TRANSCONTINENTAL AIR TRANSPORT
From my early childhood, I have been fascinated with airplanes. My 1939 Ford TriMotor 15-minute airplane ride that took off from a cow pasture just south of Clovis underpass set the tone. That was followed by X-Acto knives, balsa wood, tissue paper, and Testor's Airplane Cement and Testor's Dope. And, later by visits to Clovis Air Base Open House where we were allowed to climb on and around B-24's and B-29's to our heart's content.
The photo of me below is not that of an aviator on a mission. The "pilot helmet" was useful to keep ears warm on a cold winter's day, and the indispensable attached goggles were especially useful just about anytime to keep sand out of your eyes during those regularly occurring springtime Eastern New Mexico sandstorms.
And now, fast forward to today. Since about 1995, I have been attending a weekly current affairs discussion group that meets at our local community center. A group of 15-20 of us hash over world problems, arrive at no solutions to any of them, and then return the next week to repeat the process. It moves the grey matter around. One of the ladies and I have become friends over the past year, and in the course of our discussions she discovered that I have a deep interest in anything that flies. Well, Shazam! It turns out that her daughter has her own airplane (Bombardier Global 6000) and her daughter invited me to visit and tour it just prior to her departure on a 3-week worldwide trip....nonstop from San Diego to Dublin, then to Switzerland, the Middle East, India, Bhutan, and other intermediate stops.
I arrived at the airport about an hour prior to her arrival, and the plane captain greeted me in the terminal and invited me aboard. He showed me all around, introduced me to the co-pilot and flight attendant, and all I can say is "Wow". Then, the owner who I had never before met, arrived about 45 minutes later, graciously greeted me, and gave me a hug like we had known each other since the 1940's in Clovis. I am seriously thinking about hiring her mother as my publicity agent because she must have given me a tremendous build up with her daughter for which I am enormously grateful
After her return, my friend's daughter invited my wife, Olga, and me for dinner just before Christmas. She does business worldwide in international risk analysis. I asked her to not forget that my background includes prior experience as a Department of State Diplomatic Courier, escorting highly classified diplomatic shipments safely around the world. I suggested to her that if ever she is unavailable and needs someone to fly on her plane to pick up or deliver something domestically or internationally, I am her guy to do so discretely and safely.
FOR MIL'S PLACE:
Robert Stebbins, March 8, 2017