I recently met a retired science teacher from Cudahy and Caledonia. He used to set a few desks on fire the first couple days of school in order to get the attention of his MPS students.
Mostly now he’s into moths and butterflies. He raises them, if that’s how one says it. He’s got butterflies from Kenya, China and another country that starts with a C or K (Canada? Kenosha?). And, although he’s been to the Mexican wintering ground a couple times, he raises nothing as mundane as Monarchs either.
It’s hard not to talk about climate change and pesticides when you’re dealing in butterflies. He seemed to be a well rounded fellow.
He was on his way in to see the cardiologist that afternoon. He’d had a big cardio blow out two months ago and was recuperating nicely. Healthcare was on our agenda also. It’s a nice ride to Caledonia. We spent a few minutes and let the conversation flow on its own.
Last Friday I met my first bank president - and told him so. It’s fun to make people feel special. In his little neck of the woods the economy has been turning around - slowly - the last six months. Always glad to hear it from a guy in the saddle rather than a talking head.
He’d just taken on a local manufacturer that had gotten a contract to sell locally-made stuff to China. There’s probably a whole story in there somewhere.
We also talked about the trouble that we, the people, are having this political season when politicians toss out phrases like ‘small business’ without first defining the measurement. He thought that the way government defines small business is anything less that 500 employees or 250 million dollars in sales. With that definition he said that his particular small and local bank could not really handle a small business that big.
Yesterday, another first, a customer (let’s call her Mary - for reasons of national security) had just come from the ICU where her best friend’s mother, Joan, lay sedated on a ventilator. Mary grew up in the neighborhood with her friend and the mother. Old Joan is almost a second mom to Mary.
Mary was dressed in green fatigues and we were headed for the east side of the airport - the 128th Refueling Wing. She said I should just drop her at the gate. She’d walk in. She was carrying a heavy bag. I told her the story of having been saluted through that particular gate already and knew the drill.
“Well, alright then, you can drive me to my building.”
Besides being a mom, Mary is a pilot. She’s been flying refueling tankers for the last twelve years. Why did we have to wait until the end of the ride to find that out?
And, I got saluted a second time. Yes, I know the young guard post guy was looking at her, Ma’am, but I leaned in and grinned. (Not really).
Also, yesterday I had a chance to talk shop with a couple professional drivers. One is a 36 year veteran taxicab driver. I don’t think I want his job. The other is a 4 year part time suburban pizza driver. Also, a little too crazy. Too much randomness in both of those gigs. I have hostages in my shuttle. They have to be nice. We have their car.
More shuttle stories here: