Today is October first, the first day of the rest of my life... now, what am I going to do? Just a short report to let everyone know that I'm done and that at some time in the future may write more in depth about the day. I'm really not ready to just yet.
My last trip was a roundtrip between Detroit and Nagoya. Delta, meaning my DTW base manager Scott Harris was great and offered to secure most any trip that I wanted, including seats for my wife Linda and a water canon salute back in DTW. I passed on this however due to logistics within my family and simply flew my last assigned trip. Frankly, I didn't want any fanfare. His offer was most generous and if I were still flying London, Paris or Frankfurt I'd have accepted his offer.
This is the cockpit crew for the first leg of this trip. Rob is sitting behind me, Jill is in the first officers seat and Paul, who will be retiring soon is behind Jill. Although I've seen Rob around the property for years, this is the first time that we'd met; he serves the pilot group as a 747 check airman as well. In fact it was my first trip with all of these pilots and they went out of there way to make this trip memorable.
This is my flight attendant crew over to Nagoya with many of the same faces returning as well. I mentioned in the brief that this may be my last trip and they went out of their way to make it a celebration. A wonderful crew, thank-you.
We're moments away from push back at Nagoya here to fly the Anjyo Reversal departure. At this point it hasn't quite penetrated my brain that this will be my last airline flight. Jill is in the right seat, Jeff is in the jump seat and the other captain, Jerry is taking the picture. Jill and I will fly the first half of the flight until passing Anchorage, when Jeff and Jerry will return to the cockpit and continue to DTW. As you might have imagined, when Jill and I returned to the cockpit just prior to the top of descent, Jerry got up and offered me his seat and the landing. Again, much appreciated.
I had very little trouble making it through the flight until the flight attendants, congregated by door two at the end of the flight, gathered round and presented me with a card that they'd purchased in Nagoya. Their kindness was overwhelming and I did my best to maintain my composure. After all, I am.... or was a Captain!
To all of you who left comments on the previous blog and sent emails, thank-you as well for your generosity and taking the time over the years to read my stuff, write and send pictures. It's been a privilege for me to spend time with you.
But now it's time to say good-bye and see what lies beyond the next horizon. I wish you all well and thank-you for your camaraderie.