February 1, 2023

Happy Valentine’s Day! As long as I can remember, I always get excited in the month of February (in my own way). I have fond memories of making Valentine’s Day cards and sometimes getting candy sweet tarts when I was a child and as an adult having dinner with my special “someone” who has worn a heart shaped diamond on her wedding ring finger for almost 40 years. February 28th was also my mother’s birthday!

In February, I look back in a melancholy mood at all the couples I have been blessed to have known over the years. I think about how some stayed together and others didn’t. Relationships sometimes remind me of wine. A glass of vinegar-tasting wine and a glass of high-priced wine both look the same to me but they are very different, just like many relationships. I wonder about the things we do to preserve both and wine and relationships, if we do anything at all. I have difficulty understanding why some wines and relationships get better over time and others get worse as they age. 

Recently a dear friend shared with me at his home an assortment of wines that had been given to him, along with a very well stocked bar, by his former employer. My friend is an older pilot and his employer owned a private Boeing jet. When the employer sold the jet, he told my friend to keep the wine and bar contents since he could not take the collection back to his home country. The names on the bottles were names that I had only heard in movies or seen when hosting clients who were self-proclaimed wine experts in fancy overpriced restaurants. With each bottle my friend opened, there was a moment of suspense before determining if the wine was drinkable or had gone bad. It amazes me how something that was once was considered world class becomes worthless. Isn’t that how business and even life are in many ways? I recall the sayings from “hero to goat” and “hero to zero.”

I think about my relationship with my own “Valentine” in terms of wine. If our life is a wine cellar and each individual memory is considered a bottle in our cellar, there have been times life has dealt us some bitter wine but there have been countless more bottles of fine wine memories, by the grace of God. Faithfully, we are blessed and thankful for both the bitter and good. May we all remember to focus on the good wines in our lives as we deal with the bitter!

As a proud Puerto Rican rum drinker, I must confess that I don’t know a lot about wine. The only wines that I am familiar with are Ripple, MD-2020 (Mad Dog), cheap Zinfandel and communion wine. All of them smell and look about the same to me and give me a headache after two swallows. I will say though that I’ve never had any rum go bad!

Happy Valentine’s Day, straight from my heart and from deep within the heart of Texas!

PS – In the old days you would call the local radio station and request that a specific song be played and dedicated to your sweetheart by name. Here’s my dedication to “Saint” Barbara!

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