The Lawn Chair Pilot

Have you hear this true story before?

Larry Walters was always fascinated with flying. But he couldn’t afford much; he just dreamed about it. One day in 1982 he decided to do something he had been thinking about for quite awhile. Larry got a lawn chair, tied fourteen helium filled weather balloons to it, got friends to hold him down while all was set, brought a radio/map/bb gun/six-pack of beer, and then floated up in the air.

He made it to 16,000 feet. Airline pilots saw him…a man floating in a lawn chair. Four hours later he landed, tangled in power lines. Unhurt. The gun and beer were gone- he had dropped in his gun and drank his beer.

He was fined $4000 for breaking some laws. Would he do it again, he said, “No.” Was he glad he did it once, he said, “Hell Yes.”

Larry Walters / Arizona / 1982
Larry Walters / Arizona / 1982

My question: What is the switch in the brain that makes us actually decide to act on the things that run through our heads? I bet you are like me, and have dozens of wild ideas hit you on a daily basis. Why don’t we do them? Why do we rarely even try?

I’m inspired by Larry.  Sometimes I think too much. Or maybe I think just right, I just do too little.

What do you think?

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