As I was being congratulated by so many, 2 men stepped out of the crowd, and they asked to speak to the crowd and it was the Chief Pilot himself and his assistant. I didn’t think they even knew me, as big as we had gotten in numbers of pilots.
Anyway, The old Chief said the most laudatory things about me and the Chief was holding this beautiful plaque with my name on it, my wings on it, congratulations on it, and a personal letter signed by our President Dasburg himself thanking me for 28 years of grateful service to Northwest Airlines. It was a moment never to be forgotten. This highly coveted plaque hangs proudly over my desk in our home. A final reminder of a career filled with many accomplishments and memorable instances never to be forgotten. Oh how I miss those wonderful, talented people I was privileged to work with. The crews of Northwest Airlines were the best. Talented and friendly and after a 5 day trip with them we became lifelong friends.
We all broke up the gate reception and adjourned to an Embassy Suites just south of the airport where refreshments and food were served and many more old friends and many, many wonderful co-workers attended. It was indeed an unforgettable moment in my life.
The very next day I checked out with the administration at the General Offices. Back then Northwest did a class thing. They assigned a lady full time just to handle my retirement. There were many hoops to jump through and things to decide. It was a glorious time for sure, especially with the final severance check given to me by this young lady in charge of just my retirement. As my good friend Dan Fritz said to me upon hearing all that went on with the final check out: “Gee-Jerry heaven might not be a lot of fun for you with all the fun you had retiring.”