'm home from a good weekend at the Denver Pop Culture Con, where I did five (!) panels, spent time with friends, met some cool people, and had a great time. As soon as I upload some photos, I'll share here.

Meanwhile, I have a much better story that needs a little wind-up.

Ross Franquemont became a friend via other Facebook friends in the way we do these days, which is to say I've never met any of these people in real life but still feel close. Until he recently retired from a 20-year USAF career, Ross flew the U-2 spy plane, which is still in service and I believe still holds some flight records despite being developed in 1957.

This weekend Ross was in Denver training for his new job as a commercial airline pilot, saw that I was in town for Pop Culture Con, and messaged me asking if we could meet. Then he sent me some photos. And I figured that if a guy likes your book enough to take it up 68,000 feet (not quite the edge of space, but high enough to see the horizon curve) on his very last U-2 flight, and has the thoughtfulness to photograph it while flying over your actual house on the distant planet below, the least you can do is buy him a beer.

So I did.

When Ross said he shot the photo while flying over my house, I thought maybe he meant somewhere in the general vicinity. That would have been neat enough. But when we met, Ross pointed out some ground features in the photo above and told me what he thought they were....
...and after checking with Google Earth, I confirmed that he was absolutely right. My house is actually in this photo! If my mind weren't completely blown right now, it still wouldn't be able to come up with words to express how cool I think this is or much this means to me.

This is the closest I will ever get to being an astronaut.

Thanks Ross, for a gift that will look AMAZING on my new studio wall!

For more of Ross's beautiful U-2 photos, visit Extreme Ross Photography, especially the Gallery labeled "U-2 High Flight Photos."

Ross with spacesuit and helmet...

...and without. 

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