A time for reflection

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.

This time of year, more than any other, strikes me as a good time for reflection on the world around us. Sandwiched in between the traditional Thanksgiving feast and the good intentions of our New Year’s resolutions, we each have a brief period of time to look back, or look around, and renew our awareness of what is good and noble and worthwhile in our world.

In this space I generally try to make a point or two about how the aviation community can help itself in the political arena. But in this installment, I will depart from that theme somewhat to shine a light on a gentleman who seeks no fame or public recognition at all. We should all be aware of him anyway — and we should keep in mind that he is not alone. The subject of this posting is Jack Cheppo, an unassuming and unfailingly tidy gentleman who I am fortunate to have met and formed a friendship of sorts.

Jack is fond of shrugging lightly as he finishes a story, tossing in a quick, “Anybody could’a done it.” I beg to differ.

Jack spent his career working for AT&T in the days before the big telephone break-up. New Jersey was his home turf an based on his demeanor and level of personal and professional responsibility, I suspect Jack was very good at his job. But being a telephone man isn’t what makes Jack a giant in my eyes. It was his time in the left seat of a B-17 bomber over Europe, and his almost casual dismissal of any praise that comes his way in conversations about his exploits in the air.

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