Thursday, June 10, 2021

Late Spring Musings: My Portrait, Lilibet, Boom

Ever wonder what makes the most lasting impression on a child’s mind?


For my birthday three months ago my six-year-old granddaughter CJ in Omaha, who had seen me only through FaceTime for more than a year, drew my picture with a laptop in front of me.


She captured my curly hair, but for some reason didn’t put a beard on my face. What she did include, though, was an identifying marker visible to anyone who has observed me more than casually—inside my shirt breast pocket she drew a pen!


She no doubt recalled my saying that I always have a pen with me, a habit cultivated from my earliest reporter’s days. Some people like to make notes on their smartphone, and indeed I often write blogs on my iPhone before posting them, but I prefer pen and paper for note taking (even though my handwriting is so atrocious that I often have difficulty deciphering my chicken scratch). 


CJ added a beard to my face before presenting her framed portrait to me when we visited Omaha in May. It has a position of prominence on my desk.



Speaking of grandchildren, I am intrigued by the presumption that Americans really care about the brouhaha surrounding the naming of Harry and Meghan’s newborn daughter after her grandmother and great grandmother (I know the giddy parents have official titles, but if they’re going to live in the United States they should get used to just being called Harry and Meghan). 


Lilibet Diana, or Lili as she will be called by her parents, family and friends, is in a unique historical position. I know it’s farfetched, but she could be at the same time both the British monarch and the president of the United States.


She is eighth in line eligible to ascend to the British throne. As she was born in the United States, she is eligible to be president upon attaining her 35th birthday.


The first presidential election in which she could run is in 2058. I know people are living longer these days, and the fastest growing age cohort are centenarians, but I doubt, at 109 in 2058, that I would be alive to witness this possibility. For my younger readers who will be around, remember you read about it first in my blog.



Boom: Complaints about noise on the ground associated with supersonic air travel was a key factor in its limited use across the United States. The Concorde stopped flying in 2003.


So it is hardly reassuring that a company named Boom Supersonic is trying to bring high speed flight back to our skies. It has a tentative order from United Airlines for 15 planes with the hope that supersonic air travel will start anew by the end of the decade (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/business/economy/united-airlines-supersonic-planes.html?referringSource=articleShare).


One wonders, however, if the corporate name, Boom, might pose an added burden on getting regulatory approval. One usually tries to avoid any mention of an objection when filing a request for approval. 

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