Bay County resident and Florida leader takes a ride on Air Force One
Many say life is about being in the right place at the right time. For Florida's Chief Financial Officer and Panama City local Jimmy Patronis, that right place was at the annual Statesmen Dinner.
"President Trump was the keynote [speaker], he invited a handful of us on stage, and then next thing you know we've got an invitation to join him on a flight back to Air Force One. [He said] figure out how you're gonna get home, but you're welcome to come way up there so we took him up," said Patronis.
Patronis said getting that invitation is unlike any he's ever had before.
"Oh well I mean it's probably the single greatest political thrill I've ever had in my life," said Patronis.
A thrill he got to share with his mother when he had President Trump speak to her over the phone.
"He's on the phone talking to her, 'Hey Helen, how are you? Oh you got such a good boy, he's doing such a great job.' He says, 'You're 84 but I think you're more like 49,' and he keeps on talking and he passes the phone back to me and I said, 'Do you know who that was?' and she goes 'No, I had no idea.' I said 'It was the President!' You know of course I almost gave her a heart attack," said Patronis.
While on the plane he got to take a look inside the life of our Commander in Chief, but Patronis says there's one thing he was more impressed with than Air Force One.
"I think we see the President from in front of our television screen and through social media, but to see how genuinely just, he's a caring man, a very warm man, loves family, and really he treated us like he knew us the whole entire time," said Patronis.
A nice way to set the bar high when it comes to an experience of a lifetime.