George Reeves, infamous beach pilot flying at sunset

There is a picture I am looking at. It is George flying over the water as the sunset blinks a star shape off his glider. The sky over the beach is getting dark, but not with colors, just blue sliding into darkness with the white light of the sun falling behind the horizon.

He straddles the line between insanity and art. His commitment to the wind is absolute, and he flies like no one I have ever seen. The other day, I saw the familiar colors of his glider, but something was wrong. The turns weren't smooth. The legs were stiff. The glider was just 4 inches in height it was so far away, but I knew it wasn't him.

George takes his hands off the glider bar when it turns and just tips it, this delicate instrument in his hands. It is a woman for him, I think, and he is a bird.

He has a pick-up truck that he sometimes lives in when he goes gliding in the mountains. He wears t-shirts until they have holes in them and makes parts for gliders during the day. "Make the ground afraid of you. Ya gotta believe," he says.

I believe.

© copyright, 1998, Barbara Steinberg
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