Local legend honored along with NASA hero

U.L. "Rip" Gooch gave a speech after receiving an award at the Real Men, Real Heroes fundraiser Tuesday night. Photo courtesy KSN News

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A local legend was honored tonight along with a NASA hero.

It was part of the Real Men, Real Heroes fundraiser.

U.L. “Rip” Gooch was recognized for his life in public service. Gooch served on the Wichita City Council and in the Kansas Senate. He is also credited with starting one of the first black-owned aviation operations.

He seemed to be more impressed by the other honorees, like Dr. Guy Bluford, than by his own tribute.

“Today I was fortunate to have lunch and spend time with Dr. Bluford and that is the major part of this award you give me, is to ask me to be recognized with people that great, is a special recognition,” said Gooch. “Thank you men heroes, go ahead, do what you’re doing you’re doing a great job.”

Dr. Bluford was the first African-American astronaut to fly in space.

The other honoree was Brian Black of Spirit Aerosystems.

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