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Mountain Flying Bible Wedding
by Herb Lingl

Gary “Padre” McDonald – infamous mountain flyer and part-time outlaw Padre – performed a wedding ceremony April 27, 2008, at San Francisco’s Crissy Field, relying solely on Sparky Imeson’s Mountain Flying Bible to guide him through the often rough terrain that can be matrimony, on a day that fortunately brought blue skies and no down-drafts. Padre, in a rush to get to San Francisco, couldn't find his Bible, so he grabbed his other Bible (Basic Information Before Leaving Earth).

The couple, Akiko Ikeda and Yasushi Kamakura, picked San Francisco as the venue for their wedding at the suggestion of Akiko’s father, Hiro Ikeda, a pilot who owns a Mooney based at Yamagata airport in Japan. Ikeda san contacted San Francisco-based Naomi Hirooka in late 2007, and mentioned his desire to have the ceremony performed in San Francisco. Naomi and her friend Herb Lingl, a professional photographer, scouted possible locations for the wedding and ultimately decided on the stunning natural setting at San Francisco’s Crissy Field in the San Francisco Presidio (Golden Gate) National Park. They felt it was an appropriate location from a pilot’s view, as it was originally "Crissy Airfield” at the Presidio Army Base before becoming Crissy Field.

Naomi and Herb were also charged with finding a pastor to conduct the ceremony. They chose Petaluma-based Gary McDonald because they knew his easy-going personality would put the limited English-speaking couple at ease, and felt his extensive flying experience would be interesting for the bride’s father (they made a point of not mentioning the “outlaw” part to the wedding party prior to the event.)

Wedding photo

After the ceremony, Akiko, Yashushi and Padre posed for this photograph with the Mountain Flying Bible, noting "We knew we would have been in trouble if the Padre hadn't brought his Bible along."

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