When Silverwood first opened, I was a tiny kid and there was nothing there but a train ride, the Old West "downtown" and an air show. When I was in high school I became friends with the air show pilot!

I went numerous times before I met him. In high school I found out my high school sweetheart's dad was really good friends with that guy. We went multiple times to hang out during the air shows and pet his tiger, which was also kept in a cage in Silverwood on the edge of the Old West town.

He was a super nice guy.

A year or two later in 1996 while he was doing an air show at Fairchild Air Force Base he crashed and was killed -- in front of everyone!

His name was Bob Heale and I think of him every time I'm at Silverwood. His tiger is what I remember the most. He'd let us into the cage to pet him. I laid on top of a Bengal tiger and it was the most bad ass thing ever.