Steve Foster and Lauchlan Ough from Hemmings House showed up in my driveway at 9am this morning. Lauchlan and I had met before when we did some filming during Pete's bike test a couple of weeks ago, he's the main videographer and editor. Steve is a producer, and helped both Pete and I with what to say, how to say it, where to look, basically coached us through the whole thing. Both guys seem pretty laid back, and were easy to work with. I can only imagine what they thought of us after it was all over.
Before we knew it, Steve, Lauchlan and their assistant Victoria had my garage all set up with lights, and cameras, and I set the bikes up in the background. I think I need a smaller bike.......because by the time I had the damn thing set up in just the right position I was starting to break a sweat from pushing and pulling it all over the garage. We need it here, no here, no the other way around, no wait Pete's bike goes there, yours goes here, can you switch them around again. Christ don't we have people to this, I thought we are supposed be sipping lattes while everything was set up, and why am I getting coffee for all these people, damn it I'm the star. WHERE'S MY AGENT!!! Oh right I don't have one and I'm not a star.
Pete getting ready for his turn in front of the camera
Shooting B roll
They start off by interviewing the both of us separately, Pete goes first and sets the bar pretty high, damn it again. The interview goes like this, who are we, what are we doing, why, any fears, reservations, what do hope to accomplish by this, etc.
Then it is my turn........I have had a lot of anxiety about this, I'm a pretty quiet guy for the most part, put me behind a keyboard and I can do pretty well, but public speaking is another thing. I'm not very well spoken and get nervous because I don't feel I express myself very well at times. So put a camera in my face and it's an OH SHIT moment for me. The good thing is, Steve and Lauchlan made me feel as comfortable as I'm going to get being put on the spot. They both coached me through it well. Lauchlan brought up something that I had not really considered or thought of in years, that changed, or should I say further highlighted the reason for this trip. Gerard Kennedy.
Remember folks this is for TV, so some embellishment on the truth, or what is perceived as truthful is required at times for entertainment purposes. Lauchlan asked me about including in my interview a line about one of the reasons for doing this trip being a death of a friend. Well the first thing that popped into my mind was my friend and fellow pilot Gerard Kennedy. Gerard was one of the first guys I flew with at Lab Air, he was the old guy at 30 years of age, compared to my 21. He was from Holyrood, just outside of St. John's. Gerard was as rough around the edges as you could get, I remember the first time I laid eyes on him, he was wearing the typical pilot uniform, but had an old black, cheap assed leather jacket, no tie, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and to compliment his navy dress pants, were white socks and brown deck shoes. He was probably the poorest looking example of an airline pilot that you could get. But he could fly an airplane, was a great driver, and great guy. Well Gerard was diagnosed with cancer, underwent treatment, went into remission for about a year. It came back with a vengeance, and before he got too sick, he pulled his 3 young boys out of school and took his family across Canada for one last hurrah and to share this great country with his kids. Gerard passed away shortly after his return home at the age of 33.
That was a bad time at Lab Air, one of our most senior pilots Harold Oake also passed away from cancer the year before. Damn it's been awhile since I thought of those guys. Two great guys taken at an early age.
Maybe their passing had an affect on me that I never realized until Lauchlan brought it up. Maybe they were the driving force behind me completing an Ironman, a marathon, trying my hand a small business, living outside my comfort zone at times, and for wanting to do this trip before I find myself withering away on my deathbed wishing I had done it.
So, if any of you out there reading this are putting off doing something you love to a later date or when you retire, use the phrase fuck it and do it now, there maybe no later.