Diane was wearing a collectible hat that resembles a rainbow striped hot-air balloon. At Fiesta, this is high fashion for Balloonistas (hot-air balloon enthusiasts). In any other venue, a person would probably feel ridiculous wearing such an attention grabbing, goofy cap. Like so many enthusiastic spectators, Diane got her commemorative pin to mark the occasion and stuck it on the hat’s “envelope” (that’s the part of a hot air balloon that holds the heated air).
This occasion was Diane’s first Balloon Fiesta. She came all the way from Ohio to experience the spectacular in person. At home, Diane is a customs broker for UPS.
Diane was dazzled by the sights around her, even at this early hour when things were just getting started. When I photographed her at 6:14:54 AM, it was during the first wave of balloons preparing to launch. She leapt at my invitation to be photographed as a stranger; it would be part of her memory-filled morning. I asked if there was a message she wanted to share with the world.
“Go Browns!” She replied the optimistic cheer of support for her beloved professional American football team from Cleveland, Ohio.
Diane was swaying and in the low light it took a few tries to secure satisfactory focus on her eyes. While taking her picture the woman in eye glasses hopped into the frame. Diane affectionately put her arm around the newcomer’s shoulder and they beamed a happy expression of enchantment. We didn’t make time to chat after I collected Diane’s email address and her friend’s name was never revealed to me. There was too much going on all around us. Literally. Diane had balloons to admire, and I had more photogenic moments to capture.