There are all kinds of reasons an airline employee might be moved
from one overseas posting to another, but Insider thought this one
unique: Kenn Glave had just wrapped up a Pan Am assignment in
Vietnam in the late '60s and had been promised something, well,
more appealing. It was to be Switzerland.
Then came a call asking for his forbearance and promising the
posting of his choice if he would first go to Kabul, Afghanistan's
capital. It seems the Pan Am rep in Kabul had given some "advice"
to the crown prince, the kind of advice one should not give to a
royal personage who has some power.
So Kenn agreed to go although, he said, he and his wife knew
little about the place except that James Michener's "Caravans" was
set there. (And then, it turned out, the Glaves were living in
Afghanistan when the movie, starring Omar Sharif, was made.) After
18 months in a land where westerners washed their lettuce in Tide
to prevent illness, he said the farewell was sad, and, of all his
15 years of overseas postings, Kabul is the one he remembers with
the greatest fondness.
Where did he choose to go next? Stuttgart, Germany, because he
had lived there before and he spoke German. In 1979, in Houston, he
founded his corporate travel agency, Kenn's Executive Travel, a $3
million to $4 million business.
That has brought ups and downs, too. He told Insider that on
some days, "I come in and think 'We are going to close this down
today.' " But something always works out. The best example comes
from the dark days some years ago when the Houston economy was in
the deep, deep pits. Through contacts--and a wee bit of luck --Kenn
came in with a plum account: a law firm that handled
If a tree falls
One of the casualties
of Hurricane Georges' visit to Puerto Rico required a medical
specialist, expensive treatments--and three cranes.
A centuries-old banyan tree that dominated the courtyard of El
San Juan Hotel & Casino toppled into the swimming pool, thanks
to one of Georges' 130-mph gusts. Ironically, the same tree also
took a poolside plunge in 1989 when Hurricane Hugo roared through.
That first resurrection cost a cool $200,000. What with inflation
and all, the cost this time was a bit more than $250,000.
Resuscitation and rescue required the cranes, a team of
construction workers and a tree surgeon flown in from Fort
Lauderdale. The tree surgeon supervised the replanting and medical
treatment of the enormous banyan, which boasts a 40-foot shade
span. The patient will be closely monitored for the next six
A promo called Hope
Insider asked Joe David Rice, tourism director for the Arkansas
Department of Parks and Tourism, about the consequences, if any, of
the Clinton-Lewinsky matter from a tourism perspective, in light of
the state's Presidential Cities itinerary, launched shortly after
Clinton's first election.
His reply: "Other than an isolated comment from the occasional
crackpot, we're not seeing any fallout. Our state highway maps
still claim 'Home to President Bill Clinton,' and signs at the
borders still say 'Welcome to Arkansas--Home of President Bill
Clinton.' While we don't publicize the Presidential Cities
brochures very much, it's strictly because of limited availability.
According to folks in Hope and Hot Springs, they continue to see a
good deal of interest in the local Clinton sites." Little Rock, the
capital, and Fayetteville, where Clinton taught law, are the other
End of history, cont'd
Over the Atlantic in a turboprop, en route to Nassau and a
Bahamian press to-do, Insider fielded the following question from a
fledgling American travel writer. "Is Nassau part of the Florida
Keys or a separate state?" She did know that Butch Stewart was
"someone big--I think the mayor. He has 'the honorable' before his
name." Congratulations to the U.S. and to Florida--and to hizzoner
Mr. Stewart. To our young colleague, good luck.