Tony Scott has been a gift to me. He directed "Top Gun" -- my all-time favorite movie. He also produced one of my favorite TV shows -- "Numb3rs". Well, this family man, this creative genius, this person who was loved by many, apparently took his own life yesterday. And I am so sad.
I wish I could tell him how "Top Gun", aside from being so much fun to watch, opened my eyes to the world of Naval Aviation. Naval Aviation has always been of great interest to my husband and, through the medium of this movie, I also became interested in the topic. This has given me a lot of happy times in my marriage, which I otherwise would not have had. Times at air shows, times watching military documentaries, times looking through pages of books filled with pictures of and information on fighter jets, and even times flying in small aircraft with former fighter pilots, participating in mock dog fights. This love of my husband also became a love of mine because of Tony Scott. And I will always be so grateful.
My son's life would also not be the same without Tony. I let this child watch "Top Gun" when he was about two years old, because he was having a fussy day and I was desperate. Why did I put that movie on, instead of a more child-friendly one? Well, I think it was actually the only video we owned at the time. And my son was enthralled. He asked to watch it pretty much every day. Because of that movie, my son's interest in aviation and military history was sparked. He is now majoring in history in college, is hoping to be a military officer, and has done many things he probably would not have done otherwise -- been a Civil Air Patrol cadet, learned everything it is possible to know about World War II and the Cold War, flown small aircraft, and worked as a docent at the Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum (where he has the reputation of knowing as much as, or even more than, the old-timers). He has even been allowed to fly the real FA/18 Hornet simulator at MCAS Miramar (the one on which the actual pilots train). And due to my son's exposure to the many wonderful people who serve our country in the military, he has developed a gracious manner when dealing with others. These fine individuals have been such good examples to him of how to behave and interact with those of all backgrounds and walks of life. Thank-you, Tony, for opening my son's eyes to this amazing world.
Actually, my whole family's life would not have been the same without Tony Scott. Because of him, my two daughters have happily attended air shows and watched many hours of military documentaries (when their brother commandeered the only TV set in the house). They know things about our country's history, and the brave men and women who have defended her, that they never would have been aware of otherwise. And they have an appreciation of our men and women in uniform that I doubt they would have had the opportunity to develop without the presence of Maverick and Goose in our home.
We will miss you, Tony Scott. May God grant you a place of light, happiness, and peace. And may He grant comfort to your family, loved ones, friends, and all of us who grieve at the loss of you.