Sean Hunter was amazing when the boys went to the airport Wednesday. Gary Roulston who set up and organized the visit escorted us to Sean’s office complex, you know, where only “authorized people” were supposed to go. The boys walked past a bunch of such signs on that day.

The boys were on “self control” and did us proud, and I have video to prove it. We had each boy’s parent complete a permission slip and release for filming the boys today. I’m getting the video ready for the web site, Between the Lines, and possibly the airport’s TV show as I write this. We avoid “pimping” images of our boys, but this piece is necessary for people to see for themselves that little boys can and will control themselves and be engaged when it makes sense for them and to them.

The Director of Aviation and his staff rolled out the red carpet and invested time, care and a whole tray of chilidogs, chips, juices and sodas in our boys.

The boys presented official Silverback Society® caps to both Mr. Roulston and Mr. Hunter. I had asked for a couple of volunteers on the bus ride and selected two from many who raised their hands. (I remember when we couldn’t get a raised hand for anything.)  I no longer tell the boys what to say when we present to someone, I just tell the boy, “Get your words together, so you don’t stumble.” We made our presentations, roared our pledge, and it was on! We also did the pledge in the presence of some Airport staff and the comment from a full grown man was “Y’all gave me goose bumps!” (At this point in the game, I don’t know if I can be happy without looking forward to such moments. Nothing in my life [except maybe grandchildren] compares to what I get from watching these boys begin to see themselves and their own possibilities.)

The Director of Aviation then led the boys around like the pied piper. It was amazing, like he knew them from church or the neighborhood, the park or something. His expectations of the Silverback Society® were as high as ours and the boys basked in the glow of his high expectations. There were times when he disappeared in the middle of the walking group as the boys jockeyed for position to ask a question or make an observation as they walked. Truthfully, I have no idea what some of their conversations were about, but I know they heard him loud and clear as he beamed about his family life while he shared his personal mementoes and family photos with the group in his office area.

By now he is “Sean” to the boys as he introduced them to everyone from his confidant / shoe shine man to the Director of Operations who also gave them a briefing on careers in Airport Operations and what the people in his department did. He informed them that a degree in aviation was the best way to get a job in Airport Operations. I saw some do that nod thing people do unconsciously when they take note of something.

Then the fire chief explained what his people did and about the different kinds of fires they have to be prepared to fight and the methods they used for each type. He also had an airport fire truck outside the glass wall of the meeting room demonstrate its water canon.

The Director of Maintenance told the boys about many of the specialized maintenance skill areas, such as changing the high voltage lighting on the air field and caring for the air conditioning after which we turned the boys loose on a tray of chili dogs, chips and juice and soda. Then you could really tell they were adolescent boys, and boys will be boys. It’s hard to believe how many hot dogs a kid can eat, and by this time they certainly weren’t bashful. Mr. Hunter had chilidogs and conversation with the boys at the conference table and then walked us to the buss and shook ever boy’s hand goodbye. I know the Silverback Society® troupe from Murray Henderson got the same reception and attention as a visiting dignitary and it really made an impression