WHERE: Terminal 1 After you go through Security and are walking to the escalator with all your luggage, I will try to stop you. Well, you do have a couple of hours, so before you board the escalator, I will be seated at a table in front of Weller Book Works.
WHEN: October 9th
TIME: 8:00 til 12:30 noon
Joan and I were based in Los Angeles at the same time. I saw her name on the bid sheet. Did we fly together? Memory is a fleeting puzzle. Time has brought the crossing of our paths, if not in the air, certainly by mail. My new friend Joan is terrific. Time and space are intriguing and both have the power to change the wind, rain and friendships.
Now for Joan's story to toll, yes, toll
“Firsts . . . are always fun stories to tell and to
remember for a long time. The day American
Airlines inaugurated its first flight of a 707 jet
aircraft from Los Angeles to Philadelphia in the fall of 1959, I was one of the stewardesses on board. It was an exciting event for the public as well as for the passengers and flight crew. I felt honored to be one of only eight stewardesses who were awarded the schedule that included that flight.
The crowded gate area was tingling with excitement. Two or three reporters were interviewing passengers. Important faces stood out in the crowd. One could sense the over- abundance of standbys. One particularly dark, handsome teenage boy, about 16, pressed
the ticket taker for any news of no-shows. His foreign-accented grandmother hung onto him, looked out at the plane, and worriedly said "but dare are no propellers". He glanced at me (enviously, I thought) and seeing me in uniform, knew I would be getting on board, while he and his grandmother might not. I sadly looked back at those who would perhaps not make it.
Soon we were on our way to the East Coast in less than four hours. We were met at our destination by yet another crowd which included the mayor of Philadelphia who gave each person, as they deplaned, a souvenir to remember their first jet flight . . . a small copper replica of the Liberty Bell.
Twenty years later, that bell "tolled" a remarkable story. I met my dark, handsome husband on a skiing trip in Switzerland. He lived in San Francisco and I in Southern California. In 1979, after a year of 400 mile courting, I moved to the Bay area. As he helped me unpack, in my new house, he noticed the bell and asked me where it came from. When I told him, his eyes lit up in amazement as he replied "You were on that flight, twenty years ago? Unbelievable! I tried to get on that same plane for two weeks."
(More pictures in the book)