I was contacted a few months ago by a very special person inquiring about assisting with an engagement. That special person was my soon to be step-dad. I decided I would write about one of the most special engagements I've been able to be apart of...... my moms!
My mom grew up in a home where the norm was to have airplanes in various states of repair adorning the front yard. Her father Robert, founded Columbia Airmotive in 1946; a small family business specializing in war surplus and vintage aircraft parts. My mom and grandpa had a very close relationship..... she was defiantly a "daddy's girl". His pet name for her was simply "Babe".
A 2,000 sq ft. warehouse chocked full of airplane parts top to bottom was right outside her family's front door. My grandpa (who passed away several years ago) was employed by Boeing during WWII as a field engineer to support the B-17 Bombers based in England. After the war, Columbia Airmotive quickly became a major supply source of surplus B-17 aircraft parts. Airplanes were just part of my moms upbringing... something that has always remained dear and close to her heart.
My mom then met Caleb. A man with a vast aviation background, and a business that specialized in advanced jet pilot training. You could say they were a match made in heaven! They immediately hit it off! After 5 years of dating, Caleb reached out to me to help him pop the question to my mom and to help pull off a beautiful surprise engagement dinner.
My mom always said that her father would have loved to have met Caleb and definitely would have approved of him. Caleb understood how important my mom's father was to her and decided to incorporate my grandpa and aviation for the proposal. After planning for months, Caleb found one of the few flying B-17's was coming to San Diego on a national tour. Having worked out details with the crew, shortly after takeoff the pilot handed my mom an old black and white war era photo of her dad standing next to a B-17. A caption above his head in the photo said: "Just say YES babe!" There was Caleb, sitting next to her, ring in hand, asking for her hand in marriage. You could say it was pretty picture perfect!
After many tears, hugs, and an incredible flight home, she was then surprised with a private dinner at one of their favorite restaurants accompanied by the family! Two families became one that day and I gained an incredible step-dad. Congratulations to my mom and Caleb! I love you both dearly! Thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a special day!
Photo credit: Courtney Buffet Photography