June 4-6th was the 37th Annual Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race and Festival. It was an exciting event, and a photographers dream, with near perfect weather and remarkable balloons floating along the old-world setting of beautiful downtown Helen, Georgia. I must have taken over one hundred photos. The 3 day event was an invitational and drew balloonist from all over the United States.
One balloon that caught my attention was a beautiful red, white, and blue balloon promoting the Fair Tax. And flying it was a very interesting man by the name of Lou Lobe, a financial planner from Atlanta. I watched Lou for the majority of Sunday morning giving tethered rides in his balloon to anyone brave enough to climb aboard. Besides commanding his airship he worked the crowd with his patter of wit and humor. In another life he could have been a sideshow barker for Barnum and Bailey circus. I’m not sure who was having more fun; Lou or his passengers.
In front of the area where the balloon was tethered, Lou and his hard working crew placed signs promoting a growing political organization named GOOOH—pronounced go. The acronym stands for “Get Out Of Our House”, and is pushing for term limits, and hopefully, ridding us of career politicians. Hmmm, right up my alley. I gotta like this guy already. But how do you go about talking with a guy fifty feet in the air, standing in a 4×4 gondola? My wife suggested I stand in line for a ride. I did, and it was worth it…, not just the ride, but the quick exchange of political philosophy in less than 5 minutes. We definitely had a connection and we exchanged business cards. I had to smile, watching the positive response from those gathering around and giving him the thumbs up. Maybe term limits isn’t such a crazy idea after all.
Red Dog, out…