I grew up in Seattle, WA or what some like to call "Boeing's Backyard". Within 30 minutes of my house there were two Boeing production facilities, and one delivery center. I was raised right in the heat of the jet age...the 737NG, 777 and 787 programs have all come to life within my earliest years. It should be easy to guess with all this going on, I am a major airplane nut, or avgeek as we say these days. The most fascinating thing about the aviation industry I've come to find isn't the airplanes themselves...it's the people just like myself who work within aviation, or simply are fascinated by it, this is a place where everyone is a friend. I've been one of the lucky ones who's been able to travel to see the sights and meet the people, but I will first hand say, Brian Lusk was a rare one, and I don't think i'll cross paths with someone so unique ever again.
I first met Brian in the lobby of the Marriott right next to Midway as we were celebrating the inaugural -800 Warrior One flight that would be leaving the next morning. The funny thing is, I had never heard of an airline corporate historian, making me wonder where Southwest found this guy. As the night when on, I was in total amazement as Brian told story after story of the early airline days, and many unique factoids about Southwest. I was completely fascinated as I sat there, and I know if I had some official Southwest peanuts i'd be eating them up, better yet, he'd be telling me the history probably from when and where they were harvested.
I don't have stories dating back ten years when we first met, or passing him in the Southwest hallways, but what I do have are amazing memories from two very special aviation trips. Looking at the calendar, It would be a year next month of how long I've known Brian, and I can tell you this, as a huge aviation fan and a distant friend...I am feeling a huge void in my aviation livelihood. I'll truly miss his smile, compassionate friendship, intelligence, and funny wit. It does make me happy that someone who loved aviation so much has the best view in the world watching airplanes go by all day.
Rest in aviation paradise my friend.
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