Earlier this week Tommy came by.
Tommy worked for me in 1983-’84 as a T-38 Check Pilot. It was great to see him and we talked nonstop for nearly two days! I don’t know if there is anything more precious to me than good friends…
As we talked several people from our pasts surfaced. One of them was Lisa D., a check airman at Northwest Airlines (NWA). I flew with her on my Initial Operating Experience (IOE) following my Boeing 757 initial training in September 1995.
Lisa always came across as very “straight-laced,” almost “uptight.” Some might interpret her demeanor as “professional” and become intimidated by her. I wasn’t. I actually enjoyed my training with her.
At the end of our 3-day trip I asked her if she was finished (flying) also. She told me she had another IOE to administer, to Art K. As it turned out, Art was a B-757 classmate of mine, and a great guy. Also former Air Force. Lisa then asked me ‘what he was like,’ and I walked through that door with reckless abandon!
“Oh,” I began, “he’s a great guy, you will enjoy flying with him. There is however, one thing he is kinda sensitive about.”
“What’s that,” she asked, taking the bait.
“Well,” I continued, “he becomes real sensitive when people stare at his glass eye.” And she took it! “It is so ‘real looking’ that it is very hard to detect,” I said. I then saw her retreat into deep reflection.
“I didn’t think you could fly with just one eye,” she challenged.
“Well, usually, you can’t,” I countered. “However, he had ‘bags’ of flying experience when he lost it, so acquiring an FAA waiver wasn’t that hard for him. And it hasn’t presented any problems for him since.” And I dropped it.
She reflected a bit more, then resigned that it did indeed, make sense. So, we wished each other ‘good luck,’ and parted. As I was walking up the jet bridge I met Art on his way down. We exchanged pleasantries, and he asked me what it was like to fly with Lisa.
I told him I had no problems with her at all, except that I thought she tended to stare at me a bit more than usual…but maybe it was juts my imagination. And with that, I left them to their own.
A few months later Art and I ran into each other in Detroit. We chatted a bit, then he asked me, “What did you tell Lisa about me?” By that time I had forgotten all about it all; then I began laughing!
“Oh, I just told her you were ‘sensitive’ about your glass eye!”
“You asshole,” he replied, “she just kept staring at me, and staring at me, and staring at me – until I finally asked her if I was doing something ‘wrong!'” Oh, I can only imagine… LOL!
Apparently after a while they both figured it out, and had a nice ‘laugh’ over it all! And with the “feedback,” so did I!
A few months later I ran into Lisa – and as much as she hated to admit it, she acknowledged that I pulled off ‘a good one’ on her. She went on to tell me that she ‘bought it’ because she couldn’t even imagine anyone pulling something like that on her, on a check ride! Well, she didn’t know me…