We soon connected, Peter and I. He introduced me to his flying pals: Scott Kirk, former F-14 driver, now a first officer for Southwest, call sign Elvis; Rene Denuit, T-33 owner, if you believe that (his airplane burns 500 gallons of gas an hour on takeoff); and Mark Sterns, president of Higher Power Aviation, a training company where many airline pilot hopefuls get their type ratings. The common threads were clear. Mark's company had provided Peter and Elvis with 737 type ratings, and now they both work for Southwest Airlines. Elvis, Peter and Rene all had flown together in airplanes and in hangars at El Centro.