Sunday, May 23, 2010
For the past 4 days we've been in Scottsdale, AZ. Honeybuns had a business trip and I like to tag along. It is my opportunity to interact with people he does business with most of whom are long time friends connected to each other via the airplane business. Since I've been tagging along for several years now I know some of them and look forward to spending time with them, too. What a great eclectic group of people!
One delightful fellow is the founder and chief operating officer of a non-profit organization named GRACE ON WINGS. This doctor along with his doctor wife own and operate a FREE air ambulance service for folks needing immediate transportation for medical treatment. His airplane is equipped with the latest medical technology and staffed by top-notch professional medical people, all volunteers. The stories he tells of how this effort is financed makes one laugh aloud in simple unbelief. The number of people he has helped is simply incredible!
Another friend is a funny, funny Jewish man that has just planted a vineyard in Napa Valley. He knows nothing about grapes but he's reading books and has tales of "babysitting" the vines between flights from his home in San Francisco and his new house in Mexico. He's positive that in three years, when his grapes are ready to harvest, that he will know everything there is to know about making wine. He's going to practice the art of winemaking with his neighbors grapes this year. He's already purchased barrels for his new product. The man he has hired to help him in this adventure doesn't speak a word of English, somehow they communicate by hand signals. When he begins to tell these stories I'm sorry that we didn't sell tickets. He's hilarious, and tremendously successful in all he does. There is NO doubt in my mind that he'll be sticking his private labels on his bottles in no time.
Our head also began to spin when another comrade told of his latest financial investment. He's in ca-hoots with the INVENTOR of the 360 degree visual "goggles" designed so the "pilot" of the drones used in Afghanistan and Iraq can see the total landscape. The "pilot" is usually sitting in a cubicle somewhere a world away from his unmanned plane. It's a video game with severe and very important consequences. How can it be??? Very interesting!
That conversation was then followed by the "oohs and aahs" of news of the new aerodynamic sport: Rocket Racing! That's another technological wonder that gained attention from that group.
Another pilot friend told of his son who was the ringmaster of a traveling circus based in Oklahoma a few years ago. He's since run away from the circus and joined the deep-sea treasure hunters. He's now their sonar master and you probably saw him on the Discovery Channel not too long ago.
Another's grandson just opened up a posh restaurant in Scottsdale and we helped them celebrate that event with a last-night-in-town dinner.
As we left we were loaded down with a box of grapefruit the size of Frisbees and lemons as big small pumpkins that another pilot had grown in his Scottsdale backyard.
He had a great time telling us about the pomegranates, figs, and peaches also in his orchard! His passion is to share the bounty.
The list goes on and on.
I've come to believe that the world is full of folks that are making exciting things happen. We just happened to cross paths with some at this particular event.
I'm so encouraged! There are some very creative people that just keep inventing new things, coming up with new ideas, working hard and focusing on tomorrow and how great it will be. And having fun all along the way! It's healthy to be around such brains. I had a really good time.
Added to the intellectual treat was of course unbelievable fine shopping, beautiful pools surrounded by flowering everythings, gourmet food and sunshine that just never quits.
Scottsdale, AZ is an oasis in the desert for body, mind and soul.