The Chicago Air and Water Show
Gerry Souter, Janet Souter, signed by author
The largest such spectacle in the world, the Chicago Air and Water Show draws over three million people to the lakeshore for a weekend of low-key beach leisure and high-powered entertainment. Gerry and Janet Souter climb into the cockpit (and occasionally lean precariously out of it) to log the extravaganza’s fascinating history. Even before the event became a beloved annual tradition half a century ago, visitors to the lakeshore had been treated to sights like the International Aviation Meet, attended by the Wright brothers and their daring competitors; World War II training maneuvers executed by pilots like President George H.W. Bush; and an ascension to world seaport status graced by a visit from the royal yacht Britannia. This book is for anyone who has ever participated in the show’s glorious tradition and for those who haven’t but who still would like to get a glimpse of the gut-thrumming majesty of the planes and learn what convinced comedian Bill Murray to jump out of one of them.