This strikes me as incongruous, considering we've just shared the intimate, breathtaking thrill of takeoff under the same canopy. I think it strikes him as routine. "Judy," I say.
"Well, Judy, do you know much about airplanes?"
"A little bit." He's asking this now!
"What we try to do on the tow is keep the glider in a fixed position with the towplane. Now, using your feet on the rudder pedals, try to keep us lined up there." Out of the corner of my eye I see a hand pointing to a spot on the rear of the Cessna.
I push down on the left pedal and the glider's nose moves to the left. I try the right pedal. Nose moves to the right. I am thrilled. Keeping us lined up with the towplane, I work the pedals with aplomb. Then I look down. I don't scream, but it's close. The altimeter reads 1,100 feet.
"O.K.," says Getter, "I'll take the controls until the release."
With Getter flying the plane, I relax a bit. The view is spectacular, the mountain road winding down the valley and the green hills unfolding into the distance. It all seems much closer than from a regular plane, even a small one. Perhaps it's the bubble canopy that expands my sight lines. Whatever it is, I decide I like it.
"Now, just before we release," says Getter, "I'm going to bring the nose up just a bit and then drop it a little, to put some slack in the rope. Don't worry, it's not a screaming dive."
Cue the butterflies. "And then what?" I ask.
"We're going to do a right-hand turn," he says. "The towplane does a left-hand turn. That's so we get good separation."