Chapter 273

Thanksgiving was just days away. The moms had big plans for a family feast. Because things had worked out so well at our house last year, it was going to be used again this year. With all the tables, chairs and the setup we used for the Labor Day picnic stacked neatly in the garage, it made sense. The guest list was immense.

The only thing lacking was enough refrigerators to keep the prepared food in. It was an easy fix; Lowes was more than happy to deliver two more of those commercial stainless refrigerators to place in the garage. Since they had rented the shopping center from us, we received a great discount from them.

All of the building materials we needed for the airport came from them, Tony had a open contact. You wash my back and I will return the favor. Tony commented that we must have been getting it at near cost.

The Michigan group had returned home, after careful deliberations for director I had chosen Lemuel Hickman. We were still picking the best we could find, but our arrangement with the agency made the choice even more challenging.

With the fifteen we had already trained plus the fifteen from DHS, we had a start on the 100 needed employees. East Coast was going to start on installation of our camera system the day after Thanksgiving. Cindy and Mark were flying there to supervise the office set up.

Roseanne and Jason were going to join them the following day and interview for the seventy remaining positions out of one hundred and twenty applications that had passed the 1st background checks. Once they had narrowed the pick to 80, DHS was going to look at them. And then they were on to Minnesota for the same thing a week later.

Sixty of the eighty were ex-military. I know it could be viewed as wrong but I had a soft place in my heart. They had given so much and were being offered so little when their time was up and not that long ago. I was in that spot. Training the ex-military was a breeze. A light run through on the physical training and several days’ computer training along with the HR manual should handle most of it. They could follow instructions or take the lead and knew the way things should be done.

The first group of Minnesota applicants was coming back on the plane that carried Roseanne and Jason to Michigan for in depth training at the gym; twelve of the fifteen were ex-military. With Roseanne and Jason gone, Corry and Vicky were going to do the HR training.

The thirty cars had been delivered to the M&M colleges; only 10 of the cars were new. Same as before, older cars from MAAR went to the security department and the MAAR fleet was upgraded by 20 new cars.

Tony and all the Jones & Jones employees were going home for Thanksgiving, taking with them a lot of the equipment. All of the concrete batch plants were now gone along with all the concrete trucks and associated equipment.

There was still some dirt working equipment – as Tony called it – a couple of graders, a dump truck or two. All the big mining dump trucks had been leaving for a week or so loaded on lowboy trailers one at a time.

The final blacktop finish coat was completed the day before the blacktop plants closed for the year.

The maintenance building for support equipment was completed and nearly full. All the equipment that Frank had bought for us on-line was at the site and all of any needed maintenance had been completed.

The experimental snow removal system had been finished and been given the gold star (pun intended) by the engineers and the FAA, all that was needed was snow for a real test.

The finalized Airport emergency plan drawn up by the county had been accepted by the FAA and our insurance company. It was a relief to be able to put the certificate on the wall.

Bob’s Construction work was slowly coming to an end on the terminal building. With the concrete work done and brick work finished all that was left was for the electricians, drywall, painters, and trim out to finish.

Crash’s replacement house was finished. The only thing lacking was the occupancy permit. Crash did not want to move into it and said so flat out.

“I feel like I am part of your special family. I never realized how lonely I was there by myself and how much I missed being part of a family. I am perfectly happy being here and with the room I have,” he said.

I knew the girls felt the same way. Between them and Marlene, he was always going somewhere. Any time there was an empty seat on a flight he was always invited to go along. He always had plenty to eat and clean clothes.

I wondered if the agency was interested in renting a safe house in the area; I would have to ask. The worst case, we could make it a layover lounge for the pilots, so they could sleep between flights, not that I wanted to do that.

The FAA and TSA were coming after Thanksgiving to install the x-ray and body scanners. They were already posting the jobs. Talk about the gravy jobs they were going to be!

The agency certainly was not going to run its people through the equipment. Our charter customers were not going to go through it either. Those two groups were the bulk of the activity happening at this airport, unless something was going on that I did not know about.

Today was my last full day at JBG until after Thanksgiving. My two weeks of working from home was over for a few days. Patti and I were each driving a vehicle to KCC in the morning. I had meetings and personnel issues to deal with in the mornings and I was planning to leave at noon.

I was sitting at my desk after another day of training, reading over a report that Kelly and Randy had put together about Aadam’s four day gathering. It came from our e-mail system.

I wondered about all the addressees, and there were a lot of them! The problem was it allowed a lot of people to have knowledge of our internal e-mail address.

My thoughts were interrupted by a text message from Captain Peters. He wanted to know if I was in the office and what the link was to do a video conference with me.

After I sent the link I wondered why he needed it. He had done several with Kelly from Kelly’s video conference room to me.

I found out when the screen went live; I was looking at Captain Peters’ office, I assumed and several of his people that were here for the training.

“I just had this installed today – you are the first one I have used it with. I was fascinated with how well your system worked when I was at Kelly’s office, way better than a conference call; the video just adds so much more,” he said.

“Have you read the report about the Aadam’s clan weekend you were e-mailed? There are some things I want to clarify and follow up with you.”

“By the way, the four officers are no longer employed by Rochester. It was something to do with improper use of city e-mail, equipment and time reporting. I am going to send you pictures and background information to you just in case they show up looking for a job with your company.” He added, “They are not going to be working for any police departments around here anytime soon.”

“I am going to send you a large file for your police force at the college. The chief and the mayor want to do a media PR when you officially start on January 1. By the way, the commander of the SWAT team wants to run his team through your course at the gun club whenever possible. That course has become a huge conversation piece around here. You know how everyone feels about training,” he said. “Whatever the fee, the chief will pay.”

I spent an hour going over the report and other topics with him. We were even interrupted by the chief to say hello.

Edit by Alfmeister
Proofread by Joe H.

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