Mystery Guest Picture at end of this Story
Forrest Gump said “Mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”, but I am not sure who said this first, “Life is full of surprises”.
That is what happened to me the other day, when I got a surprise call from someone from my past…. A young lady name Tonya Gray who I hadn’t heard from in years, but I had followed her career since she left Southwest Airlines. She was that nice to work with.
Tonya was working for Southwest Airlines when I first met her. Southwest was not a major player in Denver’s airlines traffic at the time. But they planned on coming to Denver in a big way, adding six to ten new cites with flights to and from Denver in the coming year.
Balloons by Absolute Value was tasked to create a theme for each new city Southwest Airlines was to add to Denver. We created some amazing themes for all of the cities. Whimsical, fun and colorful for sure. Our themes were well received by Tonya, Southwest Airlines and their passengers
There is one event that will always stick in my mine forever. Balloons by Absolute Value had worked with sports, movie, and music celebrities in the past. Politicians local, state and national ones too. But this celebrity was so cool, I mean very cool, Antarctica cool.
A Whose Who of Denver were all in attendance at DIA, (Denver International Airport). All forms of media were there, all the TV stations, both of Denver’s major newspapers and politicians were there too. All were waiting for the celebrity to come through the gate door.
Our amazing balloon decor, a red carpet from the gate to the center of the concourse, a rope line keeping spectators from the celebrity or celebrities was in place. No one knew who this celebrity was going to be, but they knew he or she was going to be important or famous.
When the gate door opened, the flash of cameras, lights from the TV cameras and a large applause came from the spectators……big smiles too.
It was none other then Pete the Penguin waddling down the red carpet…..followed by Penny the Penguin, special guests from SeaWorld and Southwest’s newest non-stop destination, San Diego. They soaked up all the attention.
They were naturals……waddling a few feet, stopping, posing for pictures and extending a flipper for a hand shake or a high five from the crowd.
To say this event was a success is greatly understated. It was the talk of the town for a very long time. A huge hit for sure. I was able to high five Pete the Penguin, truly a unique moment for me. Can you say, you high fived a penguin?
It is truly a moment that plays in my mind often, two very cute penguins creating such a stir of emotions by so many. Thanks Tonya for the flashback in time.
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Pete & Penny Penguin
Red Carpet at DIA
Left to Right
Linda from SeaWorld
Pete the Penguin
Tonya Gray, Southwest Airlines
ps. Looking forward to working with Tonya this month for Arizona State at the Millennium Harvest House