Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Hero, Steve Thurman

One bright spot in an otherwise crappy day yesterday was our good friend, Steve Thurman. When I first met him, about eight years ago, he handed me a business card that said: Steve Thurman, The Ambassador of Texas Music, Waving the Texas Music Flag Since 1973. And that is just what he does. He travels the world sharing the message of Texas Music with all who will listen, and selling some agricultural chemicals along the way. He's a selfless person, who will help just about anyone who's truly in need. I've seen him do it many times. Steve helped arrainge our airplane tickets for the trip to Korea, and saved us a lot of money in the process. We wouldn't have been able to make to make the trip without his help. So, yesterday morning went like clockwork, everything going according to plan. We were out the door by 6:00, at the airport by 7:30, and going through the process of checking in when the problem first came to light. We presented our passports to the friendly ticket agent, who pointed out that my wife's passport was expired. What??!! We both got our passports the same day eight years ago. Mine is good for ten years from date of issue, and I assumed hers was, also. Wrong! The Koreans issue their passports for only five years. I had assumed instead of checking to make sure, and it cost us. Explain and plead as we might, there was no getting onboard that plane with an expired passport. Next came an intense round of long distance phone calls to the Korean embassy, the Korean consulates in DC, NYC, and finally Houston, where we'd gotten her passport eight years before. Sure, we could come on down to Houston and apply for a new passport. Need it today? Just get here by 2:30 PM, and get it by the close of business. We made it to Houston in record time, pushing the little Bronco hard. I had called Thurman to inform him of our situation, and he agreed to do whatever he could to get us on another flight. About half way to Houston, he called to inform us that we were set up on the same flight next Tuesday. If we took that one, we'd be loosing four days from our planned time in Korea. I asked him about an earlier flight, possibly the one on Sunday, that the friendly ticket agent had told me about. He said "Let's not do anything until you actually have the new passport in hand". Fair enough. So, now we're done at the Korean Consulate, new passport in hand, and inching our way along in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic on the 610 loop in Houston. What an adventure! A call goes out to our (now) best friend in the whole wide world, Mr. Steve Thurman. So, old buddy, old pal, what's the possibility of changing our itinerary, once again, to that Sunday morning flight? Within thirty minutes he called me back to let me know that we were now set up on the Sunday morning flight, as requested. Excellent! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now, if we could only get out of Houston. That town has a serious traffic problem.

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