Joining Seattle Tradition

I’m very excited to become one of the newest members of the Seafair Board — working to keep one of our most-prized Seattle-area traditions great! The people I’ve met on the board are impressive, and I am looking forward to working with them.

Even though I didn’t grow up in Seattle, (I grew up in Ephrata in Eastern Washington) our family had a connection to the hydroplane races through marriage. My cousin, John Karelsen, was Ed Karelsen’s son. Ed of course, was the builder of the great hydros back in the day, like Miss Bardahl and Miss Budweiser in the late ’60’s. John lived for hydro racing. And his neighbor, Dan Walters, has worked as crew chief for a number of teams over the years. They were passionate about boats, racing, and engines! So much so that my dad bought a ‘kit’ to build a small hydroplane from Ed, put a 10 hp outboard on it, and it would scream across the water at 40 mph! Sadly, John was killed while testing a boat in 1983. But our family’s interest in hydroplanes would live on. My dad, brother and nephew race the small boats now, boats built by my dad.

So that is where my love for speed and noise began. In my first reporting job in Redding, California, they hold a huge air show every year. The Blue Angels were taking only two reporters up for the media rides, and I wasn’t one of them. They Navy guy in charge tried hard to get an extra fuel allotment so I could go, but no luck. Flash forward 20 years later when I was at KIRO, and asked to go up. I jumped at the chance. (I mean, after all, I’d only been waiting for 20 years!) It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and something I’ll never forget. We took off from Boeing Field straight up to 9,000 feet, and out to the coast near Long Beach in 9 minutes. We didn’t break the sound barrier, but came close. We did loops, rolls, flew upside down and did simulated carrier landings.  We also pulled 7.3 G’s.  I didn’t throw up, but I did pass out briefly while our pilot was doing those vertical rolls where you fly straight and roll. There was no way I could keep the oxygen to my brain. This means I have amazing respect for the Blue Angel pilots.

And then there’s the Torchlight Parade. I had a blast announcing the parade during my time at KIRO, watching all the beautiful floats, the precision drill teams, and incredible entries from all around. There’s nothing like a grand parade on a warm summer night, and the Torchlight fits the bill.

As I learn more about all the Seafair events (and I’m sure, meet more pirates), I’ll be looking for your input and feedback! What do you like best? What might change to make it better? Here’s a link to the other board members who pull off one of the best traditions of the Seattle summer! http://www.seafair.com/news.aspx?ID=166&Mon=9&Yr=2011.

Margo Myers, Principal, Margo Myers Communications

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