Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MORE THAN a TICKET MEMOIRS FLYING with AMERICAN AIRLINES from PROPS to JETS


                                                     AUTHORED BY ARGIE HOSKINS

Thanks for taking a look.  You will enjoy my book.  American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess
Post: More Than a Ticket Memoirs Flying with American Airlines from Props to Jets
Link: http://americanairlinesstewardess.blogspot.com/2014/08/more-than-ticket-memoirs-flying-with.html



More Than a Ticket  Memoirs Flying with American Airlines from Props to Jets
 
Table of Contents 

Acknowledgment

Part One: My Life as a Stewardess 
Chapter 1:   A Young Girl from Animas Valley
Chapter 2:   Following My Restless Spirit
Chapter 3:   Stewardess School
Chapter 4:   Grooming for Graduation  
Chapter 5:   First Flights  
Chapter 6:   A Visit Home
Chapter 7:   Based in and Flying from Los Angeles
Chapter 8:   VIP Passengers before Jet Travel 
Chapter 9:   The First Jet Flight 
Chapter 10:  Four Friends for the Jets 
Chapter 11:  VIP Passengers after Jet Travel 
Chapter 12:  Final Flights
Part Two: On Wings of Time 
Willis Heath Proctor: PILOT AND TRAINER, 1927–1957  
Roy G. Jacobson: MECHANIC AND FLIGHT ENGINEER, 1941–1984 
MaryLou Parkes Whipple: SECRETARY AND STEWARDESS, 1955–1959 
Audrey Radziwon McGinty: STEWARDESS, 1957–1967, 1972–1976 
Gerry McMasters Lockhart: STEWARDESS, 1957–1959 
Polly Harlan Viertel: STEWARDESS, 1957–1958 
Joan Scofield Sheldon STEWARDESS, 1959–1961  
Margaret Bassetti: PASSENGER, JANUARY 25, 1959  
Robert Cawley: PASSENGER  
Diane Miller Engelskirger: STEWARDESS, 1961–1966  
Judi Stilwell Martino: STEWARDESS, 1963–1968


Tony Vallillo: CAPTAIN, 1977–2008  
Contributors Pictures
Argie’s Challenges for Success 

Over 250 pictures by impressive  professional photographers and personal pictures by contributors.






Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More Than a Ticket Memoirs Flying with American Airlines from Props to Jets




I have dedicated these words with love and respect to my flying friends. This book is an expression of appreciation for the community of American Airlines. A community which was my world in the 1950s. 

Libraries and Academic Institutions ISBN - 13
978-1500875923 


http://www.amazon.com/dp/0578147955
US market 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0578147955
United Kingdom 

http://www.amazon.de/dp/0578147955
Germany 

http://www.amazon.es/dp/0578147955
Spain 

http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0578147955
France 

http://www.amazon.it/dp/0578147955
Italy 

Book stores and online retailers Ingram 1-615-793-5000 

Charities to receive % of profit:
The National MPS Society
Acacia Shade, Children with Disabilities in Ghana (Africa) Orton Dyslexia Society
National Kiwi Fund
LDS Humanitarian Fund 


"No one has ever become poor by giving." Anne Frank


“More Than a Ticket   Memoirs Flying with American Airlines from Props to Jets” authored by Argie Hoskins 

Cover: Boeing has given permission to use their photo of the new Boeing 707 leaving Seattle for Los Angeles for the Inaugural Flight. That photo is on the cover with me in my brown 1957 American Airlines uniform. I was on the Boeing 707 Jet Inaugural Flight on January 25, 1959. 

This book welcomes the reader with snapshots during the golden age of flying from carrying mail to a time when excited passengers were treated as guests and everyone dressed in their Sunday best to board American Airlines. It is engaging and appreciated.We served the flying public with much, much "More Than a Ticket." We had time to hang coats, learn names, have a conversation, serve a delicious meal and hold babies. You will feel the excitement of times gone by and get a glimpse of how the atmosphere of air travel has changed through the years. The drama of time has created a different picture. 

My book "More Than a Ticket"
Part one: "My Life as a Stewardess," takes the reader on a journey with a shy country girl to the city, but she is still a country girl as she becomes a confident stewardess serving all passengers, including the rich and famous, making everyone feel at home. How did she do it?


Part two: "On Wings of Time," features short stories from American Airlines stewardesses, pilots, flight engineers, and passengers. Both the young and old, casual readers and aviation enthusiasts will be delighted with these memoirs from the contributors. 


Stewardess Argie, "Am I cut out for this job?" “They say I am Dyslexic and with a sequencing challenge.” However, "I did it!" "Make friends with your cognitive gifts that once felt like monsters." (Stewardess on American Airlines Boeing 707 jet service inaugural jet flight across the country and also did public relations work for American Airlines.) 

Jon, son of pilot Heath Proctor, "My father was a pioneer airmail pilot." "Dad’s AA retiree ID card, with employee number 02 on it!" (Father is deceased.) 

Curt, son of AA mechanic and later a Flight Engineer Roy Jacobson, "I'll never forget the smell of jet fuel." "We would go through the hangars and look at the planes." (Father is deceased.) 

Stewardess MaryLou, "A secretarial job opened a few miles from home with American Airlines' engineering office which I took and loved. I never wanted to leave." (MaryLou was on the Electra team and subsequently became an AA stewardess.) 

Stewardess Audrey, "Once a stewardess, always a stewardess." (Flew as a “stewardess” and then as a “flight attendant.”) 

Stewardess Gerry, "I was really nervous when I arrived because the other girls waiting to be interviewed were wearing business suits, high heels, gloves, and some were wearing hats. I was wearing a broomstick skirt and sandals." (Housemate who flew on Boeing 707s with me.) 

Stewardess Polly, “Interviews are over, and besides, you aren’t the type.” (Polly became an outstanding Stewardess.) 


Stewardess Joan, "Important faces stood out in the crowd." "Jet fate." (Face in the crowd was a younger man who  became her husband.)

Passenger Margaret, now age 97, "I thought he was getting a little too friendly (taxi cab driver.”) 

Passenger Bob, "I don’t know what I mumbled, but when the plane started to roll forward to take off, she sat down beside me, smiled, and one of her soft hands covered my gripping knuckles, and we were off and flying." (Bob had been a passenger in two near misses before this flight.) 

Stewardess Diane, "I told him that I would meet him at the gate. After we finished deplaning, I thought to myself, 'Did I do the right thing?'” (A passenger without a ride to his home near where Diane lived.) 

Stewardess Judi, "... meeting President Kennedy and then my husband are hard to top! (Husband was a famous singer/actor.) 

Engineer to Captain Tony, "There were no real flight simulators in those Pleistocene days, so all of the flight training for the new jets was done in the airplane." (Tony was responsible for training AA jet pilots.) 

Somewhere in the clouds of time, we met, embraced, and parted. Moments remembered from here to eternity. —Argie 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

KIWI CONVENTION IN LAS VEGAS

DELECTABLE 



AT THE MONTE CARLO


Gene and I had the opportunity to attend the Kiwi National Convention in Vegas. Gene was my guest. The Kiwi Club is a service organization for former Stewardesses and current Flight Attendants with American Airlines and U.S.. Airways. They support charities with love and commitment. An energetic group gathered to enjoy old friends and make new ones. The American Airlines U.S. Airways'  Vice President of Inflight Service, Hector Adler, was our guest speaker at the closing banquet. His vision for the future of passenger service will bring a new relationship in the sky for the airline. This is a subject that is dear to my heart. As you know my book: More Than A Ticket is about the relationship with our passengers during the transition from Props to Jets. Such historical memories show that American Airlines has had the desire to serve the flying public in a way that makes air travel More Than A Ticket. I thrilled to hear Hector Adler explain the way connections will be met to care for the current traveler with American Airlines and U.S. Airways. Go American and welcome aboard.  I speak only as an excited traveler and hope you will join me on the trip. As a side note, if any of you know anyone who would like to join the Kiwi organization I can point you in the right direction.

KIWI FRIEND JOAN FROM HAWAII

ARGIE

Sunday, January 26, 2014

AMERICAN AIRLINES' INAUGURAL FLIGHT 2 ON THE 25TH OF JANUARY 1959



The year was 1959 on the 25th of January. The air was filled with excitement as American Airlines was introducing their Boeing 707 to the world of travel.  Stewardess Argie Hoskins has written a book:  More Than a Ticket   From Props to Jets    It will be printed by March 2014.  Look for the address where you can buy the book.  That information will be posted as soon as the date is known. It will be a delight to read.   Any questions:  argie.ella@gmail.com
Thanks for stopping by to take a look at this popular site.  We love to fly. I love to watch the birds. Amazing!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The first transcontinental commercial jet trip was made by an American Airlines Boeing 707, from Los Angeles to New York.

Thank you for remembering this special day in my life and a very historical moment in time which many of us celebrate and enjoy the story of Props to Jets. Yes, Sir, I have written a book about how it was for me to be an American Airline stewardess. I have not explored the American Airline archives for information for my book. My memories and my personal memorabilia have provided the background for my experience. I wrote a book to celebrate my life as a stewardess during what I considered the Golden years of flying when passengers were special guests to be served with comfort and kindness along with style for the elect whether celebrity or not. I loved to be an American Airline stewardess. My book: More Than A Ticket From Props to Jets will be self published in or by March. Do you have any suggestions about the marketing of the book? Thank you for your interest in the First Jet Flight for American Airlines that I was pleased to enjoy and well remember the excitement. Any questions: argie.ella@gmail.com I am looking forward to have you be delighted with a good read of the book. It will include five other AA stewardesses, three former pilots, and two former passengers. In my opinion the book is unique because it is for the general public and highlighted with the American values that made our country great. Enjoy and thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Friday, January 3, 2014

“Actions speak louder than words”





                                 Roy Jacobson's photo sent from son Curt Jacobson
                                   Courtesy from my book: More Than A Ticket
What someone does is more powerful than what someone says!  Look at Roy doing his job.

 Happy New Year! From Argie Hoskins.
Actions speak louder than words”
Edna Lawson Hoskins taught me, Argie Ella, that these few words have powerful meaning. What someone does is more important than what someone says. She would tell my brother and me this over and over and over. As you read and hear words of thoughtful presentations, please keep in mind the treasure of living the principle not just voicing the words. Yes, Mother Edna! “Actions speak louder than words”

What lies behind us and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is my resolution, not my goal, to take a serious look at what lies within me and have “Actions speak louder than words”

As I reflect over the past year's events and contemplate the new year, I find myself grateful to all my blog visitors who have read my words which has given you a snapshot of a message which my heart says share. The heart and mind are wonderful tools for telling stories.

My book: More Than A Ticket    From Props to Jets will be ready for a read early this year. This wonderful book will touch a time when flying was Golden. For a continued update you can email: argie.ella@gmail.com  At this moment, I will have the book in two sizes. There will be a paperback 6x9 and an 8x11 full color hardback. I will have many photos and stories throughout the book. It is with excitement that my blog has morphed into a book. I do not know the prices of the two book because I am uncertain of the number of pages. The editor is doing a great job and I will soon bring you good news. The Book is Finished! With your email address, I can mail you the details as soon as I have the cost. My goal with this book is not to make money, just cover expenses. If I find that I have a few dollars over, one of my intentions is to help an orphanage in Africa which is for disabled children. One of my grandsons had a disabling condition of which he passed away, thus my tender heart for disabled children. To learn about Brigham, you can visit my blog: http://argiehoskins.blogspot.com/ Brigham Reneer

Hoping to hear from you soon. I have had many people wanting this book: More Than A Ticket  so this project will keep me out of trouble for a while.  Details later.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

PASSENGER ARGIE HOSKINS

American Airlines' Passenger Argie Hoskins Shumway flying to Hawaii.  As the years have come and gone, I am pleased to say that I enjoy a ride on American Airlines.  The years have changed the way that travel presents itself.  I believe that I enjoyed the Golden years of flying. I have ventured to write a book More Than A Ticket which attempts to tell it like it was from Props to Jets. This book will be only the beginning of telling a story about the time when I loved every minute of being in the clouds of time.  To order the book:  argie.ella@gmail.com  It will be out by January 25, 2014, the day to celebrate the first Boeing 707 from Los Angeles to New York. I was a stewardess on that historical Flight 2. My book is what it is, a story about memories of a few stewardesses who thank American Airlines for the opportunity to be on a team with terrific individuals. The team was the best of the best!  Grateful to American Airlines.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Calling "STEWARDESSES" for a flying reflection

After a few years of other projects on my plate, I am editing and adding to my book. I plan to have it printed by Jan. 2013.  This is not a project to fund my old age. My desire is to share a time in history that is fast being forgotten. It must be reality not an illusion.
It will be exciting with the additions which I hope will include you.






If you flew in the 50s or 60s as a pilot, stewardess, passenger or ground service, I would really like to include a reflection from you. This is not just about me!  It is about American Airlines with their well trained Stewardesses with a history of dedication and commitment to an industry that was exciting to step into  from props to jets.

Please let me hear from you!   argie.ella@gmail.com or reply with a comment.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Delta Employee writes a story

Sue Meyers sent this writing to me.  Sue is a flight attendant for American Airlines, and I thank you Sue for your willingness to share.



THIS IS A MUST READ – FROM BEGINNING to END.....

IT WILL RENEW YOUR FAITH IN PEOPLE.

Flight on Delta from Frankfurt to CA on 9/11 – written by one of the Flight Attendants...
-----------------------------------
Begin forwarded message:

A long read but well worth it.
 
First time I've read this and it's inspiring. 
 
From a retired Delta Employee. An interesting story about one flight during September 11th.
 
Amazing Story of Delta Flight 15 Written by a flight attendant.
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic . All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise
          destination."
 
No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander , New Foundland. He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately--no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.
While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.
 
We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander , New Foundland to have it checked out.
 
We promised to give more information after landing in Gander . There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander . Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM! . . .. that's 11:00 AM EST.
There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S.
 
After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.
 
The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the aircrafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.
 
Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.
 
Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm. We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.
 
We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.
Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was
33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.
 
About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.
 
After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of
10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander ! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.
We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV . . . 24 hours after it all started.
 
Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the "plane people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.
 
Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found out was incredible.
Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a
75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.
 
ALL high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.
 
Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.
 
Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.
 
Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully. It was absolutely incredible
.
When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling. Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
 
And then a very unusual thing happened. One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that.. But this time was different. I said "of course" and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.
 
He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15
(our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than 14,000 dollars!
 
The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.
 
I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a far away place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them. It reminds me how much good there is in the world.
 
Trust in the Lord today!

Another mail from Sue, and again Thank You.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd4gAHmRJWo 


Have a Happy Heart!




Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

As I sit here thinking about life, I am reminded that my life has always known the fine acting of the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor. She is four years my senior. The first movie that I remember and loved was "National Velvet" which nurtured a love for horses that remains in my heart.  Another movie was "Little Women" with the history that threaded through my own family history and a desire to know more about that given period of time. "Raintree County" turned on the emotions of love and tenderness.  While I was flying as a stewardess in the '50s, I was aware of her continued skill as an actress and always wished that she had been on one of my flights. It is with gratitude and appreciation from my heart that I have experienced  and enjoyed  Elizabeth Taylor as she contributed in the field of acting during the period of time in which I have lived.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess: MORE THAN A TICKET

American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess: MORE THAN A TICKET

MORE THAN A TICKET

                           
An exciting day for Jet travel . . . January 25, 1959   Today is the 52nd anniversary of American Airlines' Inaugural Jet Flight which was from Los Angeles to New York City and return.

Today, as I reminisce about the excitement of that historic day, I feel the same emotions fill my soul with the pleasure of having the opportunity of flying with American Airlines.  The blog I started two years ago, "American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess" has had over 4000 hits in the last eight months, when I started keeping track of such things.  At some point along the way, I was encouraged by others to convert my blog into a book.  This I have now done.  It is entitled More Than A Ticket and was printed by a University Press.  At the request of the American Airlines KIWI Club, I sent a copy for their archives.  A second copy was donated to the KIWI Club auction which was held at their convention in 2010.  I'm sure it sold for several zillion $ but don't know the exact figure.  Here's a picture of the book.

MORE THAN A TICKET 
by Argie Hoskins



FROM PROPS TO JETS




Now that my blog has morphed into a book, I'm in the process of editing the book back into my blog, so I'll add a bit at a time.  It will incorporate most of what has appeared on my blog from its inception until today's date, but in a much more attractive format as well as with more detail and many more photos.  I'm adding the first segment of the book today, in celebration of the 52nd anniversary of that first commercial jet flight in American Airlines' Boeing 707 with Captain Macatee.  

I thank John (Jock) Bethune for his untiring and touching efforts in keeping American Airlines history alive. American is American because of the people it serves and the way it serves the people. American Airlines Doing What We Do Best 


For more details about purchasing "MORE THAN A TICKET" contact Argie Hoskins. I will sell through PayPal.

                                                               

                                                              
LIFE AS A STEWARDESS


Argie with long hair before Stewardess School with her brother C. L. Hoskins

Leaving home, Argie and C. L. picked up their suitcases and went their separate ways. "Sister" went one way and "Brother" another into an unknown world.

Our journey took us away from rattlesnakes, horned toads, the warmth of a gas heater and Mama's home cooking with its steaks from range fed cattle, cakes from scratch and homemade ice cream. My restless spirit said, "Go!" from our home in Animas Valley, New Mexico. It was hard to leave a small five room (two adobe) home without electricity, and raw milk to drink, I wanted to go! And step by step I made my way to the big city: "Chicago, Chicago,” many people's hometown. Tears and  smiles.

First step was to El Paso to live with my mother's sister Aunt Boo, who was like a sister to me. Uncle Bill and Aunt Boo, along with cousins Effie and Freddie, supported me while I was  working for El Paso Natural Gas Company. One day, a friend with whom I was working suggested that I would be a likely candidate for becoming a stewardess.  To become a stewardess?  Now, that was a novel idea. I was afraid of flying and what's more, afraid of heights.  As a child, after running or other rigorous activities,  I would faint on the playground. Having had a dizziness challenge, the dream of flying was "pie in the sky," as my mother would say. My dad said that my “itchy” feet had sprouted wings.  The closest that I had ever gotten to a plane was while visiting my grandparents in El Paso. As a small child, while playing on the patches of lawn with my dolls, I would hear and watch the Ft. Bliss Warbirds fly over the yard.  The sound droned across the sky. Those planes seemed so remote to me.

For a young lady being a stewardess was a sought after job. The job market was very competitive. Filmmakers and novelists had encouraged the wanderlust and want for glamour  in the American Girl. I had heard of her poise and charm. Here was a chance to see the world, while meeting all kinds of interesting people, including passengers who could afford to be pampered. In turn, the stewardess would be rewarded with the attention of a celebrity. All this was depicted in an American Airlines' advertisement. Being a stewardess and serving in a fashionable manner was a desirable goal for a young lady of my time. I had been trained by my mother and grandmother to be a lady. In the sky would be a good place to be one. It appealed to my femininity. Sounded good to me.

After a draining interview with American Airlines, I sat in the terminal at Amon Carter Field,
Ft. Worth, Texas, waiting for my flight and thinking, "Well, at least, when I looked in the mirror, I did look sorta cute in the cap the interviewer had me try on, and  I really do like to visit with people.”  Thinking that I had failed the interview, I felt a wave of sadness wash over me.  I prayed to the Heavens above that whatever happened would be for the best.

This telegram beat me back to El Paso   



My hands still tremble with excitement!  Some would say it is old age, but I know the tears of joy are not old age, as I ponder this telegram. That moment changed my life. My family was so excited when they picked me up at the El Paso Airport! This would be the airport into which I would most frequently fly, either as a destination or a stop along the way. On that evening, little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey that would challenge me intellectually and emotionally while learning a lot about myself. Dare I?

I didn't know that in the future, I would be thrilled by glorious southwest sunsets and powerful thunderstorms that would rock the plane this way and that as the route took us through huge puffy clouds with sudden drops in altitude. The southern part of New Mexico is where I found  the power of nature is amazingly stated. New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment, was graced with beauty both on the land and in the sky.  My home!



Class 57-6,  1957   

These pretty faces were  faces of tired, enthusiastic and very smart young ladies who were pushed and pushed again to learn all that was required to be the "best of the best" as American Airline stewardesses. What a privilege!  
                                                           
American Airlines' Chicago hangar at Midway Airport housed the Stewardess College when I attended the school in April and May of 1957. Later that same year, the world's first facility for flight attendant training, the American Airlines Stewardess College, was built in Dallas/Fort Worth.  Before this outstanding event, the College was in a hangar at  Midway field.  Chicago Midway International is located on the city's southwest side, eight miles from Chicago's Loop. It is in the area of 55th Street and Cicero Avenue. This was the setting for Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "North by Northwest" starring Cary Grant. Incidentally, both of these gentlemen flew on flights with me. Yes, this is where I went to school.

Becoming a stewardess with American Airlines meant that I had to, and I mean had to, study, memorize and role play what I learned and be tested on the same.  This was done in fighter pilot mode with full throttle ahead. Oh, yes, the fear of washing out and going back home with egg on my face and an ocean of tears in my heart was the pressure I felt. Along with the  fear of failure and the excitement of becoming what I desired and expected was my challenge in that hangar at the Midway Airport in Chicago. Day after day, night after night, I groomed myself for that eventful day of graduation.     

One of the students, in that hangar was Polly. We have become friends forever and ever.  We understood what it was like on both sunny and rainy days in that hangar. The rigors and  determination paid off as we journeyed to build character  to sustain us through the “growing experiences” of life. The lessons of commitment,  loyalty, and completing the task at hand were learned when the eggs needed to be gathered and the chickens needed to be fed.  Even when you are discouraged, “Get out of bed and amount to something!” We did it! Hallelujah!

Thanks for the memories. It is great to revisit moments  in the hangar with exhaust smells from the runway as planes took off, not to forget the smell of the rain on the tarmac. While coming and going from the hangar with rain pouring on my head I learned what the word inclement weather meant. I ponder and am grateful for  hard times,  good times and times forgotten.  I cannot remember everything. What I  remember is worth remembering.

Becoming a stewardess was not an easy experience for me.  Having finished two years of college, I never had experienced the rigors of education such as I encountered in that hangar. Learn it fast, now, and don't forget! Learning all the Stewardess Manual stuff was hard – such as Administrative Procedures, Basic Procedures, Restrictions and Irregularities, Convair Procedures, DC-6 Procedures, DC-7 Procedures and later Boeing 707 Jet Procedures. Along with all this, there was a section on Special Procedures, Emergency Procedures, Oxygen, Illness and Injuries, Forms and Reports, and of course, the Reference Material. Each of these topics, with the emotional trauma of learning it well, fast, and applying the concepts in a professional manner, could fill a book.

AMERICAN AIRLINES STEWARDESS EMERGENCY TRAINING  1957-1959
Honestly, I had the foundation for learning and applying the skills needed for Emergency Training. I am amazed at my metamorphic change from caterpillar to butterfly. What does this have to do with me and Emergency Training? The caterpillar  evolves step by step. As I ponder my training as a stewardess and the "me" who emerged from the training, it was all good.  For the successful handling of any emergency, it was important to know the task and how to do it on an automatic level and depend on my knowledge and skill with no guess work. Wow! I needed to learn sooo much. As Daddy “Al” Hoskins said, “ This is the task that needs to be done, this is what I am going to do, this is what you are going to do. Now be careful.” And good old American Airlines picked me, Argie Hoskins, because they knew I could do it! Now to get rid of the self doubts and have confidence inside of me. Along the way something really great happened, I found in me, a new me. Not only did I know the procedures, but knew there was no substitute for good judgment. You can't learn everything from a book. Always have in mind plan "A" and plan "B" for  survival. Later, as a school teacher, we had workshops on "thinking outside the box." I realized that I had been thinking outside the box for years and years.
My first Emergency Training was focused on DC-6, DC-6B, DC-6 Coach, DC-7, DC-7 Coach, DC-7 Dual Service, and the Convair. The Emergency Equipment: EXITS and how to open the window exits from inside, and in some cases, the outside of the aircraft. ROPES were located in exit windows and doors of certain aircraft. EVACUATION SLIDES were stored on the cabin doors. The lounge exit had a slide. It was fun to practice our skills while overcoming fear.  FIRE EXTINGUISHERS were located in various locations on the several aircraft. OXYGEN cylinder, outlets and walk-around bottles were strategically placed. FLASHLIGHTS were on some aircraft. EMERGENCY LIGHTS replaced flashlights on all aircraft. We always checked the SERVICE KIT which contained First Aid Equipment. We were trained to remember to take the SERVICE KIT with us if we evacuated. We didn't have the theme band-aids that children plaster all over themselves these days.  That would have been an interesting demand. A FIRE AXE was located on the forward side of the cockpit door on all aircraft. FIRE DETECTORS, EXTINGUISHING EQUIPMENT and FLOTATION SEAT CUSHIONS were on some aircraft.
   
This is a statement from my American Airlines Manual: "The successful handling of any emergency aboard an aircraft depends to a large degree on you and your knowledge. There is never an emergency in which there isn't something you can do to help. Safe procedures require a cool head. The ability to think straight and operate calmly requires knowledge of what to do.”
There is no substitute for good judgment. If an emergency occurs, Stewardesses are assigned specific  responsibilities. If the specific location of the First Stewardess makes it difficult or time consuming to accomplish her duties as outlined, then good judgment should dictate that she carry out the Second Stewardess' duties and vice - versa. The Second Stewardess under such conditions should take her cue from the First Stewardess.

Now the task for me was to know what responsibilities were assigned to the First Stewardess and Second Stewardess. I felt that I could do both at the same time. That has been my challenge; I think that I can do it all, but I can't! I must be in charge of my stewardship and others must be committed to their stewardship. In case of an emergency, I must know what I can do and do it!  Don't expect someone else to solve the problems that I must handle.

The kind of emergency situations that I was trained for back in the 1950's were varied.  A“Belly Landing” was when the gear would not come down. This was not very different from a normal landing, however, there was the possibility of the shock from the hard landing being different, depending on whether the nose or the tail hit first. The Captain would announce which landing configuration to expect. Our job was to be prepared for any eventuality. I remember the advice from stewardess school was to inform the passengers to relieve their bladders so that on impact the bladder would not burst. I never found that in the manual, but thought it was a good idea. Along with that idea was the use of the pillows and the position of the body on impact. Nose wheel up, main gear down, will finally position the aircraft with its nose down and tail up!    This position business of landing was hard for me because of the sequencing challenge in my brain. Up, down, down, up! Concepts had to be over learned!

From data presented in school, I felt comforted that American Airline was  the best for their concern and training for emergency procedures. I would do it all over again for American.

* KNOW YOUR PROCEDURES

* USE GOOD JUDGMENT (Now called SOUND JUDGMENT)

 *KEEP COOL

Step by step, day by day, I knew that I was driven to graduate from the school on the south side of Chicago. While in training, I was told by an instructress that I was shy and didn't talk much. She concluded by reassuring me that I was going to make it. I was always afraid that I was going to washout, which meant to get my walking papers. Oh, help!

From the rural area of southern New Mexico, I well remember the first time I walked down the streets of Chicago. Surreal! Where on earth were the open spaces of Animas Valley and Cotton City? Going to church, riding the subway and the elevated rail, was an awesome awakening.  I saw laundry hanging outside apartments as we flew by “flats” on the elevated train or "L"  as it was called. I will never forget the face of a child looking out a window as our eyes met, never to meet again, and thinking, "Oh, I am so glad that I grew up in southwestern New Mexico.”  To this day, I can feel the emotions of that brief moment,  Thank you, Mother and Daddy, for the life of “don't fence me in.”

One Sunday, riding back to the hangar from church, looking out the window of the subway, the "L", and then the bus, I missed my exit.  The bus driver announced, "End of line." It was dark and I had no idea where I was. The driver was helpful enough to direct me to a bar around the corner for a phone. The bar man said, "Use the phone outside." I had no idea who to call, where to go, or what to do and, can you believe, very little money.  All I knew was that I was on the south side of Chicago and my parents would be worried if they knew anything about me being on the south side of Chicago, at night! On a very low level of awareness I knew of gangs.  To make things worse, the day was a cold April day, and night was even more biting, to which one of my new friends at the hangar had responded by insisting that I borrow her fur or fur-looking full length coat. 

Here I stood in the cold night in front of a bar not knowing what to do.  No transportation to the airport hangar, no money for a taxi, and young and pretty in a fur coat.  You guessed it!  I prayed in my Catholic friend's fur coat.  A car stopped with several people in it.  I couldn't tell but it looked somewhat like a family.  Thanks to above, they took me to the airport and dropped me off without engaging in much conversation. Wherever you are, THANK YOU!

Later, I became familiar with the transportation system of Chicago. My first  apartment was on Wrightwood Avenue, north of the Loop.  From Wrightwood Avenue, I took a trolley car to the Midway Airport to catch my plane.  Boarding the trolley in front of a Chinese laundry, where interesting foreign looking people gathered to have  conversation, my curiosity of a new world was spiked with questions. Reaching across cultures, my eyes and my heart opened.

I did not spend every minute training in the hangar. I had to do certain things to look as attractive as possible. One of them was to find the person who was to fit my uniform. What a nightmare for me to figure out how to get to the tailor for uniform fittings. Learning how to get from the hangar to Washington Street and back, again, was a challenge for my sequencing deficit. That was not easy. I will never forget that gentle man, Mr. Colangelo, when phone numbers were easy for me to remember.  “I'm lost.”


Take a look at the phone number. Yes, life was more simple. Mr. Colangelo was a kind man and very talented as a tailor. I say talented, because he designed my American Airline uniform to make me, Argie Hoskins, really look like a stewardess.  In computer terms, he knew where to cut and paste. Thank you, Mr. Colangelo.

 Cap was designed by Mae Hanauer of New York





Another "funny"  like learning to mix drinks, I had never tasted the fruit of the art of mixing. Wow! I seemed to catch on faster than most. Figure that! Martinis and Manhattans. Can't remember which has an olive?  And which the cherry? I think the Martinis have the olive and Manhattans, the cherry. Oh, well, I never indulged anyway because it didn't make sense to me.

Another experience that comes to my mind was the need to know how to find the rope in the exit windows then pull it on to the wing and down to the ground with me hanging on to the rope.
I did it! This is when I learned the difference between “knowing and doing.” Another “doing” was the courage I had to find to control my heart and my mind and JUMP! Yes, out the door and down the evacuation slide! I did it! I still get dizzy when I ride an escalator going down. The escalator moves, the slide didn't! I remember that thrill as if it were this very day. Sometimes I dream of the excitement. How could I, with all my learning challenges, be successful at these things that were difficult for some? These gals were courageous. They set aside their fears and forged on through their tears. 

When graduation time came and the company's needs were analyzed as to where stewardesses were needed, assignments were announced. When our base assignments were announced, some were disappointed and there were great big tears because the placement assignment did not meet the expectation while others were elated!  Some didn't really care. I remember one, crying, yelling and trying everything she knew to persuade the system to change its mind and re-assign.  It didn't work. That was part of the deal, go where you were needed. Didn't we know that when we signed on the dotted line? Well, at last I am in Chicago to stay. This is what I wanted, however, Los Angeles would have been better because one of my old sweethearts was living there. I really wanted to see him. You know what the heart does to the emotions. Gets you all crazy. I was immersed in the view of the world that I was experiencing, so Chicago was just fine.

Trained at the historical Midway Airport, "Crossroads of the World," the world's busiest airport  where we had been very busy, also. Graduation was held at 4th and Halstead at the historical Stock Yard Inn, Four Seasons room  at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday May 21st, 1957.  That was an event! Aren't we lovely ladies? Here we are with our styled hair, dressed in our new brown uniforms and spectator pumps. The spectator is coming back into style. I am glad because I like the two-tone look.


Class of 57 - 6   1957






Mildred Jackson interviewed 28,000 young ladies in 1956 and hired 691 of them for American Airlines Stewardess School.                                    


                                                                                     

And here! An important paper that said,
"successfully completed" and signed by Mildred Jackson (Millie) along with C. R. Smith and the  tremendous instructors.   Hallelujah and Hallelujah, again!




 Ellie Roman, Connie Rutkowski, Chris Debraggio

                                                   
In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of December 17, 1957,  it was reported that Mildred Jackson, the Director of Stewardesses and Customer Service said, “Airline Stewardesses make perfect wives but they all do not wed rich passengers or handsome pilots. I don't know how you can tell a wealthy passenger.”

In school we learned to take care of people, including the irate passenger, which make stewardesses practically perfect wives, Miss Jackson revealed. She said a survey had shown that stewardesses have the lowest divorce rate among former working girls. The day she told us this, it was reassuring but it didn't work for me. I remembered the words of Millie when I signed my divorce papers. Why me!

“It's not all glamour,”  said the glamorous Miss Jackson. “You have crazy hours, sometimes up at 4:00 am and you work Sundays, Christmas, and New Year's unless you can trip trade.  After walking from coast to coast, your feet hurt.”

These photos are contributed by Martha Mason, niece of Mildred Jackson.  Martha, thank you for your generous contribution.




Mildred  Jackson  pinning a class 

                                                           

Class of 1953





 Center:  Mildred Jackson, American Airlines President C. R. Smith




 Front row left: President Smith and Miss Jackson

                    

Mildred Jackson and children having fun with Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy




While Mildred Jackson was not interviewing young ladies, she was involved with public relations.


                                           
Argie Hoskins


As I left stewardess training, this is how I looked with short hair. One day a hair stylist came to the school to "fix us up" with a new “hairdo.” WOW! I could not believe what happened to my long, beautiful hair. It was very hard to keep the tears from bursting forth. I had thick, lovely locks and then "no hair." After the “hairdo," the photographer took our pictures to send home to the local newspapers announcing our training success. This smile was the best that I could muster up. Look at the back of the hair. 

         
                                                                                                           On the 21st of May 1957, I earned my wings. I was more excited over this pinning than when, a couple of years later, I was pinned by an Annapolis graduate Bob Merritt, who had become a navy pilot.

I met  passenger Bob on a flight from Los Angeles to San Diego. After the flight, the A.A. crew had several minutes in the crew lounge before working the trip back to Los Angeles.  Captain Clarke said, "Argie, go out and visit with that young man."
Clarke had seen us visiting on the plane. So, I went out to a concession area and there Bob, a jet pilot, was wandering around. We visited, he walked me to the gate and a wonderful relationship began to unfold. Bob and I became more than friends, he was my sweetheart. Crew members watched out for each other.  Some of A.A.'s best! 

I remember one time when Captain Clarke, Stewardess Jennings, the copilot, flight engineer, and I flew a deadheading flight from El Paso to Los Angeles.  Captain Clarke said, "Let's take this flight to Heaven." We were all of the same Faith.  Good idea but it didn't work. We had a fun time. Captain Clarke was a wonderful man. There were a lot of really nice crew members. I also remember  Captain Kunz and his wife Sally. We, also, had our Faith in common.

I flew into El Paso a lot. During my layovers there, Aunt Boo picked me up at all hours, took me home, doted over me, and took me back to the airport after lots of hugs. I loved it. She would get upset if I didn't bid a flight to El Paso. My favorite cousin Effie and her brother Freddie Scott were young and how I loved them. It was always  nice to get a home cooked meal with my favorite fruits. Aunt Boo and I had always been like sisters. She was my mother's only sister. She couldn't have been more excited to have me flying for AA. The rest of the crew stayed at the Hilton Hotel downtown near the Mexican border. That was the first high rise Hilton Hotel.

First month of flying and it could have been a very short career! I boarded the Convair from Chicago to Indianapolis.  Never had I seen the Captain or Copilot and I was scared to death. 
I was the only stewardess without anyone to help or cue me into the right timetable. 

On to the plane in a ladylike, dignified manner I went to check all the necessary things:  Service Kit, magazines, special meals, pillows, blankets, where the coats should be hung. I wanted to make the plane, where I was the stewardess, a place someone would like to come back to over and over again. Knowing that I would need to memorize 40 names of passengers in about 40 minutes and serve a meal - my oh my, this was an absolute test in sequencing, multitasking, and time management. Well, I got the names down, but the plane started to descend and I had not served the meal. Running into the cockpit, I was so nervous, I said, "I haven't started to serve the meal."  "We are landing," came the voice from the Captain. I felt like jumping out the door. All I could hear was "Get started." In a few minutes, our good humored  captain came back and helped me get the food served. The plane was put in a holding pattern to give us time to serve the meal. “We landed!” The pilots got off the plane for a 45 minute layover and  I sat on the plane  knitting and crying. When the crew came back, the captain brought me a candy bar, smiled, and announced that  new passengers were coming. Never had I received such a needed gift. Dear man, and I don't even remember his name. American hired amazing people!

I continued to be on reserve, "on call," and was called to work the Convair again, only one  stewardess.  Were they trying to "wash me out" with all these "one gal" all alone flights?
Another early awakening was in Lexington, Kentucky.  That evening I fell into bed at a small motel forgetting to set my alarm. I hung my uniform on a dresser drawer, showered, curled my hair and went to bed. I had forgotten to set the alarm.  BANG, BANG, AND ANOTHER BANG! "Our cab is here!" I threw on my uniform, curlers in my hair, no makeup and teeth not brushed, hurried my red embarrassed face out the door and into a cab. I will never and I mean never forget Lexington, Kentucky. The crew got a good laugh over that one. Looking back I'm glad to have brought them some laughter. At the time, I thought, am I really cut out for this job?

One time, I remember walking into the Stewardess office and being told that the supervising staff needed to take a look.  "Wrong color of nail polish!" I quickly took it off and on went the right color.  American Airlines Red is what I called it. 
My thought yelled in my ears, “Am I ever going to get this thing right?”

Another time with a few pounds over weight, "Argie, do you have a girdle on?"
    “Yes, ma'am, Playtex."
    "Well, you need to lose a few pounds."
I wish I had the same supervision now.

 We were proud to be stewardesses for American Airlines. We looked sharp and served with enthusiasm and poise. Friends liked to take photos in those fast, small  “walk in and out” booths in shopping places.   Personal cameras were not as plentiful as now.



                                                                                          

Time to go West! Westward bound, I put in for a transfer to Los Angeles, leaving Chicago behind. It came through.

Chicago had been exciting for me. A few mornings before I was to leave for Los Angeles, I got up to go grocery shopping to find that my car was not in the place I had parked. I looked and looked again. No car. As I was walking back into the apartment, way down the alley, alas, my car!  It was unlocked and no gas.  I  was so pleased that after the "joy" ride, "Autumn Leaves," my Chevy convertible, had been returned.

I motored from Chicago to St. Louis. After having a flat tire with no money to buy another tire, I decided that I needed to stop for the night. Next morning, I left with no spare tire for the next leg on my journey to Animas, New Mexico. Home, here I come! Driving alone from St. Louis to Las Cruces to spend the next evening with my brother C. L. and his wife Joan was another accomplishment.  I arrived there late and thankful that I had a great car,  to speed me through the roads of the Midwest to the Southwest.  Did I really know what I was doing?  Probably not.

Las Cruces is where I had gone to school at New Mexico A&M. I have some really great memories including yelling my lungs out while cowboys played ball on the basketball court. One player was my brother who was on a basketball scholarship.  Memories of western dancing, when during the dances, my brother and I would show off our dance routines, learned in the kitchen back at the ranch.  The kids at college thought I was going to the dances with two guys.  My date would dance with other girls while I was “kicking up a step” with  my brother.

After some good conversation, a lot of hugs and a good night's rest, I was determined to check my estimated time of departure and head my wheels on west.


The next day, it was on to Animas Valley to see Mom and Dad. 

I had a new appreciation for their simple, honest lives.  They were amazed that their little girl had been to the big city and  had made her way home, all by herself.  Was that ever so nice! 

Next week leaving Animas, Mother rode to Los Angeles with me. Now, in Los Angeles and back to work, I knew that my thrill for American Airlines would last. The memories are wired in and they are many, many, so I decided to write them down.

I could not believe that in my heart and mind, I had moved from thinking I could not make it as a stewardess to thinking that I was one of the best.  It took a lot of hard work to overcome telling myself that I was a shy, unattractive, dumb nothing with no one caring, and I could add a few expletives that I cannot say or allow myself to think. With these challenges, it was tough. With that being said, the one thing that I had going for me was the "hard work" ethic which had been instilled in me while growing up in a mining camp and on a cattle ranch.  I dug in my heels, knocked off the cow "stuff" and  "cowboy up" as cowboys would say, viewing  myself as the things I wanted to be.  After a while, I was the person who I WAS!  American Airlines, had challenged me to be “Me.”

I learned that talent is more than dancing, singing, acting, and looking "pretty!"  I learned that I had talent for understanding people and their  feelings. Knowing their hearts, and expecting nothing of them, they were pleased. I learned from my instructor Chris Debraggio, that you don't ask if someone wants a pillow, you have the pillow in hand to give them.  What a powerful lesson!  Don't make people ask for your love.  Give love without asking for it back. I learned something about me that was rewarding. 


My Daddy taught me to keep things in order to accomplish a task; and tasks were done with strict discipline. Obedience to the task was demanded and expected. Daddy's mother was a German lady who understood the nature of success.  As a public school teacher, I found that students who had not learned to internalize discipline could not focus and accomplish goals.  I am quoting a cowboy friend who worked for Daddy. "Al  would tell me what he wanted to get done. He would than tell me what he was going to do, told me what I was going to do and said, 'Now be careful!'" Look at his large hands. A former windmill helper told me that Daddy had to cut the tops of gloves to fit his hands. 
November 1951 to August 1966, Daddy worked as a wind-miller for the Victoria Land and Cattle Company's “Diamond A” ranch in Animas Valley, New Mexico. He took his job very seriously.  It could be a dangerous venture, climbing up the windmill tower to repair whatever was needed.  Thank you Daddy for being an example of hard  and conscientious work.  Mother used to say, "You are just like your Daddy," and for me that was a compliment. American Airlines expected that same attention to details and to focus on the task and exhibit the same kind of discipline.


I am grateful to my mother Edna for her intuitive soul, hard work and good judgment. She taught me to think outside the box. "Sister, if you cannot do it one way, you can do it another." "Think before you act." "Think of others before yourself." "Do your best!"  Thank you, dear Mother.   Neither of us is perfect, but we hung in there and kept trying until something worked.  Hard work, but worth it. I remember the hours I spent on the sewing machine, ripping out the wrong stitches. Mama was a professional seamstress, self taught, and  a degree via mail from The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, A Division of International Correspondence Schools, Scranton, Pennsylvania.  On my dresser, I display two of her text books, Sewing For Profit and Decorative Stitches and Trimmings. Our kitchen table was covered with the course work for Dress Making and Designing.

Yes, back there in the mining camp town of Santa Rita, New Mexico, from April 1939 to November 1951, Daddy worked as a machinist welding in overalls which were always clean. Mama was studying and making gowns for the “big boss” wives. I learned about style and dress design from a mother in a mining camp. 

I knew the American Airlines uniform had the style that I wanted to wear.  In my view of life, I wore that uniform in the Golden Years of flying, when I was privileged to be a stewardess for my most favorite of all carriers, American Airlines.  Thank you, American. 

My parents lived through the depression, but I was never hungry. We were  poor of means, but I didn't know it.  They taught me the values of honesty, staying out of debt, working hard, being a good citizen of our country, respecting the flag, appreciating America, staying clean, and saying "Yes ma'am,”  “No sir,”  “Please,” and “Thank you for the good meal.”  “May I be excused?”  “How can I help you?" MANNERS. 

Faith in God. Our immigrant ancestors who had sacrificed and worked hard to become part of our great United States of America were self-reliant, responsible, and principled.  I made a choice to follow these teachings. This was the foundation of my character that I brought to American Airlines that helped me to become an excellent Stewardess.

The ranch where my folks lived was located between El Paso, Texas and Douglas, Arizona.  From El Paso to Douglas, American Airlines' flight path took us right over the ranch. Mother knew what time of day I flew over the ranch house.  She would take her apron and wave to the plane as we flew over.  The DC 6  descended into the area of Douglas at an altitude which made Mama visible though the plane's window as I hurried to the window to see her.  One day a passenger asked me what I was looking at outside the window.  She laughed when I said, "My mother!"

On another occasion, as we flew over the ranch, the plane banked to the right and then to the left as a salute to Mama.  Yes, there was Mama, this time waving a rather large white dish towel or cup towel as we called it.  "What's happening?" voiced a passenger.  “Well, we just aim to please," I replied. Little did anyone know that the person we were pleasing was that little lady on the ground waving to her daughter.

I can picture what Mama was doing in that small house, making it inviting  with her homemade bread and pickled peaches, washing clothes in the wringer washing machine, and hurrying out to the garden to dig carrots for dinner.  Perhaps she was on her way to gather eggs to be candled to take to market in Lordsburg, or wringing off a chicken's head for dinner.  I knew this life well before I started on my journey away from Animas Valley. 

Daddy held the soil of Animas Valley in his huge hands as he skillfully and artistically repaired the windmills among the puzzle of dust devils, cockleburs, thistles, devil's claws and tumbleweeds, only to become a footnote in the sands of time. I rejoice that I lived in the southern area of The Land of Enchantment.

Can you even imagine the threads of emotion I felt flying over this land below me? How I wished that I could tell my passengers about my life down there.  Life that captured the colors of history, the landscape, and the feelings of the wide open spaces. The very thought fills my heart with the tears and laughter of nostalgia. Again snapshots of days gone by.
















               
From my bedroom window I viewed and absorbed the silent strength of Animas Peak.

   
Animas Peak in southwestern New Mexico   
                   
                 

                                                                                                    Photos by Argie   
 
Look at my smile as I waited to get on that plane heading from El Paso to Los Angeles.  My next step after a smile for the camera was to say “Hi” to Sky Chef and check the service kit.  I enjoyed flying in and out of the airport at El Paso.  The agents were friendly and they asked about Bertha Candelaria, a stewardess and El Paso hometown girl.  I loved to fly with  her.                                                           

Public relations appearances soon became part of my job.  My first PR experience was appearing at the monument which AA was installing in Texas.  The clipping below reads: “Monument to be put atop 8,751 foot Guadeloupe Peak, the highest mountain in Texas, by American Airlines honoring pioneer and stage coach drivers who conquered the dangerous pass, pointed out by William E. Swift,
El Paso to Stewardess Argie Hoskins.”

        Valley Independent Fabens, Texas





          
          





























Claire Bullock, Argie Hoskins, Barbara Whaley, Gerry McMasters

These ladies were my friends and flying companions  with whom I shared rent, utilities, and food that looked a lot like peanut butter.  We prayed and played together, laughed and cried together.  I remember before boarding our flight to New York, we played on the Santa Monica beach in the morning.  In the evening, we walked with our sunburns in the snow of New York City to see the Perry Como or Andy Williams show.  Perry was a popular television performer and recording artist, who sang one of my favorite songs, “Magic Moments.”  He sold millions of records for RCA. With his relaxed attitude and wonderful voice,  his success on television and popular recordings was rarely excelled. We enjoyed our sixteen hour layovers. Claire and Barbara have earned their eternal wings.  Gerry is still calling everyone “Sweetie.” Gerry is a precious person.  I know her well and in my opinion, I would choose her to be my stewardess. It was my privilege to work with her on both the props and jets.


Stewardess  Gerry McMasters 

One evening Gerry and I had closed the curtain of the buffet to eat.  A passenger opened the curtain and announced with surprise, “You eat!?” Our passengers thought we were glamorous superwomen without appetites. Embarrassed!      


    Journal Entry of January 1, 1959:
The Rose Parade was really beautiful with flowers, flowers and more flowers.  One float had an American Airlines 707 jet model all decked out in appropriate colors.  Go American Airlines!

    Journal Entry of  January 14, 1959:
Supervisor Jean called and gave me a very special assignment, “You and Claire (a roommate) are going from Los Angeles to New York on the 707 on the 25th and the 29th,” which meant that we had been selected for the crew of the first commercial jet flight in America. WOW! 

After training for the 707, I knew this was a continuation of being committed, focused and disciplined. This was an honor.

Again, I thought, how do I multi-task and sequence all the job demands?  Could I do it?
My wind-miller, cowboy father had said every morning when he lighted the gas stove in my bedroom, “Get up and amount to something, Sister.”  And I remember the words of American Airlines President C. R. Smith: "We strive to treat every customer with dignity and respect to make each person feel like the most important person in the world.”  Yes, I could do that!

    Journal Entry of January 16, 1959:
I have been very busy doing public relations for American.  I went with one of the American Airlines sales representatives to meet and deliver Models of the 707 to VIPs in the LA area:  President of a Stock Exchange, President and Vice President of California Bank, President of Citizen's Bank, leading advertising businesses, and President of Pacific Mutual.

    Journal Entry of January 19, 1959:
Mr. Scroggins, American Airlines representative, and I met with Mayor Paulson, the publisher of the L. A.  times, and many individuals, such as the President of Southern California Edison Co., and others who would be on the Inaugural Flight.  I am lucky to be on the Inaugural flight.
   
    Journal Entry of Tuesday,  January 20, 1959:
Today, I drove to Huntington Park to meet Mr. Hall, a sales manager for American Airlines.  From there we drove to Fullerton to meet Dr. Arnold Beckman of Scientific Instruments, who was a pioneer in the field. 
Cal Tech Alumni Association:
“Arnold O. Beckman, chairman emeritus of the Cal Tech Board of Trustees, and founder Beckman Instruments, Inc., achieved international recognition for his accomplishments in industry, science, education, and civic affairs. Founding his company in 1935 with the development of a pH meter that has become an indispensable tool for analytical chemists. Beckman saw his firm become a major international manufacturer of instruments and related products for medicine, science, industry, environmental technology, and many other fields.”

To this day, I remember the generosity and kindness of Dr. Beckman. He connected in a very special way. Me, a girl from Animas Valley!  He and his wife Mabel were the “real” thing.  

Back to Huntintgon Park to dinner with Jay Dickie and then to Pasadena to  meet Sidney Small.  We went to Jet Propulsion Laboratory and met with the Nuclear  Physics core staff of our country; Dr. William Pickering.

In 1958, as director of JPL, Pickering led the successful effort to place the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1, into Earth orbit. 
Cal Tech Speech Reference Collection:
“In January 1959, JPL was assigned the responsibility for the robotic exploration of the moon and planets.  Under Pickering's direction, JPL supervised the Ranger missions returning the first close-up, high-resolution pictures of the lunar surface;  he also supervised the Surveyor soft-landers on the Moon; the Mariner missions to Mars and Venus; and the first gravity assist mission to Mercury, via Venus.” 

JPL also designed the Viking Orbiters to Mars and designed and built the Voyager spacecraft for their mission to the outer planets.
Along with Dr. Pickering was Dr. Al Hibbs, a physicist, Dr. Val Larsen, Dr. Frank Goddard, was
the California Scientist of the Year and a number others of the team.  I presented Dr. Pickering and Dr. Larsen with a miniature Boeing 707 model.
Cal Tech Reference Collection:
“Alumnus Frank E. Goddard Jr. (PhD '57), assistant director for research and development at Cal Techie's Jet Propulsion Laboratory received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for outstanding performance in advancing the technology of automated spacecraft design.”

After pictures, we journeyed on to see a Dr. Fay who is a teacher at Cal Tech.  It is amazing that I brushed shoulders with these busy and very involved individuals.

    Journal Entry of  Friday, January 23, 1959:
For our jet flight, we stayed in class all day long. We had our food service procedures today, which meant checking the buffet area for all needed items, what to turn on, what to turn off, all the food and beverage items for the flight including table clothes, Wine and Food menus, cocktail napkins, stirrers in preparation for a several course dining experience with special appetizers, salad, entree, dessert and fruit candy.  If something was missing, we needed to know who to contact. Prior to that Friday, we had been briefed on the emergency procedures. 


    Another Journal Entry January 24, 1959, Saturday:
I went to the airport, we finally got on the jet after much delay.  Now, that was an exciting day. I remember the feelings which flowed over me as I walked onto the aircraft. Thinking, "This is the real thing.”  Had my hair cut and fixed by Mr. Reid, very pleased. Came home after appointment and got ready for the flight.

On Jan. 25, 1959 American became the first airline to offer coast-to-coast jet service with the Boeing 707. On this historic flight, I felt like a celebrity being one of the stewardesses picked out of 2,000 plus stewardesses. The year of 1959 with American Airline was an exciting year for an airline stewardess because the population was thrilled to be riding on the jet.



I proudly have my American Airline Jet Training Boeing 707 card. “This certifies that Argie Hoskins is a qualified Stewardess on American's 707 Jet Flagship. [signed]Ralph Radcliffe, Director-Stewardess Service.   
   
    Journal Entry of January 25, 1959:
Claire and I got up at 5:30, dressed, had a bite to eat and out to the airport, an hour and a half before the flight departure. While we were being debriefed, a newspaper man took our pictures.


We boarded our aircraft and while having our pre-flight check, we had Gov. Brown and Mrs. Pat Brown, Red Moiser (AA Exec.), President C. R. Smith, Miss Jane Wyman, Mr. and Mrs. Hill plus others stroll through the plane. Mrs. Brown christened the plane, "Flagship California" with speeches by Gov. Brown and C. R. Smith.  
   
At this point my roommate Claire Bullock who was one of jet stewardesses and yes, from the south,  a totally dedicated fan of Elvis Presley was standing in the front of the craft when Elvis' agent handed her a photo of Elvis to accompany us on the first jet flight.
American Airlines Boeing 707 Inaugural Flight        
Flight Engineer Norman Rice, Stewardess Marilyn Rutkowski, Stewardess Edna Garrett, Captain Charles Macatee, Stewardess Argie Hoskins, Captain Lou Szabo, Stewardess Claire Bullock, Flight Engineer Bill Duncan


In different locations on the plane, bouquets of yellow and lavender flowers welcomed our guests. Oh yes, the stewardesses received orchids to wear. The entire flight was made up of very influential and successful people; newspaper people and cameramen, plus other wonderful passengers. Passengers were milling from one cabin to the other, Mercury to Coach. It was like a press conference and confusing for me.  The task at hand was to serve our passengers beverage and  food with first class service in a very informal atmosphere as one big happy family. I gave Miss Wyman my flight duster to wear, that being the dress, we wore during the food service. Everyone was having a grand time up in the "dream of sunshine and clouds." It was a magnificent experience and lots of hard work.



Argie Ella Hoskins


                                       An exciting day for Jet travel!      January 25, 1959

MERCURY SECTION    Manifest
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Adamson
    Aviation Department, Shell Oil Co.

Alcott, Carrell
    CBS Radio News
Babcock, C. Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Binns
    Exec. V. P. Waldorf Hotel

Mr. and Mrs.  Frank Bull
    Sports Announcer

Meuschki
    NBC Monitor

Clark, Wilbur
    Owner, Desert Inn Hotel, Las Vegas

Collins, W. C.
    Pres. of Northrop Aircraft

Dreyfuss, Henry
    Architect-Designer

Epley, M
    Long Beach Press Telegram

Fowler, Will
    AAL Public Relations
Frabutt, J. A.
    Pres. Int'l Telephone and Telegraph

Fry, Charles
V. P. Austin-Field-Fry

Grainger, I
    Pres. Cera Exchange Bank N. Y.

Metz, Rex   Cameraman
   
Mrs. Cordel Hicks
L. A. Times

Hogan, William
    Sr. V. P. Treasurer, AAL

Jacome, Alex
    Pres. Jacome Dept. Store

Jamison, Frank G.
    Pres. Pacific Automation

Kirk, J. Paul
    Pres. Morris P. Kirk Co.
Kraugh, E. D.
L. A. Herald Express

Mr. and Mrs. Abe Lastfogel
    Pres. William Morris Agency

Miss Maryon Lears
    Merchandise Mgr. Silverweeds

Levitan, Paul
    CBS T.V. News

Dr. and Mrs. Majer   Physician

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Mytinger
    Corp. Sec'y and CoOwner Mytinger and Casselberry

Mr. and Mrs. M. Pollard
    Airport Commissioner L. A.

Power, A. H.
    Partner Ernst and Ernst

Reiger, Henry
    United Press

C. R. Smith,  President  of  American Airlines
   
Smitter, Revel H.
    Sales Mgr. Waugh Engineering

Mr. and Mrs.  R. A. Stabler
    Pres. Filmasters, Inc.

Stanton, Dr. Frank   Pres. CBS
   
Stewart, Sam
    Coplay Newspapers

Stoneham, Herace
    Pres. San Francisco Giants

Summer, William
    Pasadena Star News & Independent

Thomas, Bill
 L. A. Mirror News

Mr. and Mrs. Karl Weber
    Chair of BD. Weber Aircraft

Weis, Elmer J.
    Exec. V. P. Pacific Pumps, Inc.

Winnett, P. G.
    Chair of BD. Bullocks

Mr. and Mrs. G. Wright  
Mr. Wright  (89 years old)

Miss Jane Wyman       Actress
This was the world of show business on Flight 2.  Miss Wyman was filmed wearing my flight duster.  Flight dusters were worn while serving a meal. We had our choice as a crew to either wear or not wear the duster. It made a more appropriate dress for the food service. One of the important reasons for the cover up was that it kept the uniform clean. It was flattering to me that she wore the same size.  I still have it, minus the belt, in my closet.  Jane was very  pleasant to be around.  She played the part of an American Airline Stewardess in the movie, "Three Guys named Mike." As a side note, Jane Wyman had been married to Ronald Reagan.

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Wallichs
    Pres. Capital Records

Dr. Arthur A. Klein
    Cal Tech
Professor of aeronautics at Cal Tech, director of the Society of Automotive Engineers 

Dr. Clark Millikan
    Cal Tech
I had this gentleman on an earlier flight and I had enjoyed his friendliness and his usual enthusiasm for his projects.  In the 1950's a new facet of aeronautics came into
view with the ideas of satellites and spacecrafts. Second time I met him while on a PR assignment. And now third time to see Dr. Millikan. It was always exciting to meet people over and over.

ROYAL COACHMAN SECTION
Mr. and Mrs.  L. Barnett    Barnett  age 2 ?
    Pres. Music Corp. of American
Barnett, Norman
V. P. Barnett Int'l Forwarders

Bassetti, Miss M.
    SFO

Bath, Phil
    AAL Photographer

Berlin, Franklin G.
    Pres. Beemak Plastics

Blodgett, Robert
    AA  Admiral
Bowers, H. E.
    Exec. J. E. Haddock Co.

Buller, E.
    Mayor Atwater, California

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Burgess
    Electronic Specialty Co.

Caverly, R. J.
    Hd. Int'l Div. Hilton Hotels

Christophenson, Enoch
    Past Mayor, Turlock, California

 Dr. and Mrs. Walter
    Optometrist & Designer

Elmore, John   Prominent Farmer,  Brawley, California  

Feitler, Michael
    Manager Oakland Realty Co.

Galloway, Neal
    Merced County, California

Gore, W. L.
V. P.  Aerojet Corp.

Gundell, G.
V. P.  Nat'l Dairy Association

Haag, Mrs. E. H.
    Wife, Sales Mgr. Air Products Co.

Harris, John H.
    Pres. of Ice Capades

Havas, Gilbert
    Cr. Analyst Bank of America

Johnson, R. M.
    Western Regional Manager  General Controls

Dr. J. B.  Jones and wife Dee Jones
    Pres. Abundavita

Mr. and Mrs. William Koda
    Rice Grower, Worlds Largest

Larkin, Mr. Fritz
V. P. Security Bank

Lavender, Mr. G.
    Railway Express Driver

Little, Mr. Lee
    Radio KTVC

Lunn
    Nat'l Dairy Association

MacMorris, David
    DCA Eastern Rep. Sunstrand Turbo Div.

McGrew, Wayne
Pres.  Partlow Co., E. Hartford, N. Y.

O'Conner, N.
    V. P.  N. W. Ayer & Son
    NYC

Parkinson, Allen
    Pres. Sleep-Eze Co., Inc.


Partlow, Howard Jr.
    Pres. Partlow Co.
    E. Hartford, N. Y.

Patterson, Lawrence E.
    Pres. Pepsi Cola
    Santa Ana

Ray, Jack
V. P. Sales - Gen'l Controls

Rubel, E. E.
    Partner - Roemer & Rubel Buick

Rubin, M.
    Pres. California Jersey Mills

Smith, Russell
    Pres. Avery Label

Stebbins, Roger
    Pacific Coast Exec. - Sears

Tingdale
    AA Operation Service

 Toner, Miss Alice
    Nurse - Larry Barnett Family

Watson, T.
    V. P.  N.W. Ayer & Son
    N. Y. C.

Way, Gordon
    V. P. Bechtel
    SFO

Willett, Bernard
V.P.  Space Tech. Lab. - Greenwich Div.

Wolff, John
    Sales Mgr., Heating Gen'l, Control

Dr. John Froehlich
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
John F. Froehlich, satellite project director at the lab (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Noted in the minutes of a 28 October 1958 meeting at JPL:
“He and his colleagues expected their study to 'result in NASA's major space program but would not incorporate the entire national program.'  JPL, working jointly with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, anticipated that this would be the working plan for the next five years, not just another proposal. The California team determined that NASA should concentrate on 'putting up large payloads for interplanetary research,' not Earth-orbiting satellites.”

Dr. Allen
Dr. Lombardi
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory

American Airlines memorial coin  given to our passengers on the first jet  flight across the U.S.A




         Journal  Entry of  25th of January, 1959
We arrived in N. Y. 4 hours and 9 minutes later. A band was playing when we opened the door and bright lights were shining with people taking pictures. Our debriefing after the flight was interesting. We are helping work out all the things which need to be changed with the Boeing 707 stewardess procedural operations.


We were so tired, Claire and I said, “Never again."  The flight was overwhelming, however  our training kept us calm and poised. We had the knowledge to be self-sufficient and to make decisions that affected our passengers.  In a crisis we could rise above the everyday requirements of passenger service.  We were prepared.  Again, I say, “We were tired.” After a good night's sleep, we bid the 707 flights again and again. 
               
Excepts from Astrojet News  January 27, 1969


 Captain Macatee Reflects on Historic Flight            
10 Years Ago:  Jet Age Debut

    Even from  a distance of 10 years back, it was and had to be his biggest thrill in 30 years of flying, said Captain Charles A. Macatee.

    The preparations had began years before.  “Paper jets' had begun “flying” daily New York-Los Angeles and Chicago-Dallas trips in July 1958.

    But the big moment was 8:45 a.m. Pacific Coast Time Sunday January 25, 1959.

    With Captain Macatee at the controls, First Office (now captain) Lou Szabo beside him, and 112 passengers aboard, American's first Jet Flagship lifted off Runway 251, at Los Angeles International Airport and headed for New York.

    It was commercial aviation's first transcontinental jet flight, a flight that brought east and west coasts three hours closer together and revolutionized an airline, an industry and the nation's transportation system.

    “We got off  20 minutes late because of the ceremonies at the Los Angeles. But we were fortunate enough to catch tailwinds that at times were in excess of 150  knots. We arrived at New York on schedule, exactly four hours and 3 minutes after takeoff.“

    Hundreds of people, included a 25-piece brass band, turned out at Idelwild to welcome the first transcontinental jet (more than 25,000 had seem it off at LAX.) Newsmen, government officials and movie stars were aboard, including actress Jane Wyman (“who for some reason I kept calling Mrs. Lyman, Captain Macatee recalled.)

    C.R. Smith, also aboard, told AAers  in a special issue of Flagship News to “take a bow to history, for you are a part of it today. The piston-engineered airplane will retain our affection, for it has done so much for us and for air transportation.  Today, we have a new area of expectation, for the bright promise of what the turbine-powered airport will bring lies ahead of us.”

        This issue of Astrojet News was contributed by Captain Macatee's daughter, Beth Snyder
In the article Captain Macatee reflected upon the historical significance of this first transcontinental jet flight. He and Captain H. C. Smith, who flew the return trip had flown the 707 without passengers for about 200 hours before this historical flight with passengers. Captain Macatee concluded his comments by saying, “But those four hours three minutes were the big ones of me. They always will be.”

I share my feeling about Flagship California. Not only was the event impressive, but the 707's was graceful, sleek and absolutely gorgeous with open hospitality for all who entered her doors. In her resplendent beauty she was far “More Than A Ticket.”