Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fly Derrie-Air


The Story of Dick Derrie and Derrie-Air
Dick Derrie was born in Salamander, Missouri, a tiny hamlet on the banks of the Mississippi. (Salamander is small, so small that you won't find it on any map.) His father was a fisherman. As a child, Dick ate nothing but line-caught Mississippi fish. This unusual diet flooded his brain with Omega-3 fatty acids, to which he credits his remarkable business acumen.

As a boy, Dick did whatever he could to save money. He dreamed up rising up from the life of poverty he was born into. He held down all kinds of jobs-building rafts, hunting wild boar, guarding prisoners at the nearby correctional facility. By the time he graduated high school, Dick owned a chain of pinball machines in local juke joints and had a net worth of some $5 million. Over the next ten years he would attend business school, open Missouri's third-largest plant for the bottling of generic cola, and multiply this small fortune one hundred times over.

Dick's longing to plunge into Derrie-Air began in 1994, when he sent his first express package. "Heck," he reasoned to himself. "These sons-of-a-gun are making me pay by the pound! Now what if we ran an airline the same way..." The idea lay dormant until 2005, when Dick saw a popular film on global warming. He began to worry that if he didn't do something to cool off the planet, his grandchildren might never know the joy of hunting alligators on his marshy wetlands from the back of a two-ton truck. He called a meeting of Derrie Corp's board of directors the next day, and Derrie-Air was born.

Today Dick is 35 years old. He is the richest man in the state of Missouri. He lives with his wife and two sons on a ranch of a thousand acres near Salamander. Dick's father lives in a magnificent castle that Dick had specially imported, block by block, from Scotland. He still likes to hunt boar. It is, after all, his early experiences with the sublimity of wild nature that planted the seeds of his desire to save our planet. "The planet's a lot like life," Dick often says. "We only get one."

1 comment:

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