Webmaster’s note: The opening refers to a statement by Ricky Sorenson. When he was asked how a youngster could survive the Entertainment Industry, he replied: It’s easy. All you have to do is pick your parents with care.
Suffer me the space to speak to the memory of Jessica Dubroff … a child who died because she did not pick her parents with care.
Oh, we know her parents all right; we see them every Saturday at the Little League field screaming threats and imprecations at their off-spring and the umpires. we see them in their Yuppie Shopping Carts (Cherokees and Explorers) dropping off their precious possessions at the skating rink or the practice pool at five in the morning … on crowded freeways after school heading for a worthless audition – fidgeting behind the cameras mouthing lines and prompting gestures to justify taking twenty-five percent. . and mindlessly cheering while their little gymnast suffers anorexia and advanced osteoporosis and goes for the Gold instead of grandchildren. Yes, we know these parents.
Lloyd Dubroff, of course, paid the price. Did he recognize his error when the unforgiving ground came rushing up? Did he beg?
Did Joe Reid have a chance to look over at Jessica and see her for the child she was instead of a fee and a chance for Fifteen Minutes of Fame before the engine came through the instrument panel and ended his professional pretensions?
And the Mother, Lisa Blair Hathaway; what of her? A parent incapable of saying “no”; so wrapped up in her New Age psycho-babble that the stark reality of death cannot unravel her Myth. A mother bereft of elemental empathy who sees the Dream and not the Reality of a terror-stricken seven year old sitting on a booster with metal extensions fixed to her feet staring out of a windscreen at Life coming to an end.
Did your daughter scream, Lisa Blair Hathaway? Did she even hear her father’s pleas? With so little life behind her could she know how utterly useless her Death would be?
Was there no member of the media capable of simple humanity, possessed of the courage and common sense to step forward in the rain and the wind and say, “This is wrong?”
Will any of the Administrators of the FAA pay a price for their failure to find a regulation forbidding this ill-conceived stunt? Will the bureaucratic blame-shifting take six months to confirm what their heavy hearts must be telling them – – that rules made for adults do not apply to children?
Shame on all of us for accepting the morning talk show’s version of feel-good-journalism and not reporting that a seven year old girl on two hours sleep after a difficult day flying over the Rockies was about to take off in bad weather in a plane with marginal performance from a high altitude airport in pursuit of a meaningless record that should not exist.
Is this the New Age of Stunt Children?
Our threshold of sanity has been so reduced that we no longer protest the ceaseless exploitation of our children. The Olympics are reported as Sport instead of the International Festival of Child Abuse that it has become. We have somehow come to accept that our nation’s honor can be carried on the slim shoulders of an adolescent to whom we cannot give the keys to our car!
Can you not hear the voice of Jessica Dubroff by cell-phone from the taxiway? “Do you hear the rain, Mommy?”