(Originally published in 2014, with new cartoons.)
We have a friend, Theo, in Texas who used to be an accountant for an oil company. He wasn’t wealthy, but his job gave him access to a private plane & pilot. He invited Bud & me to join him & his wife, Lynn, on a trip to the Grand Old Opry to celebrate his 50th birthday. He sent out the plane to pick us up in Los Angeles. (Flying in a private plane is lovely. It should be on everyone’s bucket list. I love when the pilot carries my luggage to the plane & asks when we would like to take off!!)
We spent a few days in their home & then it was off to Nashville. I was his “official” photographer & took lots of pictures of the birthday boy with the performers. Everyone was “down home” & friendly. It was a blast!! We then had OUR pilot fly us to New Orleans for more fun & lots of great food. A few days there & it was time to go home. On the private plane, of course.
We had such a marvelous time, a really nice thank you gift was in order. I had taken my full length “mink” coat on the trip with me. Even though this was before the days of PETA, it was not a real fur. It was a man-made mink that looked exactly like a real one. (Another friend had a real mink in the same color. I put mine next to hers & you couldn’t tell where one stopped & the other started. The color & texture were identical.) Theo had insisted on no gifts, but Lynn loved my coat so we decided to send one to her, with his permission. He kept it a secret from his wife.
Her cleaning woman was at her house when United Parcel rang the bell. She told Lynn that there was a package for her. When Lynn saw who had sent it, she told the cleaning woman that she knew that it would be something nice & to sit down & watch while she opened it. Lynn said her cleaning woman’s face almost hit the floor when she pulled out what seemed to be a full length mink coat!! The woman asked her why we had sent it. She told her we were very nice people & that we sent it because we knew she would like it--& that it was a “hostess” thank you present.