Two Twitter Geeks + One Private Jet + Peterborough + Sunday New York Times = Feelgood Petertweeter Story of the Year

Two Twitter Geeks + One Private Jet + Peterborough + Sunday New York Times = Feelgood Petertweeter Story of the Year

NEW: Here’s a direct link to a short film I produced for the PeterTweeter Awards.

I just moved to Peterborough, Ontario (about 90 minutes north east of Toronto) and was trying to settle into my new home and new city. Despite the date, Sunday March 18 2012, the sun was shining and the birds were chirping, enjoying an early feast on the first wave of freshly hatched mosquitoes  My chores were winding down and after clearing the last of the debris on what would become my favourite reading spot in the new house patio, I posted the following tweet:

@rdolishny @Ptbo_Canada! Where can I get a New York Times today?

Seemed reasonable at the time. After all, I delighted telling friends that my new country house on Jackson Creek was eight minutes from grocery stores, schools, Future Shop, and a latte from Starbucks: I had the best of city mouse and country mouse locked up.

I had also just attended the inaugural Petertweeter event, and my Twitter feed was chock full of Peterborough’s elite.

My twitter timeline lit up with some good suggestions that didn’t pan out, including a recommendation to visit Mike’s Place News in Oshawa, but the net result was zero. It seemed the chances of holding a coveted Sunday NYT on a lazy Sunday afternoon was unlikely. Then, a tweet rang through:

@JETDRIVR @rdolishny @Ptbo_Canada I can see if I can find one for you, will be in ptbo tonight

Who was this interesting gentleman, and what business did he have with a New York Times? A few brief exchanges later, I learned @jetdrivr was the owner of a private jet company and ran flights all across North and Central America. At that moment, he was in pre-flight checks in Florida and was about to bring his executive client to Canada. And he lived just west of Peterborough like me.


A quick tweet indicated he got the paper, and was enroute to his client’s home in Ottawa.  After dropping off his client in Ottawa, he charted a quick flight to Pearson, then was in his BMW racing back to his home just west of Peterborough. A quick tweet told me he was near, and it was time to meet in Millbrook to do the exchange.

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@rdolishny and @jetdrivr meeting up in Millbrook. Absolutely no resemblance whatsoever.

So, the new guy in the city of Peterborough uses Twitter to connect with a new friend. My coveted Sunday New York Times boards a plane in Florida, lands in Toronto by way of Ottawa, then ends up on my back porch to share a beautiful Kawartha sunset… on Sunday, sitting by the fire.

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Earlier I tweeted a request for a#NewYorkTimes and pilot@JETDRIVR was in Florida and got me one! On my way to pick it up my paper!

I can’t image a more interesting and positive example of the power of social media to connect people who happen to live in the most beautiful place in the world. I’ve found many kind souls from Peterborough that have the smarts and creativity to weave a delightful and exciting cultural fabric 140 characters at a time. It seems fitting that Peterborough is privileged to have remarkably generous and good-natured volunteers run the Petertweeter Awards night, a chance to get outside and shake off the winter clothes, recognize the positive impact we can have on our community, and meet the personalities that give us such joy. It’s a great chance to meet your online heroes and digital superstars face to face.

Because not everyone meets a private jet pilot who also does home deliveries responding to a tweet.

Make some new friends and meet some old ones too at this year’s Petertweeter, Thursday March 21 2013.