Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree~

In October of 1982
two cargo pilots were told their jobs 
were unexpectedly done for the winter.  
The economy had changed and the cargo department folded with the downturn.

Both were young.
One was single, the other recently married.
His wife had a brand new college degree and took the only job she could find--
wrapping Christmas presents at Steven Fryberger, 
a local department store.

In November a Hawkins and Powers Boeing C97 landed at 
Big Horn Airways.
 They were going to haul 200 Christmas trees that were being trucked to town.
The load was to be flown from Sheridan, Wyoming to Columbia.

But, the paperwork had a snag, and they couldn't clear customs.
Big PrObLeM

They only had about a four week window before the trees were out of season.
WhAt To Do, WhAt To Do...

So the pilots came to take the gift-wrapper to lunch one day. 

As she remembers it,
she knew something was on their minds, but they didn't seem to know what to say.
Not one who likes suspense, she asked what was up.

And they launched their idea..

Buy 100 of the trees for $2 each and sell them.
They would be $8 from the lot 
and $10 if they were delivered.
{ This was 1982, remember ;o) }

She, being from Christmas Tree country, 
said "It is a great idea, we should do it!",
or something like that.

The next few weeks were busy with the holiday season,
mostly involving trees and happy people!

It was a fun adventure
and luckily we sold every one--
even the Charlie Brown tree!

For some strange reason no one else sold trees in town that year
besides the Pilot Man, our friend, Pilot Doug, and me.

The next year was very different
and it seemed there was a Christmas tree lot on every corner.

But Pilot Doug wasn't there to see it.
Can you guess what we did in his memory?

Yep, we planted beautiful Christmas trees!

Douglas Fir.....


  1. Your story while beautiful broke my heart. I'm so sorry that you lost your friend Pilot Doug. His memory definitely lives on, tall and proud in those wonderful Douglas firs.
    That last picture is very poignant.

  2. It was a sad time, but we still cherish him and his memories. I hadn't noticed before I posted this, but the little guy in the last photo is now the age our friend was when we lost him...
    Thanks for your kind words :-)


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