I miss Paul Harvey.
For those of you young enough to have no idea to whom I am referring, Mr. Harvey was a legendary radio broadcaster who was renowned for his programs that aired from 1952 to 2008, including his popular The Rest of The Story segments that aired to millions of listeners. He died on Feb. 28, 2009, but avid fans like me still think of him from time to time when we hear or tell the rest of a story – like this one.
The Voice team was fortunate pilots Valerie Allen and her husband, Dr. Jeff Allen, so willingly accommodated our request to use their Mooney M20C and Twin Cessna 340 turbo at Bowman Field for this issue’s travel-themed fashion shoot. The gorgeous photos shot by The Voice photographer Andrea Hutchinson tell a tale of extravagance, elegance and jet-setting in this season of exploration.
But there is, as always, more to the story, at least – this time – of the planes featured in these pages and the people who own them.
The Allens often invite others to join them up in the air simply to share their passion for flying. I’ve been on the receiving end of such generosity and also have an open invitation to partake with my daughter, Olive, who is obsessed with all things flight-related.
But, Jeff and Valerie also have quietly become known for offering up their airborne vessels to animal rescue groups in need. Together, the duo have flown furry ones from dire situations and in desperate need of medical attention without asking for anything in return. This has resulted in numerous lives saved.
Years ago, I tried to ask them why. It’s been so long, neither Jeff nor Valerie may even remember, but they both humbly skirted the question. I understand why and want you to, too. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll meet people who are like angels on earth. They don’t desire accolades. They just do what they do because they can.
A quote sits front and center on Valerie’s Facebook page, and I think it captures what’s in the hearts of her and her husband: “Love can hope where reason can despair.”
They have seen unimaginable atrocities perpetrated on innocent animals by humans and welcomed dogs and cats, kittens and puppies, who have endured the worst into their cockpits, without knowing the outcome and unsure of whether the time, cost and effort would result in a happy ending. Yet, they answer the call.
Jeff and Valerie Allen aren’t just the owners of beautiful planes. They are what happens when love and hope refuse to give in to despair.
And now, you know the rest of the story – or at least an important part of the tale.
Kevin Grangier at Grassa Gramma.