It may be time to sell my '03 Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummings diesel. There is nothing wrong with the truck other than normal wear from 14 years of being a hard working truck. The reason I'm thinking of selling is with the motorhome I'm no longer pulling RV's and while the truck is set up to be a toad it really isn't needed and MsBubba's RAV4 would make a better toad. That's cold logic. But sometimes life isn't just about facts and reason.
Back in '03 my corporate flying job of the previous 20 years had gone south and I was flying LearJets for an Air Ambulance company and bemoaning my fate. That is until one morning I awoke to the realization I was having fun for the first time in ages and at the same time doing good. That the folks in the back, patients, family or medical crew had an appreciation for what the flight crew up front was doing.
I was no longer worrying about finding a Wall Street Journal in Liberal KS before an early morning flight, or being sure the F.O. had picked up fresh milk for the coffee and not creamer or half and half. And of course the worse offense was if the FBO sent a "Limo" instead of a "Towncar" to meet the aircraft on landing. Working your way through, around, and over a line of Thunderstorms that stretched from Houston to Chicago and getting them to their meeting on time without sloshing or spilling their coffee with the fresh milk all over their Wall Street Journal was just expected but never forget the fresh milk.
Enough of that, on to the story of the '03 Dodge Ram. I had dropped by the airport office to talk to Travis about the next day's flight, he mentioned that a new flight nurse would be working the back with him and Arturo would be my F.O.. A small digression, at the time I had been single for some time, working with The Houston Center for Photography and on its board of directors, and I had a few friends "with benefits" along with my flying job. In other words having a really good life in a wonderful city to be single in.
While Travis was talking in walked the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was in the B&C flight uniform of black pants and a red pullover with the Air Ambulance logo, topping it all was this wild mop of curly blonde hair. Travis introduced us and said Pat would be flying with us tomorrow. On the next day's flight there wasn't much time to visit but we, Pat and I, did get a few moments to talk. We had a few more flights together, on each I could see how wonderfully kind and caring Pat was with the family and patient. It went along this way for a month or so. Most of the flights for B&C Aviation were out and backs with only an occasional RON (remain overnight). The average flight would have a little time for the crew to visit while waiting for the ambulance to deliver the patient and family but not a lot.
We had a flight to Reno to pick up a patient for delivery to Florida, he was going home to die. Because of duty time limits we had to position the Lear in Reno the night before and get our required "Rest" before flying from Reno to Florida. The crew was the same as the first flight Pat and I did together, Travis in back with Pat and Arturo up front with me. In Reno we had a normal “crew dinner” afterwards Pat and I walked around the hotel and casino getting to know each other. Our good night at her room’s door was a little awkward.
Once back in Houston we talked a couple of times and finally made a date for dinner. At the time I had a Chevy Work Truck, a great truck but a little noisy. Driving to dinner and home I couldn’t understand a word Pat said, the noise from the truck, my years of sitting between airplane engines, Pat’s soft voice and Scottish accent made understanding what she said impossible. What to do, what to do…..My usual answer, throw money at the problem. The next day I went truck shopping and came home with the Dodge.
A long way around to why I’m having a hard time selling the Dodge, it has been too much of our life together. It moved us from Houston to McMinnville and to Tucson. It has pulled our pull behinds and 5th wheels all over the West. It will be like losing a good and faithful friend. Without the Dodge there may have never been a MsBubba.