Ashley Bowen Cook and Kevin Jenks congratulate Mr. Learjet himself, Clay Lacy.

We often say that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Usually we don’t mean that quite so literally. Seated randomly at a table for the Kansas Aviation Museum’s annual gala and Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I was greeted by a familiar face – one I hadn’t seen for many years.

And as I talked with Garvin Speed, a test pilot for Hawker Beechcraft in the 1980s, I recalled where we’d met. On a photo shoot with my dad in Telluride, Colorado. For a 10-year-old, it was a grand adventure. As you can see from the photo, Garvin and the others on that shoot did their best to make it even more memorable.

Living in the Air Capital of the World affords us the opportunity to rub elbows with the men and woman who’ve made the aviation industry what it is today. This event honored Clay Lacy, a bona fide aviation legend, with induction into the Kansas¬† Aviation Hall of Fame.

Aviation truly is a close, tight-knit community, and Wichita remains a vital industry hub. I’ve been truly lucky to be part of that community my whole life. These days, though, I’m perfectly happy to stand alongside the legends, and honored to call some of them my friends.