By Makayla Logsdon/LHHS Journalism Student
From Jan. 10-15, hot air balloons scatter across the sky and soar around town.
One pilot, Jeff Haliczer, shared his passion at Smoketree Elementary School. Haliczer retired from 32 years as a special education teacher before starting this hobby – ballooning.
“It’s what I enjoy. It’s kind of like my passion, and I love sharing it with others. I love helping others understand more about what I like to do,” Haliczer said.
Out of all the balloon-related events Haliczer has attended, Lake Havasu is definitely at the top of his list, along with Gallup, N.M.
Haliczer stands with his dog, Bandit, that has been on more than 160 balloon flights in his lifetime. Makayla Logsdon
The entire school gathers around Haliczer’s trailer, eager to see what the pilot has to show them. Makayla Logsdon/LHHS
Haliczer allows a student to stand in the basket and ignite the flames that help fill the hot air balloons. Because of wind, the balloon couldn’t fly Thursday. Makayla Logsdon/LHHS
A younger student looks at everything inside of the basket of the hot air balloon by a little opening at the bottom. Makayla Logsdon/LHHS
On the inside of his trailer, Haliczer has a map of the United States with stickers showing where he and/or Bandit has flown. Makayla Logsdon/LHHS