The Need for Speed

Hoot’s Family

Have you ever watched children at play? Some move carefully, quietly, observing while others zoom about relishing the wind in their faces, hair flying. What happens to them when they become adults?

I’ve been able to meet many fast movers, the ones who seem to have a need for speed. I married one of them. My husband, Robert “Hoot” Gibson grew up in a family of flyers. His father, Paul, was one of the pilots who first flew the Air Mail. His mother was one of those intrepid women who flew coast to coast in the Ladies Powder Puff Derby.

Several of the children in the family flew their first solo flights when they were 16 (the youngest you could do that), having been tutored by their father.

Navy Fighter Jet

My husband joined the Navy right out of college, opting to fly fighter aircraft in Vietnam, dogfights and all.

After NASA he flew for the airlines, but those airplanes don’t go very fast, so he started flying in the Reno Air Races.

Reno Air Races

Talk about SPEED! The planes zoom around pylons at 50 feet of altitude, going over 400 miles per hour!

His mantra was “If you can start it, I can fly it.”

Over the years, he has flown many different planes, even building a small racing plane that established several world records.

Racing Plane

And if that wasn’t enough, he went on to become an Astronaut making five Space Shuttle flights and being Chief of the Astronaut Office.

I’ve made three Shuttle flights of my own so we can compare notes about what we enjoyed most about looking at the Earth from space and all the challenges that came along during the flights.

Space Shuttle

Whether you like the fast lane or the slow lane, enjoy your life to the fullest!— Rhea

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