One final item. As I said earlier, Juan Trippe had a tremendous influence on my career. He was my mentor, and I am deeply indebted to him. I am pleased to report that the scales are not completely out of balance.

My payback began one day in the early 1970s when he called me at FlightSafety and asked me to do him a favor. He wanted me to have lunch with his daughter, Betsy, and a friend of hers, a doctor by the name of David Paton. Naturally, I agreed. What I could not have realized was that meal would begin one of the most challenging, important and satisfying ventures of my life.

Dr. Paton was head of the Ophthalmology Department at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. At the lunch I learned that during his distinguished career, Dr. Paton had traveled quite a bit and was deeply troubled by the extent of curable but untreated eye diseases he found among people of the poorer nations of the world. He knew the technology existed to help many of those victims retain or regain their eyesight, but there was no ready way to get help to them. And then he had an inspired idea: put the help in an airplane, and fly to the patients.

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