Carrie Rengers

‘Mad Men’ features former Wichitan’s Learjet

It’s all over now, but Al Higdon had some more fun with the final episode of “Mad Men” on Sunday.

Higdon is co-founder of Sullivan Higdon & Sink, the state’s largest advertising agency, and last week was delighted to find Wichita and his former employer, Learjet, featured on the show.

The final episode shows character Pete Campell and his family boarding a Learjet to fly to Wichita and start a new life with the company.

Higdon recognized the plane and its tail number, N1965L, and says many Wichitans would.

“That one has been in and out of Wichita quite a few times,” he says.

The plane belongs to former Wichitan Clay Lacy and his Clay Lacy Aviation in California.

“It kind of brought everything together,” Higdon says of the plane’s appearance.

He figures Lacy may have helped with some historical facts for the show.

“I sort of sensed last week after the show that he could well be the connection,” Higdon says. “He’s very accessible. He knows everything about the company. He was an early confidant (of) Bill Lear.”

Except Lacy says he didn’t even know the show, which he doesn’t watch, would include his plane.

“Al’s the first one to tell me,” Lacy says.

After Lacy and Higdon spoke, Lacy talked with an employee about it and learned that “Bombardier encouraged us to put it on the show.”

The plane’s appearance is no big deal to Lacy.

“They used to use it quite frequently,” he says of television programs. “I brought it to California in October or November of 1964.”

Lacy was a sales rep for Learjet, and he says the plane was one of the first demonstration Learjets.

“We’re stopping flying it now,” Lacy says.

His company is building some new hangars, one of which will have a showroom featuring the plane.

Not that it couldn’t still fly.

“Just hit the starter, and it will go,” Lacy says.

Higdon isn’t sure what he’ll do with his Sunday nights now that “Mad Men” is done.

“Well, I’ll have to find something else to do.”

He did, though, take advantage of a “Mad Men” marathon to tape all of its almost 100 episodes last week.

“So I’m sure through the years I’ll refer back to them time to time.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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