Saturday, January 17, 2009
Luke & Wes Myers
Luke & Wes Myers, Grandsons of a Hero Aviator.
It was a gorgeous Sunday morning in Southern California. I drove up the beach past Malibu in my rental car, looking at all the joggers in bikinis. After a brutal winter up in Seattle, this sunshine was a great change for me.
I drove up the hill in Pacific Palisades to meet with Luke and Wes Myers, two grandsons of the legendary fighter pilot and test pilot pioneer Johnny Myers.
I was there to interview these grandsons for a short video biography I am making for the Legends of Aviation tribute dinner scheduled for Jan 22 in Beverly Hills.
Wes and Luke are great guys. They showed me terrific hospitality and generosity. I quickly set up my lights and camera and sound equipment.
They told me incredible stories about their memories of their grandfather. I could tell that they both had a tremendously close relationship with their grandfather. Both Luke and Wes were pilots too. There is aviation in the Myers blood.
I really enjoyed hearing the funny stories about the character and courage of Johnny Myers. He was an attorney who gave up his law practice because he wanted to fly. Over the years he flew them all. Johnny Myers had made many friends over the years and he was an iconic person.
Johnny Myers was world famous for his help in developing the Flying Wing and the Night fighter jets, predecessors to the Stealth bombers used today.
Wes and Luke brought out lots of great pictures of their grandfather. They told me some awesome stories about how Johnny flew helicopters and flew airplanes in his 80s. He loved to fly in the Reno Air Races, too.
Johnny had died less than a year ago at the age of 96 and it was a bit emotional for the family to talk about him. I could sense the pride and love these grandsons had for their grandfather.
I really enjoyed meeting Luke and Wes. I hope they like the video biography I am making about their grandfather.
Johnny Myers: American Hero - Test Pilot, Aviator, Attorney
A few months ago I was contacted by a Writer-Director, Robert Dal Collette, who told me about an exciting project about fighter pilots, jet test pilots, and legendary pioneers of aviation. It was called the "Legends of Aviation" tribute to be held in January in Beverly Hills. Sort of like the Academy Awards for Aviators. Robert explained that we would be creating about nine short biographical videos for the recipients of this years awards. I became very excited about this project, because creating video biographies are my favorite thing in the world.
The first of the nine projects was to be a tribute film about the recently iconic aviation test pilot Johnny Myers. I had never heard of Johnny Myers, but every pilot I asked, surely knew of him. He was a great mentor to so many people. He once was a very successful lawyer for famous movie stars like Bing Crosby, but he gave up his lawyer life so he could pursue his love for flying.
Johnny Myers became the top test pilot at Northrup, courageously testing several of the top secret jets over many years. He is very famous for his role in testing and developing the first night fighter plane, the Black Widow P-61.
His nickname was "Maestro."
Charles Lindbergh credited Johnny Myers for saving his life once down in New Guinea.
Johnny Myers had passed away last year so we couldn't interview him, so I was fortunate to interview two of his grandchildren, veteran pilots Bob Hoover, Clay Lacy, Bill Anders, Tony Bill, Linden Blue, Barron Hilton, and several other pilots who all knew his story.
The tribute dinner is coming up this January 22nd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. I hope everyone likes our video biography.
I was first introduced to Patti Payne by Jeff Kirby, CEO of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue. Jeff suggested I use Patti's great voice over skills for the video we are creating for Jeff. This last week, Patti came to our studio and recorded that very Voice Over. She came to the studio totally prepared and really did a super job. Our video for Puget Sound Security should be finished in a few days. Patti's voice turned out great. Thanks very much for your help, Patti.
Brian SweetBrian came over to our Inventive Productions studios in Redmond, WA to be interviewed for the new documentary "The New Fighting Seabees." While he was here, we also asked him other questions so we could send in his DVD footage to the Library of Congress under the Veterans History Program.
Brian has served in the US Navy since 1986 until his retirement in Oct 2008. He reached the rank of Commander. Brian served in numerous posts including time at Norfolk, Virginia and in Falluja, Iraq.
Brian told us some incredible stories about his experiences working with the Seabees.
For more information about the NEW Fighting Seabees documentary, go to http://www.seabeesmovie.com/
Bob served over 30 years in the US Navy, including time in Vietnam, Japan, and several places in the US.
Bob earned two Legion of Merit Awards plus many other medals. He was a Vice Commander, Naval Facilities Command.
While Bob was here we went ahead and asked our normal 124 questions we ask in a regular video biography interview.
Thanks, Bob, for all your help with our documentary project.