May 1, 2022
I am amazed how things seem to work out for me time and time again! (Although not always as I want or expect). For many months, my wife Barbara and I were scheduled to attend a “Vision Summit 2022” in California presented by the nonprofit group Focus on the Family. For many years I have been aware of the organization and have heard its founder Jim Dobson and current President Jim Daly on the radio sharing good old family values. The day we were to depart for California, a new Boeing Business Jet (“BBJ”) customer wanted to meet. Because of this I changed our plans so I could meet the customer for lunch at JAKE’s JOINT at KACC’s facility in Ardmore, Oklahoma on our way to California. Barbara and I loaded our luggage into a chartered Lear 40, had our seat belts fastened and were ready to go when the captain informed us that there was some sort of engine instrument problem and we wouldn’t be able to make the trip in that aircraft. All I could think about was the new BBJ customer who was waiting for me at JAKE’s JOINT in Ardmore. On the inside, I was a little frazzled, but I kept my composure. The charter pilot felt my pain and offered to fly us to Ardmore in a twin engine Beechcraft Baron. I felt this unsolicited offer was a real blessing for at least the first leg of our journey. Barbara and I immediately climbed into the Baron and I was only a few minutes late to my lunch appointment and got to visit with the appreciative customer. Since the Baron could not carry us and all of our baggage, while we had lunch I had the pilot return to Dallas and retrieve our heavy luggage so it would be with us on the next leg of our journey, assuming there would be a next leg!
Four different people were frantically seeking a charter aircraft to take us to California, but they could find no charter available in Texas or Oklahoma. Rather than give up, I continued to push, which is the story of my life. I had a call placed to a customer (who is also a friend) that operates a fleet of aircraft based in California. By the grace of God, he had a Gulfstream IV jet that had flown a charter to Texas and was about to head back to California empty! Within two hours of our call for help, a beautiful fifteen passenger Gulfstream was sitting on the ramp in Ardmore ready to take us to California. I have to tell you that I was humbled and embarrassed stepping on board of this beautiful jet. The aircraft was headed home empty, but by the grace of God we were able to hitch a ride. I just cannot explain how this happens other than it’s part of “the big plan.” We arrived on time and the four-day meeting was heartfelt and enlightening. Barbara and I were blessed to spend some time with several members of the Focus on the Family staff. We got to hear from people such as marriage author Greg Smalley, television commentator Tucker Carlson and former United States Secretary of State and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo. On his way back home to Colorado Springs, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly and his Executive Assistant Terry Mertink made a visit to our ranch to explore how we can support their mission of focusing on families’ needs and values. It is so very important to all of us to preserve our culture of service to God, Country and Family as we make a positive difference. In my opinion, there really are angels around us and we can be one to someone else. I just don’t understand how it all happens, but thanks be to God, from whom all blessings flow!
Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.