This one has relatively little to do with aviation and much to do with inspiration.
When I was a kid, my folks took me to see John F. Kennedy speak. It was during the 1960 campaign, I was all of four. I don’t remember what he said, but I remember being there and seeing him (and going to a diner that night for dinner!). This past summer, I drove by the place where I heard him speak and it was all so familiar.
Anyway, I don’t ever remember wanting to be involved in anything but government and public service. I think it is fair to say that I might be the youngest person in America directly inspired by JFK.
A lot of that came back last night watching the reruns of JFK’s inaugural speech, 50 years ago yesterday. And, I remember the way I felt when I saw him in 1960, and the way I felt during those next three years, as if it was all yesterday.
Obviously, the first three jobs I held, for two senators and a governor, fit into the traditional model of government and public service. But one of the reasons the job I have now, and the airport industry in general, appeal to me is that what we do is all about service. Serving the transportation needs of the community, bolstering economic growth and employment, and by doing so helping make possible the resources necessary to meet critical community needs such as education, health care, mental health, the environment, and so forth.
So, thanks JFK for the inspiration you gave to me, and to so many others all those years ago.