Star-studded “Tribute to Bob Hoover” in L.A. on February 21 Nearing Sell-Out
Every so often we catch wind of an aviation celebration that just feels like it will be one of those ‘bucket list’-level happenings. To my frustration if not outright regret, I've missed plenty of such “you should have been there” events, having to content myself with living vicariously through those lucky enough to have attended and kind enough to share their experience later. Conversely, in my roles as an aviation artist, journalist, National Aviation Hall of Fame staffer, and consultant, I’ve been blessed to have participated in many unforgettable aviation celebrations, as well. Given that I feel naked without my Nikon, I treasure the photos I have to prove it.
I immediately think of the 1991 Geneseo Air Show, the Doolittle Raiders' 50th Reunion in 1992, the Raiders' Final Toast in 2013, the 50th Anniversary of Supersonic Flight at Edwards AFB in 1997, the 2003 Pioneers of Flight Homecoming in Dayton, and the Gathering of Mustangs & Legends (both 1999 and 2007 editions), to name but a handful. I wager you can easily cite your own memorable brag-list. Of course, the worst is finding out about milestone occasions after the fact, exacerbating the would-of-could-of-should've factor. I still regret not witnessing the launch of SpaceShipOne that snagged the X-Prize, and that was ten years ago.
So don't say I didn't warn you. One such historically meaningful aviation event will take place next month, justifiably being billed as a star-studded tribute to a most amazing aviator and great American - Robert A. "Bob" Hoover, who turned 92 years young last week. A who's who from across the spectrum of aviation communities will gather for "A Tribute to Bob Hoover: A Lifetime of Excellence" on Friday, February 21, at the iconic Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California.
The Hoover Tribute is actually a trio of events - a gala dinner to fete and hear from this beloved and revered “Gentleman Aviator,” the premier of new biographic documentary highlighting Bob’s astounding aviation legacy, and the announcement of the Bob Hoover Hall of Honor – launched to spotlight fellow pioneers of flight that Bob personally knew and believes are worthy of permanent recognition, not so much for their achievements but for their exemplary attributes.
As the official Hoover Tribute website proclaims, “Bob has earned the respect of the entire community. We have all benefited from Bob’s generosity and contributions. Now you can ‘thank’ him for his leadership, friendship, and a standard of excellence that will inspire people well into the future.” The event’s organizing committee of Michael Herman, Ron Fagen and Tom Poberezny enjoys the support of official “Event Hosts” like Jim Lovell, Herb Kelleher, Sean D. Tucker, Gene Cernan and a handful of other aviation luminaries, each who can variously claim Bob as a friend, mentor, hero, and inspiration.