He was having dinner in Kansas City when a man came up to his table and said, "You're Captain Plumb." Plumb wrote about what the man said next:
"'You flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You were on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down. You parachuted into enemy hands and spent six years as a prisoner of war.'
I said, 'How in the world did you know all that?'
He replied, 'Because I packed your parachute.'
I was speechless. I staggered to my feet and held out a very grateful hand of thanks. This guy came up with just the proper words. He grabbed my hand, he pumped my arm and said, 'I guess it worked.'"
As Colonel Art Athens remarked in his column, that story reminds us to think about all the people in our lives that "pack our parachutes," who make it possible for us to do what we do. With 2015 beginning, and the blog now a year old, I wanted to thank all the parachute packers in my professional life.
Thanks to my clients, who continue to provide interesting work. Thanks to the writers who submit clean, professional manuscripts and trust me to edit them. Thanks to every person I work with who treats others with good humor, kindness, and respect. Thanks to all of those who explain the grammar rules and compile the style guides and etymological dictionaries. Thanks to my colleagues, who are always willing to discuss plots and characters and contribute ideas for the blog. Thanks to all of the readers who have discovered Rose's Red Pen over the last year and decided they liked it. For all of those parachute packers: best wishes for 2015!