“The Right Stuff” is a term popularized by author Tom Wolf in his rollicking, uproarious, roller-coaster-ride of a book by the same name: a book about America’s seven original astronauts.
They were men who had what it took to climb into a massive rocket loaded with explosive fuel and blast off into space. They had the Right Stuff.
In that spirit I will present awards from time to time to people with the Right Stuff. People who take on a challenge and triumph over obstacles. Or who suddenly, unexpectedly find themselves in a challenging situation and rise to the occasion quietly and competently. Those who demonstrate what a single person can accomplish if she or he has the Right Stuff.
And the first Right Stuff Award goes to Maury Marler of Renton, Washington
According to Maury, when he moved to a retirement community near the Renton Municipal Airport and heard the small airplanes taking off and landing, “I just got an uncontrollable urge to start flying again.”
Then 90 years old, Maury was turned down by one flight school, but that didn’t stop him. He soon found an encouraging instructor, passed his medical, and began taking lessons. It’s been over a year now. And Marler said he flies now with a greater appreciation of the experience than when he was young.
“Sure, it was a thrill then, it was a lot of fun then,” he said. But now every time he experiences the thrill of controlling the airplane and flying above the earth, he thanks his creator for the opportunity. Even if he never qualifies for a pilot certificate, he says, he intends to keep flying with an instructor because he enjoys it so much.