Once a year, right around summer time (all three weeks of it), the normal quiet of Seattle is exploded by the sounds of six F/A-18 Hornets blazing across the sky. The Blue Angels are back.
What I find interesting is how the Blues are received in this very liberal town. While I have several friends who dislike them intensely - calling them symbols of American military force and hubris - for the most part, the entire city welcomes them in. Starting Thursday with their practice runs (here's one of the shots I managed to get this morning), and continuing through the official shows on Saturday and Sunday, all things Seattle are celebrated throughout the city, and the city, for the most part, let's its hair down and starting shaking its groove-thing.
Funny enough, what most Satellites like about the Blues isn't necessarily the planes themselves, it's the fact that when they're in town, the hydroplanes aren't far behind. Huge boats powered by long-defunct Russian helicopter engines, throwing 60-foot rooster-tails behind them as they skim over the rough surface of Lake Washington at 120 miles-per-hour. Now THAT'S power!
Yes, Seattle is strange. We love the Blue Angles - with all their noise and power - because something even noisier and more powerful is just around the corner. And isn't that an apt metaphor? This town seems to consistently look past the good thing they have in the right now, and instead focus on something in the future that may or may not be better.
For me, I love the Blues. It makes me think of what America - and yes, even the City of Seattle - could be. Classy, precise, polished, and so very, very noisy.