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Coasting through winter, and birthday greeting to a friend

February 3, 2011



Today there's a cold and gusting north wind rattling the palm fronds outside my window here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The blizzard of 2011 that marched through the Midwest and on up the eastern seaboard yesterday brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to our area. That was followed by a crash dive by the thermometer, a plunge from almost seventy in front of the storm to today's high reading of thirty eight. Out my window I see some neighboring denizens of the RV park, marching miserably by our fifth wheel, dressed like Byrd at the South Pole. The radio has been warning of freezing drizzle north of the coast and I take comfort in the snugness of the RV and the fact that I don't have to drive anywhere today.

My nomadic winter is right on schedule this year. November and December were spent in Austin, Texas, at the funky Pecan Grove RV park on Barton Springs Road, right in the heart of the restaurant/entertainment district. January and February have us here in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, close to the casinos and the beaches of Biloxi, and March and April are scheduled for South Carolina in the Charleston area. May first and spring time should bring me home to West Virginia in time for the good weather and until the bare branches of November have me following the geese again. I am truly able to be 'where the weather suits my clothes', as someone once said in a song, and I find that a real blessing. How wonderful that technology lets those of us whose jobs will fit the gypsy life work from anywhere.

I'm plugging away at my desk today, catching up on the myriad of details that pile up when I'm busy. I find that the South American market has remained strong, fueled by their hardy economy, their strong currency against our dollar and our bargains in an aircraft market battered by our own bad economy. One of my customers from Brazil called a couple of days ago with an AOG need for a hard to find part, and I've spent several hours on the phone and the web trying to find it. I finally locate one and get it sent on its way south.

This task and returning of emails and phone calls occupy me for much of the day, then I take the time to write a greeting for the 'Birthday Book' that a daughter is putting together for her dad's sixtieth birthday. I won't be able to be there of course, but I write a bit about the days that we worked together, I as a Cessna rep and he as part owner of a Cessna dealership located in New York. Since it isn't too personal and since I'm not disclosing his name, (the statue of limitations are up anyway) I'll include it for you to read, as a snapshot of an earlier time in the aircraft business. I'm sure old Xxxx won't mind.

Hello Xxxx, happy sixtieth! Wow, you used to be so much younger than I. It must have something to do with economy of scale, don't you think?

I was thinking back on the years we spent working together at Xxxxxx Aviation and I have to say I was probably miscast as a mentor for the young birdman that you were at that time. In retrospect I perhaps shouldn't have taught you to roll the Cessna twins since I don't recall many trips with you afterwards when the horizon didn't revolve several times.

The fact is though, that you were an apt pupil in all the misbegotten aeronautical deeds that I taught you. Take buzzing for example. You learned quickly all the important details, don't hit the ground, don't go back for a second pass and so forth. I think one of my proudest moments was when I heard that a state cop had given you a ticket for low flying up at the island.

You quickly picked up my method of preflight planning too, and I recall ferrying a no radio 421 back from Wichita with you. Someone (not me) had left the charts in the wing locker and no one (not you) would get out and retrieve them during the taxi to the runway. We wandered all over the eastern US before finally landing at Binghamton at dark with the low level fuel lights winking at us.

And I should mention those many and memorable evenings at the Red Lion Inn in Endicott? I forget, did we get banned or just kicked out when you ordered a pizza delivered to us there that night? I don't think I've ever seen an Innkeeper so mad.

Well my friend, all of that was a while ago and I hate to say it, but the time will go even faster for you now. My best wishes are with you for many happy returns of this day and I look forward to seeing you soon.


Your pal,


Steve

Steve Weaver Aircraft Sales - Route 3 Box 696 - Phillipi, West Virginia - Phone 304-457-4523 - Fax 304-457-4799 For a restorative vacation for both your body and your soul, consider a week on the banks of the unforgettable Tygart River, in the heart of West Virginia. Click for more.

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