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o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6 A L I V E E A S T B A Y 25 Sully readily admits that he was initially uncomfortable with the amount of public interest and adulation he was receiving. “I wasn’t prepared for all the attention, nor did I understand the magnitude of what was happening. I’m not a celebrity, nor did I aspire to be one, but I’m willing to do what I need to at this time to try and generate as much good as possible from this opportunity.” Upon his recent return from Washington D.C., Sully, Lorrie and I sat in the Sullenberger’s living room on a sun filled afternoon—the same room where Katie Couric and the 60 Minutes camera crew was set up roughly four weeks prior. Intentionally, we didn’t touch on the events of January 15th , but instead focused on how the outcome of that day has forever changed the trajectory of their lives. As the outpouring of support and interest started to pick up speed, the Sullenbergers agreed that they wouldn’t allow the recent event in their lives to change them personally. That was apparent, firsthand, when the Sullenberger’s pool maintenance man knocked on the door and awkwardly asked if it would be okay to speak to Sully for a minute. Sully politely asked if we could interrupt the interview and made his way over to the front door. The brief exchange between the two men was unpretentious as Sully assured the gentleman, who was obviously in awe and unsure of what to say, that he was fine just talking with him like it was any other day, “pre- January 15th.” Fortunately the public’s attention has been respectful and courteous. Unlike an actor or athlete who, to some degree, must court the spotlight, Sully believes people have respected their privacy because they don’t have that air of entitlement. They do admit to the need to adjust their time allowances when going out in public because of the sheer number of people that respectfully want to shake his hand or request an autograph or photo. “We were at Costco recently and people were shocked to see us,” Lorrie playfully said, “We still need to shop!” Both Sully and Lorrie know that their lives will get back to normal in time, but they seem more than willing to provide people with that “feel good” positive energy so many of us desperately need right now. While the Sullenbergers have hired a PR team to assist them with chronicling the huge number of requests they receive daily, they have final say on any new projects or commitments. Other than an


AliveOct2016
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