October 1, 2019

Many times in my life I have faced what I thought was an unsurmountable challenge that I thought I would never be able to overcome. However, a miracle occurred each time to solve the problem and somehow things all worked out. Many of you have probably faced similar obstacles with similar results. Sometimes we take these events for granted and consider the blessings as just good luck.  The older I get, the more I really think about these “angel moments.” As I look back, I can now recall many of these events and I would like to share two that occurred recently.

Last month my wife Barbara and I were having dinner with two friends.  Despite having known each other for thirty years, the four of us had never been to dinner together before. The man is a highly respected doctor and his wife is a senior partner with a major Dallas law firm. At the beginning of the meal, they told us that they were really stressed out because they had spent the entire day on the telephone trying to help their daughter locate a place to live. She was just entering law school in San Antonio and unexpectedly needed to find a new place. I got up from the table, walked away, pulled out my flip phone and called my goddaughter, who is finishing her residency at a San Antonio hospital and just happened to have an extra bedroom in her home for rent.  Problem solved with two phone calls and God’s favor.  Our friends looked at each other and said, “It’s a God thing.” I sure didn’t disagree!

The second event occurred a couple of weeks ago.  Barbara and I were headed to Coeur d’ Alena, Idaho to visit the pilot of a former customer from my Associated Air Center days.  I had met the man and his wife about 35 years ago when I oversaw the installation of a unique interior into a Boeing aircraft he was flying. The interior had a Jacuzzi in the bedroom, gold plating on most metal surfaces throughout the cabin and a mink bedspread on a bed that stayed level in flight.  There were lots of precious stones and exotic materials used throughout the aircraft. The exterior was painted with a pearl essence paint and 24 karat gold leaf stripes. We pioneered — and installed — the first membrane switches used for aircraft cabin   control switches. I recall the switches and computers that made them work vividly because it cost us twice as much as was budgeted!

My friend has a lot of stories about his days as a pilot, which include his early days flying sea planes in the Pacific delivering supplies to remote islands and his days flying famous people in VIP aircraft. His wife flew with him throughout his career as a flight attendant and spent countless hours serving famous people from all over the world.  This past year they came to Dallas to visit with Barbara and I and I promised them that we would visit them at their home and talk about “old times” as they requested.  Barbara and I had never been to Coeur d’ Alena before.  We flew to Spokane, Washington and as I was getting our rent car for the drive to Coeur d’ Alena, my cell phone rang. It was my son Jarid.  As part of the KING AEROSPACE “Angel Watch Program,” I am to be kept advised whenever anyone in the KING AEROSPACE family has something special to celebrate or is having to deal with a difficult challenge. This knowledge allows me the opportunity to “be present” in some fashion, offer my support and track their journey. Jarid told me that one of our deployed employees had just left Iraq and was headed home because his wife was having emergency surgery in where else but Coeur d’ Alena, Idaho! I was not real surprised as I believed I had just been blessed and assigned a new mission from my boss up above.

Barbara and I went to the hospital to visit the employee and his family. When we arrived, I saw our employee in the hospital lobby. At first, he didn’t recognize me.  He had just arrived after a long flight and we both were in a strange and unfamiliar hospital environment. When he realized that Barbara and I were standing there for him and his wife, his words were “Oh, my God.”   Thankfully, his wife is now on the road to recovery and I completed my mission.  The heartfelt note we received from him after our trip serves as one more reminder why we do what we do.

How do you explain these sort of encounters?  I cannot explain them!  I do know that I have been blessed to have been involved in lots of these situations.  The only thing I can say is “Thanks be to God.”    Maybe if  you take  a few  minutes to reflect back over your  own  life, you  can recall those angels that  helped  you  or the times  that  you were  someone  else’s angel.

As a side note, my Idaho friends shared some aviation stories that I cannot repeat for a few more years. I will tell you that they gave me a book that talks about a “one of a kind” aircraft interior that I helped create many years ago.   The book focuses on several of the “unique” people that I have dealt with over the years.  The title of the book is “The Richest Man in the World” by James Bartholomew. I am told that one of the people described in the book attempted to purchase all the books printed so that the information in them would not be shared.    I really enjoyed the book and it provided me with insight into some of the people and situations that I was dealing with at the time of the interior installation. I had no idea what was taking place behind the scenes! As I continually reflect over my life, it’s safe to say, “There aren’t any accidents!”

Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.