Friday, February 29, 2008

Membership Has Its Privileges

It was about 5 pm on Thursday afternoon that Aaron interrupted my sleep (I was scheduled to work the mid-shift). He and a friend were on their way to see the St. Louis Blues hockey game when his newly acquired Del Sol broke down. He was about an hour and twenty minutes from campus and on Interstate 70.

He was also about 30 minutes from a very good friend that I've written about before. Chad was also sleeping prior to his mid at the St. Louis TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach CONtrol). I felt bad about waking him up but figured that he would be able to help me out. It turned out that Aaron was at the exit of another air traffic controller that is much more mechanically inclined that Chad (Bilbo's dog is more mechanically inclined than Chad). Chad calls Brian. Brian calls Aaron. Brian goes to Aaron and figures that the car needs to go to a shop for what will turn out to be several hundred dollars' worth of repairs. Brian makes arrangements for a tow to a reputable repair shop, takes Aaron and his friend home for dinner and lets them wait for friends to come pick them up from Columbia College. Brian even offered to drive them back if they couldn't find anybody to come get them.

Aaron's friend that was with him is an international student from Bolivia. Even though he didn't make it to his first hockey game, he had plenty to talk about with Brian. Brian has been to Bolivia on mission trips and knows the area that Matias is from!

Here's the thing: the only reason that Brian and I know each other is that we have both been active in NATCA (the controllers' union). I've worked with Chad at two different facilities, but never with Brian. Over the years, I've met Brian at many different NATCA functions and truly believe that he would have helped Aaron even if he didn't know me. But knowing each other and having a mutual respect for one another is a big plus. And it is nice to know that there are great folks that will go out of their way to help out one of your kids when you can't be there.

Aaron will be without his car for a few days and he had to postpone a weekend trip to Chicago to see his girlfriend, but he is safe and sound and back at school. A huge thanks to Brian and to Chad for taking care of Aaron and Matias.



Amanda said...

Aaron is lucky to have such a well networked dad! I better build up my own network for my little Aaron.

Kevin said...

Is there ever a good time for car trouble? Especially not before the dreaded midshift. I'm glad you had connections in place for your son.

What sort of trouble did the car have?

John said...

Timing belt.

Mike said...

Murphy was probably riding in the car with them and decided to invoke his law.

Sicilian said...

I love people who have connections. . . you John. . . are well connected. . . I am thankful that your can call your friens in time of need.