ANN's Firsthand Coverage of the Reno Air Races
What do you do when you've just won the biggest air race in the
world in the P-51, Dago Red, set all kinds of records,
flown demonstrations in one of the trickiest airplanes ever built
(the LTR-14) and one of the fastest old fighters around? (That
would be the SAAB Draken, right, in which Skip did a couple laps
around the Unlimited course... at speeds he told me were
roughly 525 and 536 mph!)
If you're Skip Holm, you don't relax. You go back to your
paddock for the hand-shaking, high-fiving, a hug from wife,
daughter and team... and then you sign autographs for the flock of
Young Eagles who have gathered around the area all week.
Skip signed shirts,
programs, and some things that don't even make sense -- he was
always happy to answer even the dumbest question from an adult, and
any question at all from a kid.
The whole family, and the team, kick in to help. Daughter
Ashley, not quite driving age, demonstrated her leadership traits
in taking on a whole lot of the coordination of the Young Eagles;
her get-it-done attitude well-balanced by a cheerful disposition.
Wife Dede (Skip and Dede really got to know each other after they
were marooned at the Air Races that Didn't Happen in 2001) fielded
any number of logistics questions, answered all kinds of history,
and contributed her cheerful self to help get things done.
Team owner Terry Bland (Dede's uncle, by the way) talked with
sponsors, crew, the public -- and helped with the 'moving and
coordinating stuff' that seemingly never ends at the races.
This team, the target of a lot of good-natured ribbing all week
(their paddock was 'TP'd' one night, for instance), always took the
ribbing in a good-natured way, and saved their retaliation for the
racecourse, where nobody could touch them. A class act, all the
way: this team has the recipe -- and the ingredients -- to