For 10 minutes during the ninth annual Four Horsemen Poker Run in Oshkosh, Wis., I could not catch my breath. My heart froze. My hands shook.
Because that was the amount of time it took me to find out if photographer Pete Boden, our good friend and key contributor, was still alive.
Allow me to explain.
Glenn Kennedy ran his one-of-a-kind Outerlimits SV 43 in the Four Horsemen Poker Run with his friend Justin Hart, Boating magazine writer Charles Pluddeman and the author. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
As guests of Glenn Kennedy, his buddy Justin Hart, Boating magazine writer Charles Pluddeman and I were scooting across Lake Winnebago in Kennedy’s sleek Outerlimits SV 43 sportboat at a cool 85 mph. We were just 10 minutes away from the event’s lunch stop in downtown Oshkosh when my phone vibrated with an incoming call from Vinnie Diorio, a longtime friend who also owns an SV 43.
I struggled to hear him over the wind noise, but the three words I did not miss were “helicopter went down.”
So for 10 minutes, I waited with nothing but the darkest thoughts imaginable (I’ll have to identify Pete’s body. How can I reach his girlfriend? What about any family members?) running through my head until we reached the no-wake zone and I could call Boden.
And then he answered. He said hello. I don’t remember much beyond that because my emotions got the better of me. Journalism took a back seat to joy—and tears of relief.