Gall: Remembering Steve Fossett’s ‘pilot light’ |

Gall: Remembering Steve Fossett’s ‘pilot light’

Steve Gall
Vail, CO Colorado

I prayed for months I wouldn’t need to write this. This is a tribute to a real life hero amongst us, Steve Fossett.

Mr. Fossett has always been a real-life hero of mine. Well before I arrived in this valley, I regularly admired his world-wide recognitions and accomplishments. He always made what we call in the business “great news.” His driven sense of self-achieving adventure intrigues me. His willingness to live life to its fullest under any and all circumstances kindle my spirits. The deep fresh breaths and the sights he took in at altitudes and places few even dare to dream about were his; it was where he lived. It’s experiences of that nature that place Steve Fossett in a class of his own in my book. Just imagine.

Though I never shook his hand, the last time I was lucky enough to be in the same room with Steve was just before he disappeared. Quite frankly, I was in awe. The last time I was in such awe was when I ended up at a friends wedding where Neil Armstrong was in attendance. (I never got to shake his hand either, because when I followed Mr. Armstrong outside that evening, I found him silhouetted in the moonlight while he enjoyed a smoke, gazing up into the night sky at his special place. I turned and walked away fully satisfied.)

Steve Fossett is a “pilot light” in my life. He is the inspirational flame that ignites my adventurous side. His willingness to climb the tallest, drive the fastest, circumvent the globe by air and sea, and keep reaching for something new to challenge his limits, gives me “get yourself off the couch and do something” goose bumps.

Heroes come and go, but true heroes don’t ever leave your soul once you are engaged with them on a pilot light level. It’s the pilot light that answers the call when something greater is needed. In this case, the light was extinguished well before its time. Fortunately, I can still call upon Steve’s unending guts and glory to continue to spark my own dreams. Here’s to Mr. Fosset for keeping our pilot lights lit.

Just imagine.

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