Other passengers included Francis Cardinal Spellman and Bernard Baruch, the financier. We
flew to Seattle for negotiations with Bill Allen at Boeing and to Thermal, California, for a
quiet conference in the desert with Howard Hughes. And it was while I was skipper of that
airplane that I met and flew one of Mr. Trippe's special advisers, my boyhood hero, Charles
Lindbergh. We were to fly together many times.
Those travels were a boon to me because much of the time was spent face to face with Mr.
Trippe. As our trips together grew in number, so too did our respect for and familiarity
with one another. I got to know him well and became ever more impressed with his character,
his intelligence and his insight. He was a respectful and wise counselor.
And as he came to know and trust me, he introduced me to his companions, and they invited
me along on some of their excursions. For a Kentucky farm boy, it was like stepping into a
wonderland. In time I became a regular guest at Mr. Baruch's plantation in South Carolina.
It was a fabulous place befitting a man of his stature and wealth. Often I'd fly him there
and then remain as his guest for several days of quail hunting, fishing and horseback
riding. Another time we flew to North Dakota for several days of hunting. The host was the
president of a railroad, and he had stationed luxurious private sleeping and dining cars on
a siding to serve as the lodge. And I was invited to join the group as if I belonged. They
liked to hear my stories about flying, and I was eager to hear their stories as well.