Seven years ago I was on the Board of Directors for TV30, the local PEG Access station. Lorrie Sullenberger advertised her exercise classes and hikes up Mt. Diablo on the station. So I was familiar with that name.
I was listening to the radio in my office at Relevant Business Systems when the music was interrupted by a news flash that a passenger airline was attempting to land on the Hudson River in New York. The pilot of that plane was Captain Chesley Sullenberger.
Later that day the local TV news reported that Capt. Sullenberger was from Danville, CA; So I thought he must be Lorrie Sullenberger's husband. After all how many Sullenbergers can there be in Danville? The answer was four, Lorrie, Chesley, and their two children.
At the time this happened there wasn't much to feel good about in the World. We were caught up in seemingly endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy was in recession, and unemployment levels were high.
We needed a hero – a real hero who not only did something courageous and daring, but looked and acted the part too. Capt. Sullenberger filled the bill. He was modest in interviews and said he was just doing his job, but he also took on the hero's mantel this country needed so badly at the time.
I met Capt. Sullenberger a couple of times at local events. I don't recall speaking to him but he sat next to me, actually one seat away, at a San Ramon City Council meeting held in the Community Center Auditorium where they used to hold events with big turnouts before the new City Hall was completed. Of course I recognized him but I didn't say anything, or I forgot if I said anything.
The new movie, "Sully," about Capt. Sullenberger's landing on the Hudson River, is being promoted on TV and the Internet. I was surprised Tom Hanks was cast to play Sully. I wonder if the real Sully had anything to say about the casting.
I pictured Harrison Ford, who is also a pilot and recently made an emergency landing of a small plane on a golf course. Ford is 14 years older than Sullenberger was when he made the famous landing. Hanks is two years younger than Sully, but looks like him with his hair and mustache painted white.
I look forward to seeing the film at the Crow Canyon Cinema here in San Ramon or at the theater in Blackhawk, which I believe is considered part of Danville. I doubt the producers would hold the Grand Opening in one of our local theaters. If they did that would be BIG news for our little Danville/SanRamon Express.