102204balloons.jpgThe Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta wrapped up earlier this month. It’s a grand event that sends hundreds of balloons into the New Mexico sky.

I covered a number of Fiesta events and took a ballon ride one year with Maxie Anderson, one of three New Mexico-based ballonists who piloted the Double Eagle II on the first transatlantic baloon crossing.

Anderson wanted to attempt an around the world flight and we talked about covering the event but he died in a balloon accident in West Germany in 1983. Another crew member of the flight, Ben Abruzzo, died with some members of his family in a private plane crash in 1985 and friends of both are trying to build a museum with their names.

A few years ago, Maritza Brown, a friend of ours who owned a lingerie store in Albuquerque came up with a promo idea. She had pink bikini panties printed up with the name of her store and dropped about a hundred of them from a balloon one morning.

Shortly afterwards, a man came into her store and asked to see the owner.

“What can I do for you?”

He pulled a pair of the panties from his coat pocket and asked: “Can you explain these?”

“Yes, we dropped them from a balloon during the Fiesta.”

He gave Maritza a card with a name and phone number on it.

“Then would you please call my wife and explain to her that this is how they ended up in the back seat of my convertible?”