|In memory of:
||From Graham and Pat Bell. New Zealand
I would like to share with you all as to how Barbara and I became friends.
She had read my Profile on an ICQ chat program Indicating my lifetime career in aviation.
I had read Barbara’s Profile indicating her career in the Royal Canadian Air Force
A common interest. What better reason to start a chat from so far away? Let’s go for it.
And that was about 23 years ago.
Morning chats usually during my breakfast time. I had two builders in the house doing renovations and even they started the day with a good morning, Barb and a quick chat while I made tea.
Year 2000. My dream to attend the Oshkosh Airshow. Also, my dream to see Concord fly at the show for its first visit and then later be able to skite to Wing Commander Barb. Concord was going to do scenic flights for those who had enough gold to do so. Sadly, the crash in France put paid to Concords visit.
How I met Barbara’s 3. After Oshkosh Barbara offered to come with Donita to Toronto to meet my flight. My flight was via Chicago and then connecting to Toronto. (I NOW HATE CHICAGO). Off loaded at 0900 hrs., Told to go to gate 27 and that was a long way away dragging a bag. Waited in the que for seats that filled up ahead of me. Then sent back to Gate 3, Guess what? No seats. This went on from gate to gate until around midnight. (I HATE CHICAGO) Meantime I had become firm que up friends with Guigo who was a first-class ticket holder from Frankfurt to Toronto. He was also in the same que as us plebs riding economy. He had kindly lent me his cellphone to call Barbara and Donita. Guess what? They had never turned it on. As you all know our Barb can be a tadd impatient at times and of consequence she went back home. Heck, they had only been waiting 10 hours. So, on day one in Canada I didn't get to meet Barbara and Donita.
But what do you think of this? At check-in at about 1 am the lady behind the counter said Hey I recognise that accent. Didn't, I see you yesterday at 9 am. You still waiting? I have been home and back starting another shift. I am putting you to the top of the list. (It was then that I stopped hating Chicago) So I finally got to Toronto at 2 am, but my bag didn't. Filled out claim form and walked up the concourse everyone else had cleared and gone. As I walked up, I saw the only two people in the whole waiting area, after all it was 2 am. I cheekily yelled out to the couple and said how I wish you guys were waiting for me. Are you Graham he said? I could have rushed up and kissed them both. I had met Rankin and Alex.
After a bus trip to Trenton to meet Barbara and another day passed before I met Donita.
Glen, I had met at Petawawa and on our second trip to Canada Glen, bless his sox waited so patiently in “Accident & Emergency” reception for more than 6 hours with me before I could get plastered.
Pat and I enjoyed immensely our trip to Canada meeting and staying with many family and ex-military friends of Barbs from Niagara to New Foundland. Likewise on Barbara’s two trips to New Zealand we took her almost everywhere. My photos show just some of the 5000 collection I have.
To all of Barbs own. Glen & Kate, Donita & Jack, Rankin& Alex, Anita, Jinny, Rae & Marc, Kailea and Kiwi Any and all their families plus all the ones in between that I have missed out. Pat and I offer our most sincere condolences. We all have lost a special person. For me in particular we shared so many uncountable hours on Skype and Messenger that it was almost a daily ritual.
Skype during my breakfast time will never be the same. Unless she calls me with her new address.
Love to you all
Graham & Pat