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Gilroy Garlic Pageant 


2017 Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen Pageant Applications Due March 17


The Gilroy Garlic Festival is now accepting online applications for the 2017 Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen Pageant. Young ladies between the ages of 18 to 24 who live in Gilroy, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, San Martin, Morgan Hill, or Aromas are eligible to enter.

The Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen Pageant will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the Gilroy Gardens Amphitheater. Contestants are judged by a panel of five judges on personal interview, talent, garlic speech, and on-stage question. The winner is crowned Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival 2017 and receives a $1,000 prize. The First Runner-Up receives $500, and Second Runner-Up receives $250.

Contestants are also eligible for other awards, including the Christopher Ranch scholarship prizes of $7,500 for the Queen, $3,500 for First Runner-Up, $2,500 for Second Runner-Up, and $1,000 for each Princess.

The Queen and her Court represent Gilroy at various festivities leading up to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which will be held July 28-30, 2017 at Christmas Hill Park. They have the opportunity to make guest appearances in local print and electronic media, in parades, and at fundraising events. Most importantly, they spend all three days at the festival having a garlicky good time with fellow lovers of the pungent bulb.

Interested contestants should apply online at Entries must be received by Friday, March 17, 2017. For complete contest rules, go to or call 408-842-1625.


Flying into Writing: LA Photo-Shoot

By Eric McCarthy

Climbing out of Palomar (KCRQ) on the Alpha North departure, we remained relatively low as we turned north over the coastline. Cleared to change frequencies, we contacted SoCal Approach and requested VFR Flight Following for our photo mission in the LA Basin. We had several sites to photograph, the most challenging of which would be a site just south of downtown Los Angeles. I knew we’d be handed off a few times before we got to our sites, so I made sure they knew we had several sites but focused on the first and second when describing our intentions.

I’m happy to provide detailed descriptions of our proposed routing, but I didn’t want to tie up the frequency unless requested to. I also know from experience that little of my explanation would be passed on to the next controller; they’re busy and primarily want to know where we’re headed on this leg, what altitude we’ll be at over the target, when we’re “on-station,” when we’re done, and where we’re headed next. Much beyond that is superfluous.

As we approached Oceanside, the controller reminded us that R-2503A was active, so we planned our flight to be about two miles off the coast to avoid Camp Pendleton’s traffic. Approaching John Wayne (KSNA), we descended to 1,300’ to remain clear of their Class C airspace. The plan was to fly to Emmy and Eva, the two oil platforms just off the coast north of the Huntington Beach Pier, then fly over the Seal Beach VOR (SLI), and Los Alamitos AAF (KSLI) to the first target. 

Upon reaching the oil platforms, SoCal requested that we continue on our “present heading” for traffic, but quickly cleared us to turn on course and transit the Los Alamitos airspace at 1,500’. Our site was about eight miles north of the airport, in an industrial park in the congested Norwalk area. I identified our site a few miles out, and we prepared for the photos. I turned over the controls to my trusty copilot, Jerry, strapped on the Nikon, opened the window, and slid the seat back. A few turns over the target, and we were off to find the LA site.

Downtown Los Angeles (Eric McCarthy)We had to stay down low to remain clear of the Class Bravo, which started at 2,000’ along our route. ATC called traffic ahead, and we spotted a police helicopter crossing our path 500’ below and a couple of miles in the distance. As we approached downtown Los Angeles, we located our next target site just a few hundred yards from the high-rise buildings towering over the city, their tops reaching to our altitude. The location provided us with a spectacular view of the great skyscrapers of the city and the Hollywood hills beyond.

At our location, the controllers turned LAX traffic from downwind to base directly overhead. We had airliners of all description passing over us as we circled the site, but the most impressive were the big Boeings and Airbuses, like this Emirates Airbus A380, turning base for runway 24R. With a takeoff weight of more than 1.2 million pounds, an overall length of 238 feet, and a wingspan of 261 feet, the double-decker A380 is a big bird, and it looks even bigger when it’s hanging, apparently motionless, a mere 1,500’ over you!

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Crash Landing at Kimbolton, England – 1944 After a Bombing Raid Over Germany – in His Own Words

By Barbara Title

Byrd “Bert” Ryland in uniform. (Courtesy Barbara Title)“Our target that day was Hanover, Germany. Right after the bombs, we received three close hits that not only knocked out number four engine and caught number three engine on fire but also injured my co-pilot in the right leg, and my bombardier was also wounded in the upper leg. We went from 27,000 feet to approximately 5,000 feet in a spin. As we got it under control at 5,000 feet, the fire went out on number three, and we were able to feather it. By throwing out most of our equipment, we were able to maintain altitude across the North Sea. The crew took care of the wounded, and the co-pilot stayed in his seat to help me control the aircraft.

When the crew inspected the aircraft prior to trying to land my ball turret, gunner told me that the left main gear was partially hanging down and was holding on by hydraulic lines only. I couldn’t get any indication of gear condition, so the engineer tried to crank it down. It still didn’t come down, and I elected to land it in that condition, as I couldn’t have gone around after an approach and sure as hell didn’t want to bail out when I might have been able to save it. I made a good landing as far as it goes until I lost control of speed.

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Journey to Recovery

By Senior Airman Kyle Johnson, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs

(This feature is part of the “Through Airmen’s Eyes” series. These stories focus on individual Airmen, highlighting their Air Force story).

Senior Master Sgt. Janet Lemmons, the 176th Force Support Squadron sustainment and services superintendent, holds up a note her son Tommy wrote to her and his stepfather, Tom, when he was younger. She found the note among a pile of old receipts when she was looking to trade in some diamond earrings after his death. Lemmons tells everyone the note is a thousand times better than diamonds and she keeps it at her desk. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kyle Johnson)Then-Tech. Sgt. Janet Lemmons realized she couldn’t breathe in the hospital room. It was as if there wasn’t enough space for her family’s grief and the air collectively. She had to get out.

Lemmons stepped into the elevator that would take her someplace where she could breathe, but the cold steel walls provided no comfort as they sealed her in. She took several deep breaths as the elevator descended. The doors opened on friends and family, and they all knew exactly what had happened as soon as they saw her.

Her oldest son, Tommy, was dead.

Lemmons stepped out into a surreal world where nothing was as it should be and didn’t feel like it ever would be.

“How am I going to laugh again?” said Lemmons, now a senior master sergeant and the sustainment services superintendent for the 176th Force Support Squadron. “What is life going to be like? How am I going to eat again? How is anything ever going to be enjoyable again?”

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