Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Driving on the Other Side ( PART 2 )

                            Auckland, New Zealand
The B 747-400 was on its final descent into Auckland, New Zealand, it was 5:45 am. It was a typical day for this time of the year in Auckland, sunny, with intermittent clouds, 70% chance of rain, 78*, a beautiful Spring day, it was not raining, yet.
Billy and Ann Hunter were both enjoying a light breakfast of juice that consisted of  50% apple, 50% orange, strong coffee, a croissant, with a local "Kiwi" honey,the main entree, a small two egg omelet with the cheese melted off to one side as if the Chef had missed the center mark. Earlier, while the over zealous fight attendant was serving the two occupants of 3 A and 3 B, she had noticed that the tall, lightly freckled beauty was in fact none other than the Ann Hunter, Super model/Actress, most likely the most famous person in all of New Zealand. Ann's face had adorned the covers of magazines world wide, including, Vogue, (French, Italian and US covers), People, on almost every country on the Planet, and last year she was awarded the cover of SI (Sports Illustrated). Ann Hunter was not up and coming, she had arrived.
The petite brunettes left hand was gripping the right shoulder of Benders, while the right hand was waving like a birds wing coming in for a landing. "Katie, Katie, come quickly, you will not believe it, no come here, it's Ann Hunter! “Before Bender could blink, now, there were two uniformed clad brunettes smiling in the aisle next to him. Ann Hunter looked up, eye brows raised and said, “Girls, if you don't mind, we are having breakfast, I'll sign autographs on my way out". The young Flight attendant blurts out,“oh, we are so sorry, it's just that, well, we didn't mean to bother, we will see you on the way out then", Ann smiled and raised her head slightly, the two disappeared behind a aqua colored curtain protecting the contents of the galley.
Bender felt small, unimportant, he came to the conclusion that this is a good thing, for back home in Great Falls he was the man. At age 34, he was Bachelor of the year, he was number four man at one of Montana 's biggest home grown company's, DA Davidson, known all through the US, and all through the international money markets. He had clawed his way to gain the respect of all the large Brokerages in New York, London, and Hong Kong. 

Growing up on a small Farm/ Ranch 23 miles outside of Great Falls in a place called "Sun River", Bender was a legend. While in collage in Bozeman, at Montana State University, he was a star Guard on the basketball team that for the first time in over 15 years, not only won the Big Sky Title, but, went into the second round at the NCAA tournament losing to a powerful UCLA team, that did indeed go to the finals, only to lose to UNC University of North Carolina.
 At 6'3 and a powerful but lean 205 lbs., Bender was also a cowboy, he rode bulls and broncs, and his senior year got third place in the bull riding event at the National Championships held in Bozeman.
Tall, well built, with dark curly hair, Billy Bender was a big fish in a small pond, some would say, a whale in a mud puddle. But Billy was also very bright, he took his education seriously, he was top of his class in Business and Economics, and was highly recruited by all the big firms throughout the Rocky Mountains, and most in the Northwest. By the time he graduated, most people thought that Billy Bender "had the tiger by the tail".
Bender was staring at a half eaten omelet; he'd eaten the part with the cheese, when Ann put a piece of paper on his tray. " Here is my address and Tel/cell #  where you can reach me , I'll be staying at my family's farm outside of Christchurch, I don't know your plans, but you can always come and stay there.' she said, Bender was surprised, it caught him off guard, he said " thanks, I'm not sure what I'm going to do, I kind of left in a hurry, I really don't have any plans, just some Fly Fishing, traveling, sight seeing, I don't really know". Ann laughed, " must be nice, no plans, well, if you want to Fly Fish , on my family's farm is one of the best streams in the entire country, I've caught rainbows up to twelve pounds on Dry Flies". Bender was taken back, " you Fly Fish too, what don't you do?" asked Billy. Ann explained that fly fishing was a family tradition, she started tying flies at the age of 10, and starting "shooting" at age twelve, and that she was the proud owner of a custom fit side by side "Purdy" made in England.
For the first time in Billy Benders life, he'd met a women, which within a few hours had absolutely mesmerized him. Billy would not loose the paper handed to him from Ann, he was going to make sure, he would, again see, Ann Hunter

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