Saturday, October 18, 2014


I do not like to talk about myself. Really, I do not, however I do like to talk about my book:  More Than a Ticket.  And why do I like to talk about the book?  There is not a word in it that is not valued by me.  Every time I wrote text and selected the pictures, I pondered and looked for inspiration to choose the right words and pictures to tell the story. There are themes that run through the book: family relationships, education, employment, validation, patriotism, message to the young, religion, and it is all tied together with the cement of the work ethic.  And as Daddy would say, "Sis, get up and amount to something!"

As you read the book and it becomes your friend, just know that I would like to be traveling where the book goes to also be making new friends. Let me know how you like the book:

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

Authored by Argie Ella Hoskins

Cover: The new Boeing 707 Jet. 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.

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 AA stewardesses, pilots, flight engineers, and passengers. The young and old, casual readers and aviation enthusiasts will be delighted with memoirs.
Stewardess Argie, "Am I cut out for this job?" “They say I am Dyslexic.” "Make friends with your cognitive gifts." (Stewardess on Boeing 707 jet inaugural flight and also did public relations for AA.)

I have dedicated these words with love and respect to my flying friends. An expression of appreciation for the community of American Airlines.

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

More Than a Ticket

List Price: $19.00
Add to Cart

More Than a Ticket
Memoirs Flying with American Airlines

from Props to Jets 

Both casual readers and aviation enthusiasts 
will be delighted with this read through 
the Golden Age of flying from carrying mail, 
and later passengers dressed up and excited 
to board American Airlines. 

Charities to receive % of profit:
The National MPS Society
Acacia Shade, Children with Disabilities in Ghana

Orton Dyslexia Society
National Kiwi Fund LDS Humanitarian Fund
"No one has ever become poor by giving."
 — Anne Frank 

Black & White, paperback $19.00

Barnes and Noble Book stores and retailers
Ingram 1-615-793-5000 
Libraries and Academic Institutions 

Full color, hardcover $39.00 Make check to: 
Argie's Publishing 589 East Center St.
Provo, Utah 84606 801-373-5355 

Book has 319 pages, 225 pages with photos

Sunday, October 5, 2014

MORE THAN A TICKET MEMOIRS FLYING WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES FROM PROPS TO JETS Book Signing in San Jose, California with Margaret and Argie Hoskins

                                         Two former American Airlines stewardesses based
                                         in LAX in 1959. Argie was showing Lona her name
                                         on the bid sheet.

                                              And there is a dear passenger Margaret from 1959.

                                                   Margaret's niece Lorraine had this cake
                                                   made to celebrate my book:
                                                   MORE THAN A TICKET.

                                                                   San Jose trip.

                                         Passenger on the January 25, 1959 Boeing 707
                                                       Inaugural Flight, Margaret.

                                          Passenger Margaret with two former American Airlines
                                                       Stewardesses: Joan and Argie

                                          Memorial coin from the Boeing 707 Inaugural Flight.
                                          Margaret made it into a necklace to wear.

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

     If I were to title this response to life, I would call it CHANGE IN FLIGHT PLAN
The Friday before the exciting trip, the car thanked us for a 60,000 mile maintenance check by the Volvo dealer, and it was ready for a road trip to California. I was thrilled to take this touring adventure with Gene; the clothes laid out for my anticipated book signing in San Jose; even the pens that wouldn't bleed on the books. Details all taken with serious intent.
     Followed by a week of madness. It happened! The main water line from street to house decided to tell us that it was old, well it had been under the ground since 1926, old house you know. Expensive! A planned three day doTerra convention and in a spare moment corn to freeze for winter grab detoured the packing. Now! As the suitcases were down and readied for the trip, Lucy Dog and the two cats started to fuss. Stop it! We are going! Then a phone call from my dear cousin announced that they had the opportunity to visit at the same time of our extended trip (San Jose, Los Angeles, Prescott and Vegas.) Oh, no! I want to see Effie! After a round of Doctor visits, I thought we were ready to go. Well, yes, I should freeze the peaches that were waiting to be done. Uh oh! After a trip to the heart doctor, the doc said, “Good to go!” Wow!
     Next Friday with the car packing done, we were ready to drive to San Jose for the signing. I said I wanted to relax and soak in the tub for a moment before we said farewell to our home and animals. Why wouldn't the hot water faucet turn off and why was the tub filling faster than I could dip the water out of tub into toilet! “GENE, turn the main water line off!!” He hurried for tools, out to the curb and down on his knees. Off went the water and out went his back!
     After waiting for someone of fix the plumbing problem. And I call it a problem, not the usual word I use, challenge, our time had run out to make the trip to San Jose by driving. Knowing that an airplane could get us there on time for the Saturday celebration for the book signing, I went for it. (Aborting the trip was unthinkable, considering all the preparatory work that was already well in motion in San Jose, plus travel plans made by two other former stewardesses who were based in LAX at the same time as I, had been invited.)
     Now to get to the airport! And Saturday morning at 3:00 AM, as I went to the garage to get the car out, the sprinkling system was geysering! Then I discovered that the low beam light warning indicator was on! No!
I was determined! It rained big sheets of water all the way to the airport. I missed a turn to the right parking lot, had to circle and land in the right spot. Gene had a difficult time getting to the plane. Back really hurt! We had experienced opposition.
We made it to the plane to find that some dear soul had upgraded our ticket to first class. Tears came to say, “Thank you!”
     Lorraine, the niece of 97 years Margaret who had been a passenger on the Boeing 707 jet Inaugural Flight, met us at the airport. What a rewarding welcome.
Off to the care center for the day's activities.
The Atria Chateau Gardens chef had prepared Inaugural Flight food, with all the trapping of gracious dining. And there was Auntie Margaret! Yes, Margaret with her bright mind, engaging personality, and warm greeting was alive and happy! After meeting her on January 25, 1959, she as a passenger and I as a stewardess on that historic flight from Los Angeles to New York, this current meeting also felt historical. Incidentally, New York had her winter coat on to welcomed us with a band, and interested and interesting people to greet us.
     After the photographers took tons of pictures we went down to the large activity room. “Auntie” Margaret shared with me that Liz Taylor had once recuperated at this facility. The activity director was a lovely young lady who had designed the setting which was astonishing. As we approached the room, I was surprised to see a landing strip positioned on the floor with all the markings created with white tape. A banner which read American Airlines and plane windows to look through. Auntie Margaret walked down the strip with all the guest standing or seated with some of us behind her. Some of us included two other former American Airlines stewardesses whom I invited to join me on this super adventure.   

     We had all been based in LAX at the same time. Lona had been on the New York to London Inaugural Flight and Joan on the Inaugural Flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. And I on the Inaugural Flight from LAX  to New York. The room was decorated with American Airlines colors hanging all over the place. So Charming!
     The activity director . . . did an outstanding job with the voices from the 50s belting it out with love in their hearts. And yes, there was Dino with his amazing voice to charm the attentive group for this very special day for Auntie Margaret, made possible by her dear and dedicated niece Lorraine.
     It was so fun for me to sign book after book as I acquainted myself with the care center's friendships and Margaret's terrific family. A reunion which Lorraine had pulled together family not only from California but from Las Vegas and Oregon for Auntie Margaret to enjoy and some of whom she had not seen for years. Can you imagine the hugs of joy! This was so fun for me!
     One of Margaret's friends came over to the signing table after I had spoken a few words to announce that we belonged to the same church. Something that I had said impressed her to ask. Connections everywhere!
     And then to return to Lorraine's lovely home for a delectable meal host by Lorraine and her dear family. Food arranged by the family.... and well you know the Italians, they are so friendly and warm. Loved it!
     Next day Sunday. After another meal at the Green Cow/Sherwood Inn we happily went back to see Auntie Margaret.

      I love that lady! One of my dear former passengers aboard that first transcontinental jet flight with the great company of American Airlines.
     On Saturday, a gentlemen had come to the table wanting to buy a book. They were all gone. It saddened me because he really wanted a book. Going back to Lorraine's home, I dug deeper into my bag and there was another book. So on Sunday I was honored to give a veteran my book: More Than a Ticket, And that moment was more than a ticket. My heart spun out of control as his grateful eyes and heart said thank you. That is what life is all about. Giving! MORE THAN a TICKET
     And cousin Effie and her husband will be here tomorrow for an exciting visit. Plans change and things work out for the better with a peaceful landing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


                                                     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

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


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
US market
United Kingdom

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




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.



Sunday, January 26, 2014


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:
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: 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:  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: 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


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:  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! 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.



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
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. 

Have a Happy Heart!