Friday, January 16, 2009

Life As A Stewardess

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

Argie Hoskins with long hair and brother C.L. Hoskins before Stewardess School, April 1957.

Leaving home, Argie Hoskins and brother C.L. Hoskins
picked up their suit cases and went their separate ways, "sister" went one way and "brother" another into the unknown world away from rattlesnakes, horned toads, the warmth of the gas heater, Mama's home cooking with steaks from range fed cattle, cakes from scratch, and home made ice cream. There in Animas Valley, New Mexico, once known as home and one time without electricity, five small rooms, two adobe, and raw milk to drink, my restless spirit said, "Go." It was hard for me to leave, but I wanted to go! And step, by step made my way to the big city. "Chicago, Chicago, and many people's hometown."

I was living with my Aunt Boo, Uncle Bill, Cousins Effie and Freddie in El Paso, Texas and working for El Paso Natural Gas Company. To become a stewardess, "Now, that is a novel idea." However, I was afraid of flying and what more afraid of heights. Having always had a dizziness challenge, the dream was "Pie in the sky," my mother would say.

After my interview with American, I sat in the terminal at Amon Carter field waiting for my flight and thinking, "Well, I did look sorta cute in the cap he had me try on as I looked in a mirror and I really do like to visit with people." I prayed to the Heavens above that whatever happened would be for the best.

The telegram beat me home!

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
My hands still tremble with excitement! Some would say that it is old age, but I know that the tears of joy are not old age as I ponder this telegram. This moment changed my life.

My family was so excited when they picked me up at the airport! This would be the airport that I most frequently flew in and out of, either as a destination or a stop along the way. On that evening, I did not know that I would be thrilled by the glorious south west sunsets, the powerful thunder storms that would rock the plane, this way and that, as the route took us through huge puffy clouds and sudden drops in attitude. In the southern part of New Mexico is where I would learn that the power of nature is amazingly stated in the world of flying. New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, graced with beauty both on the land and in the sky. My home!

Little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey that would try my brains and challenge my emotions while learning a ton about me.

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 the Midway field. Chicago Midway International was located on the city's southwest side, eight miles from Chicago's Loop. It was in the area of 55th Street and Cicero Avenue. This was the setting for Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" starring Cary Grant. Incidental, I had both of these gentlemen on flights. Yes, this is where I (Argie) went to school.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
These pretty faces were the 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" American Airline stewardesses. What a privilege. Class 57-6 1957

Later as my first domicile, I lived on Wrightwood Ave. north of the Loop.
From Wrightwood Avenue, I took the trolley car to catch my plane. I loved getting on the trolley in front of a Chinese laundry where interesting people came for conversation. Interesting for me because this was such a different world than southern New Mexico.

Becoming a stewardess, was not an easy experience for me. I had never experienced the rigors of education as I encountered in that hanger. It was hard, learning all the Stewardess Manual stuff like: Administrative Procedures, Basic Procedures, Restrictions and Irregularities, Convair Procedures, DC-6 Procedures, DC-7 Procedures and later 707 Boeing Jet Procedures. Along with all this, there was a section on Special Procedures, Emergency Procedures, Oxygen, Ill, and Injured, Forms and Reports and of course the Reference Material. Each of these topics could find a book written about the emotional trauma of learning well, fast and applying the concepts in a professional manner. Step by step, day by day, I knew that I must graduate from the school on the south side of Chicago.

From the rural area of southern New Mexico, I well remember the first time walking down the streets of Chicago. 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 the laundry hanging outside apartments as we fly by the flats on the elevated "L" train. I will never forget the face of a child looking out a window as our eyes met, never to meet again, thinking, "Oh, I am so glad that I grew up in southwestern New Mexico. "Thank you Mother and Daddy for the life of "Don't Fence me in." To this day, I can feel the emotions of that brief moment.

One Sunday riding back to the hangar from church, looking out the window of the subway, the "L", and then the bus, I missed the exit where I was supposed to get off. 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 that 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 to which one of my new friends at the hangar had responded by insisting that I borrow her fur coat or fur looking full length coat. And 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!

Back to my training in the hangar.

I did not spend every minute in the hangar because I had to learn to look "pretty" and for me it was learning how to get from point A to point B and back, again. Me, with all my sequencing challenges, that was not easy! One of the places that I had to figure out was how to get to the tailor for uniform fittings. I will never forget that kind man, Colangelo, when phone numbers were easy for me to remember.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
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. He knew where to cut and paste. Thank you, Mr. Colangelo.

Another "funny" comes to my immediate memory, like learning to mix drinks. I had never tasted the fruits of the art of mixing. Wow! I seemed to catch on faster than the most. Figure that! Martinis and Manhattans. Can't remember which has olive??? And which the cherry??? I think that the Martinis have the olive and Manhattans, the cherry. Oh, well, I never indulged anyway.

The other experience that quickly comes to my mind was the need to know how to find the rope in the exit windows, 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! And I can't 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.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Trained at the historical Midway Airport "Crossroads of the World," world's busiest airport. Class 57-6 1957
Graduation was held at the historical Stock Yard in Chicago. That was an event!
Here we are dressed with our new brown uniforms and spectator shoes.
The spectator is coming back in style. I am glad because I like the two-tone in color look.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

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

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

These are my first pair of wings.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess 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 hair "do." 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 hair "do," the photographer took our pictures. 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 years later, I was pinned by an Annapolis graduate who had become a navy pilot.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

This navy man was a good friend. I appreciated his wonderful mother. I met Bob on a flight from L.A. to San Diego. After the flight, the A.A. crew had several minutes in the crew lounge before working the trip back to L.A. 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 was wondering around. We visited, he walked me to the gate and a wonderful relationship unfolded. I still have his wings. That is how the crew worked, always watching out for each other. Where is Capt. Clarke, one of A.A.'s best!

This Captain Clarke, Stewardess Jennings, the copilot and I all belonged to the same church. We didn't smoke or drink. I mention this because we all were together on the flight deadheading from El Paso, Texas to L.A. We had a fun time. Captain Clark said, "Let's take this flight to Heaven." He was a wonderful man! Good clean fun all the way.

Speaking of El Paso, I flew there a lot. My Aunt Boo, Uncle Bill and cousins lived there. During my layovers in El Paso, Aunt Boo picked me up at all hours, took me home, doted over me and took me back to the airport. I loved it. The rest of the crew stayed at the Hilton Hotel downtown. My favorite cousin Effie was young and how I loved her. I was living with them when I applied to American Airlines. I had a boy friend there, also. It was always so nice to get a home cooked meal with lots of fruit. Aunt Boo and I had always been like sisters. The kind of sisters who always got along. She was my mother's only sister. She was so excited to have me flying for AA.

Early on in my career, 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. First month of flying! I was the only stewardess and no other Stewardess to help or cue me into the right choices. On to the plane in a ladylike, dignified manner and check all the necessary things like the Service Kit, magazines, special meals, pillows, blankets, where the coats should be hung, and check to see if this is a place that someone would like to come back to over and over, again.

Knowing that I would need to memorize the 40 names 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 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, "Get started." In a few minutes, the captain came back and helped me get the food served and with good humor. We landed! The pilots got off the place and I stayed on the plane for 45 minutes. I sat there knitting and crying. When the crew came back, the captain brought me a candy bar, smiled and announced that the passengers were coming. Never had I received such a needed gift. Dear man and I don't even remember his name. American hired great people!

Another early awaking was in Lexington, Kentucky! This another, one flight, reserve, "on call" deal and no other Stewardess. Were they trying to "wash me out" with all these "one gal" all alone flights?? The crew, which incidentally included me, Argie Hoskins, arrived at a small motel for the evening. 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." Threw on my uniform, curlers still in my hair, no makeup and teeth not brushed, hurried my red embarrassed face out the door and into the cab. I will never and I mean never forget Lexington, Kentucky. I bet the crew, if they are still alive, are still laughing over that one. Glad to have brought them some laughter. Again, I thought, am I really cut out for this job!

I remember walking into Crew Schedule/Operation and the Stewardess office being right there with the supervising staff 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. A few pounds over weight, "Argie, do you have a girdle on?"
"Yes, mam, 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, but always in a ladylike manner.

I needed to go west, so I put in for a transfer to L.A. leaving Chicago behind. Chicago had been exciting for me. One morning, 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, my car! It was unlocked and no gas. I was so pleased that after the "joy" ride, they had returned "Autumn Leaves."

I moved from Chicago to L. A. Driving in my Chevy convertible, "Autumn Leaves" by name, I drove from Chicago to St. Lewis. After having a flat tire and no money to buy another tire, I decided that I needed a rest and stopped. Next morning, I left with no spare tire for the next leg on my journey to Animas, New Mexico. Home, here I come! Driving from St. Lewis to Las Cruces to stay with my brother C.L. and wife Joan. I arrived there late and thankful that I had a great car, "Autumn Leaves" to speed me through the roads of the Midwest to the Southwest. Next day on to Animas to see Mom and Dad.

From Family History
Early photo of Argie, brother C.L., Mama and Daddy

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

Now in L.A. and back to work, I knew that my love for American Airlines would be forever. The memories are wired in and they are many, many. I could write a book. I could not believe that in my heart and mind, I had moved from thinking that I could not make it as a stewardess to knowing 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 can not say or allow myself to think. 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 my heels in, knocked the cow "stuff" off, "ponyed" up as the cowboys would say and viewed myself as all the things that I wanted to be. After a while, I was the person who I WAS! That is why I loved American Airlines, it challenged me to be me.

I learned the lesson that talent is more than dancing, singing, acting, and looking "pretty!" I learned that I had the talent for understanding people and feeling their hearts. My passengers love me because I gave them service. I learned from my training that you don't ask if someone wants a pillow, you have the pillow in hand to give it to them. What a wonderful lesson! Don't make people ask for your love. Give love without asking for it back. I got it back. As a stewardess, I was committed to serve others and it was easy for me. I learned something about me that was rewarding. Thank you, American Airlines!

Daddy worked, as a windmiller for the Diamond A, Victoria Land and Cattle Company ranch in Animas Valley, New Mexico. This ranch 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 the day that I flew over the ranch house. She would take her apron and wave to the plane as we flew over. The plane (DC 7) would be descending into the area of Douglas at an altitude which made Mama visible 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 were flying 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 is happening?" voiced a passenger." Well, we just aim to please." Little did anyone know that the person who 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 a home with her homemade bread, pickled peaches, washing clothes in the wranger 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 the 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. I love my parents!

Cormac McCarthy's written words capture my world of southern New Mexico. I have experienced a loss not meeting this man whose imagination of the reality of my world is exciting to read and imagine. I having been born in Deming, New Mexico to a father who held the soil of Animas Valley in his huge hands as he artistically repaired the windmills among the puzzle of dust devils, cockleburs, thistles, devil's claws and thumbleweeds only to be a footnote in the sands of time that historically herald the southern area of the Land of Enchantment. Can you even imagine the threads of emotion I felt as I, a stewardess, flew over this land below me? How I wished that I could tell my passengers about that life "down" there.

Cormac McCarthy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cormac McCarthy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 20, 1933, and moved with his family to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1937. ... - 72k - Cached - Similar pages -

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Argie Hoskins and Daddy Allen E. Hoskins
at the airport in El Paso, Texas. 1957

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Argie Hoskins and Mother Edna Hoskins
at the airport in El Paso, Texas. 1957

These parents lived through the depression, but I was never hungry. Poor, but I didn't know it. They taught the values of honesty, staying out of debt, working very hard, being a good citizen of our country, respecting the flag, appreciating America, staying clean, saying "Yes mam, No sir, Please and Thank you for the good meal. May I be excused? How can I help you?" having good MANNERS, and faith in God. We appreciated our immigrant ancestors because they had sacrificed and worked hard to become a part of our great United States of America. I made a choice to follow the teachings of my parents. This is the foundation of my character that I brought to American Airlines. I used it to become an excellent Stewardesss.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Argie Hoskins El Paso, Texas June 1957

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Click on the above picture to view additional photos.
1959 American Airlines uniform
Claire Bullock, Argie Hoskins, Barbara Whaley, Gerry McMasters

On Jan. 25, 1959, American became the first airline to offer coast-to-coast jet service with the Boeing 707. On this historical flight,I felt like a celebrity being one of the stewardesses to be 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 the Argie Hoskins is a qualified Stewardess on American's 707 Jet Flagship. [signed]Ralph Radcliffe, Director-Stewardess Service."

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
American Airlines  Boeing 707 Inaugural Flight 2 January 25, 1959
Left to Right: Norman Rice, ?,?, Captain Charles Macatee, Argie Hoskins, ?, Claire Bullock, Bob Bisbee

The Westwood Ward newsletter:
This and That
Westwood Second Ward's ARGIE HOSKINS participated in an historical event Sunday when she was selected from among American Airlines stewardesses to accompany the
Los Angeles to New York jet flight inaugurating four and one-half hour cross country service.

Click here to hear IAGblog Podcast interview

Addison, I had been trained and had flown the Convair, DC 6 and DC7, so I knew the flight procedures well. And now being trained on what we called the 707 Mock was not difficult.

I was based in LA Several of us were being trained for the 707 flights. All four of us Stewardess roommates were being trained. Sometimes, we all flew together on the same flight. That was a blast! When we got to N. Y., we went to shows and had a lot of fun. I remember us sunbathing on the beach in Santa Monica, boarding our plane to N. Y., and as we walked down the Avenue in N. Y. to Andy Williams show, it snowed on us. What a life!
I have a journal entry on the 14th of January 1959:
Supervisor Jean called and gave me a special assignment, “You and Claire (a roommate), are going to N. Y. on the 707 on the 25th and the 29th,” which is important. Wow. After training for the 707, which meant continued commitment to be focused and disciplined, this was an honor. Again, I thought, how do I multitask, sequence all that the job demands. Could I do it??

My wind-miller, cowboy father had said every morning went he lighted the gas stove in my bedroom,
“Get up and amount to something, Sis.”

And I remember the words of 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!
"Until the 25th, I was 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, Pacific Mutual, Mayor Paulson, the publisher of the LA times, and many, many more individuals, President of Southern California Edison Co., and others who would be on the Inaugural Flight."

My journal entry of January 23, 1959: Friday:
“We stayed in class all day long. We had our food service procedures today,"
which meant checking the buffet area for all needed item, 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 the exciting day. I remember the feelings which flowed over me as I walked on the aircraft. Thinking, "This is the real thing."

More entry for January 24:
"Had my hair cut and fixed by Mr. Reid, very pleased. Came home after appointment and got ready for the flight."

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. 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 cameraman, plus other wonderful passengers. The passengers were milling from one cabin to the other, Mercury to Coach. It was like a press conference and confusing for me. I gave Miss Wyman, my flight duster to wear. That being the dress, we wore during the food service. The task at hand was to serve our passengers; beverage & food with first class service in a very informal atmosphere, one big happy family. Everyone was having a grand time up in the "dream of sunshine and clouds." It was a magnificent experience and lots of hard work.

"We arrived in N. Y. 4 hours and 9 minuets 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."

After a good night's sleep, we bid the 707 flights again and again!

Claire Bullcock, Barbara Whaley, Argie Hoskins, Gerry McMasters

Through my blog and searching the internet, I have found Gerry McMasters Lockhart. What a Thrill! Only sad to find out that both Claire and Barbara have passed away. The lesson to be learned is that time passes so quickly and those who were dear to me may be gone when I get around to finding them. Life steps away into eternity, tomorrows into yesterdays. I will enjoy my today in a better fashion with love and continued commitment.

I am personally dedicating this blog's history to Claire Bullock, Barbara Whaley and Gerry McMasters, my wonderful friends, room mates and American Airlines stewardesses.

The following article appeared in the Spring 1959 of the United Aircraft Corporation's Bee-Hive trade magazine.

To view each page of this article:
*Click on the article *Then enlarge the article by clicking on the magnifying glass which will appear in the upper right hand area of the screen *Drag the magnified article around the screen to read it *Back arrow to return to blog.
Worth your time!

Minor correction: Claire and Argie were on the Inaugural flight on the 25th of January. We were all trained at the same time and soon flew together on that beautiful Boeing 707. I personally feel that Emily Watson did an outstanding job of capturing the world of Four Jills for the jets . Claire and Barbara had someone following them around to obtain these wonderful pictures and to get a peek into our flight experience.

I am so grateful that I have kept all my "stuff." The years have made "stuff" more meaningful. Along side an impressive Boeing 707 model that my sons gave to me, sits my blue uniform cap. Our family appreciates the foot prints of history because they direct our foot prints toward the future.

Four Jills for the Jets
By Emily Watson

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

Claire Bullock, Argie Hoskins, Barbara Whaley, Gerry McMasters
So much fun!

Argie Hoskins and Gerry McMasters on the Boeing 707
From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

One day, I was in the stewardess office just hanging out, chatting with Kay Hansen. I didn't see her often, so this was "neat" and I loved to hear her personality. "We need to have a retirement home for American Airlines pilots and stewardesses, so they can sit around and tell each other about their varicose veins." We were talking about the importance of staying in our seats until the seat belt sign went off to protect our self from experiencing G forces on our body. Well, I didn't understand the physics of the force, but I had felt the impact. And now I see what varicose veins look like! At the time, Kay was serious about a home for us to live and sit in our wheel chairs. The underlining idea was a place where good friends could live. A place, where the wonderful friendships of the past could continue or be renewed during our last days, would be a joy and for good conversation. Thank you, Kay for always thinking of others and American Airlines.

Celebrity Passengers

VIP passengers before jet service:

Marge and Gower Champion
A happy day! Everything went well. They were so personable. I can see their smiling faces still as they conversed with the stewardesses. On board we not only had the Champions, but we had the greatest Girl Scout cookies to serve our passengers. I put the Gerber apple sauce jars, which were always on the plane, in the ice to get nice and chilled. When we needed a snack. . . don't tell! Just buy Girl Scout cookies and chill the apple sauce and my, oh, my.
Marge Champion at IMDB
Marge Champion at Wikipedia

Gower Champion at IMDB
Gower Champion at Wikipedia

Robert Goulet
He was so easy to visit with on that late evening flight.
Robert Goulet at IMDB
Robert Goulet at Wikipedia

Vic Damone
What a voice! The other stewardess brought a baseball on every flight for the VIP passengers to sign. He signed it. What a novel idea for remembering what I have forgotten. I would imagine she has fun with that collection.
Vic Damone at IMDB
Vic Damone at Wikipedia

Dinah Shore
Another phenomenal 1959 voice with a warm personality and delightful to have around was Dinah Shore. What I remember about her was her contagious smile.
Dinah Shore at IMDB
Dinah Shore at Wikipedia

Harry Belaforte
I know that most everyone knows who Harry Belaforte is from his talent which he has spread around for all to enjoy.
Harry Belaforte at IMDB
Harry Belaforte at Wikipedia

Dana Andrews
Got on the plane and immediately crawled under his seat and went to sleep. I gave him a pillow for more comfort. That was before the jet days and all the stuff under the seats. He slept until I woke him to sit up and belt up. He was nice.
Dana Andrews at IMDB
Dana Andrews at Wikipedia

Gene Tierney
One evening, I boarded American Airline in El Paso to find one of the most beautiful and troubled ladies I ever met. After the seat belt sign went off, she walked up and down the isle of the plane all the way to L.A. I asked her if I could help and she told me that she was ill, had a handicapped child and that she was very discouraged with her life. Her presence made me very sad. She was so beautiful and tender.
Gene Tierney on IMDB
Gene Tierney on Wikipedia

Robert Cope
I was flying from L.A. to El Paso. One day an agent asked if they could take my picture with the actor named Robert Cope. After the photo scene, the agent said, “Give me your address and we will send a copy of the picture.” I never got the picture and I don't know anything about Robert Cope. Who was Robert Cope? Perhaps Robert and the other guy bet if they could get my address and their story worked. Oh, well!

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

Dean Martin
Dean was an actor with John Wayne in the film Rio Bravo. From L. A., he was traveling back and forth to the Old Tucson Studios, just outside Tucson, Arizona. I was working the flight from L.A. to El Paso. At that time A.A. had a stop in Tucson. We became more than passenger and stewardess. Of course, I knew his name, but he knew my name. We visited, laughed, connected with energy to make the relationship real. During a conversation, he said, "You will never be a singer because you talk through your nose." The nerve! I practiced talking. He said, "You won't make it." He invited me out to the Old Tucson set. Could not make it. He invited me to Las Vegas to the Sands Hotel where he was going to be on a certain date for an engagement. Did not go. Many times, a Mr. Grey was with him on the plane. He introduced him as his agent. Any way, I loved getting to know Dean Martin. Once he told me that he drove by the Temple on Santa Monica and that if he weren't what he is, he would be the same religion as I. Dean said, "My drinking image of being a drunk is only that, an image." Dean was a kind, sensitive gentleman with a tender heart. Thank you for your "one of a kind" voice.
Dean Martin at IMDB
Dean Martin at Wikipedia

Dale Robertson
I flew to El Paso a lot. One evening, flying back from El Paso to L. A., I boarded to find a problem with one of the passengers. She had gotten on the flight in Houston. Her story to me was that she had fallen in love with a man not of her faith. They had met in Europe that summer and planned a marriage. She had gone to Houston to meet his parents. While visiting, the parents announced that they would disown their son if he married her. Arranging for a friend in L.A to meet her, the love of her life put her on the plane bound for L.A. She had taken a lot of pills, was very despondent and filled with tears. About half way to L.A., she got up and came to the buffet where I had positioned myself across the isle from where she was sitting. Dale Robertson was sitting in the seat in front of the buffet. The lady lunged for the door of the plane and pushed me. Immediately, Dale came to my rescue. Helping me get the lady back to her seat and sat with her the rest of the trip. The crew radioed ahead for help with her on departing the plane. Dale is another passenger who I got to know on a casual level. Often , he flew on American Airlines to go to the horse races at the Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Another really nice man. From this experience I learned the lesson that religion can destroy relationships as well as welding relationships. So sad!
Dale Robertson at IMDB
Dale Robertson at Wikipedia

Maureen O'Hara
I don't remember much about this beautiful lady. I didn't have much conversation with her. The one thing that I remember is the energy which I felt as she walked down the isle. There was nothing passive about her demeanor. I felt she was in charge. And I might add lovely!
Maureen O'Hara at IMDB
Maureen O'Hara at Wikipedia

Stephen Boyd
Stephen Boyd was a young actor when he boarded American Airlines to be on my flight. He was one of the first actors I had on board. He seemed shy to me. I will always remember him because I felt like I wanted to know him as a person. Back in the days when I was flying, not only did we take down the names of our passengers, but we figured out ways to talk to them. We engaged them in conversation, tied the conversation to our memories. So when or if we had them on our flight again, we had something to talk about for an opener. One thing however we did not sit on the arm of the seat. I got reminded of that from a supervisor one time as she observed me sitting on the arm of the seat visiting with a passenger. I didn't get an invitation to visit with the strong, handsome Stephen Boyd. I must close this by saying that I did get a sideward smile as the seat belt sign went on for the landing.
Stephen Boyd at IMDB
Stephen Boyd at Wikipedia

Hope Lange
About the same time that I had Stephen Boyd on a flight, I had Hope Lange. In fact, memory tells me that it was the same flight. She was a few years older then I, however she looked somewhat younger. And now she is gone. Where has all the time gone???? She had a sweet personality and I enjoyed her being on the plane.
Hope Lange at IMDB
Hope Lange at Wikipedia

Gene Fullmer
This boxer was so nice. We had something in common, our religion. It was fun visiting with him.
As a side note, my son Randy and Gene's nephew Troy are good friends.
Gene Fuller a IMDB
Gene Fullmer at Wikipedia

Lee Marvin
As Lee Marvin was deplaning, an older lady was having trouble getting herself together to get off the plane. Without hesitation, he didn't just offer, but took her arm, her things, and away they went. She was pleased, I was a gentleman in action. I thought, "This is the aggressive, rough actor?" He is a dear man.
Lee Marvin at IMDB
Lee Marvin at Wikipedia

Pier Angeli
She was on her way to Juarez, Mexico to get a divorce from Vic Damone. That is what she told me when I visited with her. She was sad with her green eyes, looking even more green with tears. Very, very pretty lady! I often felt like crying after visiting with sad people. I just cared the best I could for the few minutes that I had with them. She was kind.
Pier Angeli at IMDB
Pier Angeli at Wikipedia

Other VIPs that I remember little about:

Jayne Mansfield
I remember thinking, "Another Marilyn Monroe, more glamours." I felt sad when she was killed in an auto accident.
Jayne Mansfield at IMDB
Jayne Mansfield at Wikipedia

Herb Shriner and wife
Herb Shriner at IMDB
Herb Shriner at Wikipedia

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Argie Hoskins and Gary Crosby (Bing's son)
Palladium Ballroom Sunset Blvd.

Jane Russell
When I had Jane Russell on the flight, I was still shy about talking to VIPs. During taking the names and destinations, all I could do was smile and give my best service. I learned that service was the foundation of relationships. Then you can talk. If the passengers were not on the VIP list, it was easy for me to visit. Somewhat later, I realized that we are more alike than different. And everyone, no matter who, wants the pillow to be offer, not to have to ask for it.
Jane Russell at Wikipedia

Billy Eckstine
Now this was exciting because Billy Eckstine's music was my kind of music from jazz to pop. I grew up with country music when country was country, but my new world had introduced me to another venue and I loved jazz, big band and pop. Speaking of venue, one evening I had a date who privileged me to the Moulin Rouge on Sunset Blvd where Schmo, Lewis Armstrong was playing. Schmo sang right in my face. What a thrill! Another time we went some place to listen to Dixieland jazz. Yes, it was exciting to have Billy Eckstine on my flight.
Billy Eckstine at Wikipedia

An exciting day for Jet travel! American Airlines Inaugural Flight!
I am fifth from the left. Yes, there I am. My roommate Claire Bullock is second from the right.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins

January 25, 1959 If you know any of the crew members, please put their names on the blog. My room mate Claire Bullock passed away.

American Airlines Jet Celebrity Passengers

Inaugural 707 Jet Flight American Airlines
Passenger Manifest
Flight 2 January 25, 1959


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

Alcott, Carrell
CBS Radio News

Babcock, C. Jr.

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

Mr. and Mrs. Bull
Frank Bull
Sports Announcer

NBC Monitor

Clark, Wilbur
Owner, Desert Inn Hotel
Las Vegas

Collins, W. C.
Pres. of Northrop Aircraft

Dreyfuss, Henry

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

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
Abe Lastfogel
Pres. William Morris Agency

Miss Maryon Lears
Merchandise Mgr. Silverweeds

Levitan, Paul
CBS T.V. News

Dr. and Mrs. Majer
Robert Majer

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

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

Power, A. H.
Partner Ernst and Ernst

Reiger, Henry
United Press

Pres. American Airlines

Smitter, Revel H.
Sales Mgr. Waugh Engineering

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

Stanton, Dr. Frank
Pres. CBS

Stewart, Sam
Coplay Newpapers

Stoneham, Herace
Pres. San Francisco Giants

Summer, William
Pasadena Star News & Independent

Thomas, Bill
L. A. Mirror News

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

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

Winnett, P. G.
Chair of BD. Bullocks

Mrs. G. Wright
89 years of age

Mr. Wright, G.

Miss Jane Wyman
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 duster. I still have it, minus the belt, in my closet. Jane's company was pleasant to be around. Jane played the part of an American Airline Stewardess in the movie, "Three Guys named Mike." As a side note, she was married to President Ronald. Reagan.
Jane Wyman at IMDB
Jane Wyman at Wikipedia

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Wallichs
Glen Wallichs
Pres. Capital Records


Dr. Clark Millikan
Cal Tech


Barnett, L
Pres. Music Corp. of American

Barnett, Mrs. L
Barnett, L
2 1/2 year Son

Barnett, Norman
V. P. Barnett Int'l Forwarders

Bassetti, Miss M.

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,

Burgess, Wm. H.
Electronic Specialty Co.

Burgess, Mrs. Wm. H.

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

Christophenson, Enoch
Past Mayor
Turlock, California

Clever, Dr. Walter
Optometrist & Designer

Clever, Mrs. Walter

Elmore, John
Prominent Farmer
Brawley, California

Feitler, Michael
Manager Oakland Realty Co.

Galloway, Neal
Merced County

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.
West. Reg. Mgr. Gen'l Controls

Jones, Dr. J. B.
Pres. Abundavita

Jones, Mrs. Dee

Koda, Wm.
Rice Grower, Worlds Largest

Koda, Mrs. Wm

Larkin, Mr. Fritz
V. P. Security Bank

Lavender, Mr. G.
Railway Express Driver

Little, Mr. Lee
Radio KTVC

Nat'l Dairy Association

MacMorris, David
DCA Eastern Rep. Sunstrand Turbo Div.

McGrew, Wayne
V. P. Partlow Co.
E. Hartford, N. Y.

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

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

AA Operation Service

Toner, Miss Alice
Nurse - Larry Barnett Family

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

Way, Gordon
V. P. Bechtel

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

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

Froglich, Dr. J.
Jet Propulsion



I know that every flight had the most wonderful people walking through our doors. And now the names of most are long forgotten. Thank you for flying American Airlines, it was a pleasure to serve you.

VIP Passengers after the initial Jet flight

Helen Keller
I consider having been touched by her life, a privilege indeed.
The Helen Keller story is so inspirational. She made a difference in the paths she crossed. As she got off the plane, I thought about what it means to see and hear. When I am feeling down, I think of her, an example for all of us who whine. Oh, American Airlines, thank you for letting me fly with you!
Helen Keller at IMDB
Helen Keller at Wikipedia

Ricardo Montalban

Very good looking and suave. He didn't talk a lot.
Ricardo Montalban at IMDB
Ricardo Montalban at Wikipedia

Alfred Hitchcock
He asked me to get him change for a $20.00 bill to pay for his taxi cab after the flight.
Alfred Hitchcock at IMDB
Alfred Hitchcock at Wikipedia

Hugh O'Brian
He is my “could have” opportunity to date an actor.
This is how it all happened. I had been to a stake conference in Westchester, California where Charlotte Sheffield spoke.
Charlotte Sheffield (born c. 1937) was Miss USA 1957.

Sister Sheffield spoke of her escort Hugh O'Brian, who had graciously respected her standards as they attended many events associated with the Miss USA festivities. She spoke of him as being a gentleman.

Well, straight from the conference I went to the airport for my assignment to New York on the wonderful new jet, Boeing 707. On the VIP list, that we got as the flight crew, was Hugh O'Brian's name.

When I took his name, I told him that I had just heard Charlotte Sheffield tell the congregation what a gentleman he was. That was back in the days when the stewardess checked names and took names of passengers. We conversed over the coincidence of here he was on my flight to New York.

The cocktail service brought another surprise. I offered and he said, “Since today is Mormon day, I will have tomato juice.”

Then the age old question, “Would you like tea, coffee or milk?”

“Milk” was the returned answer.
We were having fun. After the meal service Hugh came to the buffet area and visited. He was on his way to New York to judge the Miss Rheingold Beer contest. He said that he had some time while there and would like to call me and we could get together. I was excited.

After the crew got our transportation ready to go to our hotel, the Plaza at Fifth Ave and Central Park, I got my knitting out for the trip into the city. As I sat there knitting, the captain said, “Who in this car is that man trying to get their attention?” I looked up and there he was waving and looking at me. All the way to town, we played the game. Hugh and Argie

Hugh O'Brian was a real gentleman!

When I was teaching at Waianae High in Hawaii, I heard that he had done something for the youth in Hawaii. Memories!
Hugh O'Brian at IMDB
Hugh O'Brian at Wikipedia

Lucille Ball
I worked the trip on the day before the Oscars from New York to L. A. and on the late night trip after the Oscars, I worked the trip back to New York. I had a lot of important movie people on the trips. Going and coming, I had Lucille Ball. She was a neat lady. After having one trip with her, she acted like we were old friends. The night back to New York, she took me up and down the isles introducing me to the passengers she knew and she knew many of them. That was a blast! Lucille Ball introduced me to the president of ABC films, Henry Plitt, who invited me to come to his office to see him. He said that I reminded him of the actress Carolyn Jones. I didn't think I looked like her. Never went! I didn't know about networking???? Mr. Henry Plitt was a gentleman with manners that showed respect.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Henry Plitt, President of ABC Films Lucille Ball introduced Argie Hoskins to this gentleman.

Lucille Ball at IMDB
Lucille Ball at Wikipedia

Danny Kaye
Mitch Miller
This man saved our bacon. Bless him! Here we are in the first class section of American Airlines Boeing 707. It was a beautiful, happy day and we had Danny Kaye and Mitch Miller, the band leader on board the flight to New York. We had checked everything that needed to be checked, we thought! We sat down across from some passengers. Up, up into the sky we went and down, down the isle rolled the rolls, the silverware, and salt and pepper. Oh, glory! We were sooooo embarrassed! It could have been the end of American Airlines stewardess on that flight. When the seat belt sign turned off, Danny Kaye absolutely turned the place into "party time." He danced up and down the isle helping us pick up the rolling stuff. Continuing to help, into the buffet area he went with us. It was one of the best trips I ever had! The passengers love it. Talk about turning a lemon into lemonade, it happened.
Danny Kaye at IMDB
Danny Kaye at Wikipedia
Mitch Millere at Wikipedia

Van Cliburn
The setting was in Mercury Section of the 707. He sat on the left side of the plane facing the cockpit near the buffet area. We visited. He asked me where I was from, to which I replied, "Animas Valley, New Mexico." We were flying from the East to L.A. Van Cliburn summoned me and pointed, "You are from down there." He was right. If we were to fly due south, there Animas would be in all the glory of an arid desert. How did he know where Animas was and why did he point it out? He was interested in the world and connected with it. A very special artist. He can paint a picture with music that touches the soul. I knew him to be a great pianist during the years I was flying the 707. Every time I hear the notes of Liszt, I think of Van Cliburn. Every time I think of Van Cliburn, I think of Liszt. Thank you Van Cliburn for knowing where Animas is on the map of the world.
Van Cliburn at IMDB
Van Cliburn at Wikipedia

Jerry Lewis
He and his balloons entertained the crowd in the Mercury Section with childlike behavior. He kept everyone laughing as he entertained himself. It was always nice to have an entertainer on board. The trip went faster and the crowd loved it. Thank you Jerry Lewis for bringing a smile to many people here and there.
Jerry Lewis at IMDB
Jerry Lewis at Wikipedia

Jackie Cooper
In reading my journal, I just found another passenger who was on my flight. Jackie Cooper was a really nice person to board American Airlines. He was a real person.
Jackie Cooper IMDB
Jackie Cooper Wikipedia

Leo Durocher
It was fun to have Leo Durocher on my flight because his wife Laraine Day was in my Sunday School class at church.
Leo Durocher Wikipedia

Max Shulman
Having a desire to someday write "something" and to have it meaningful to myself and others is a talent that I respect. And there he was on my flight! Loved it!
Max Shulman Wikipedia
Max Shulman IMDB

Charles Schulz
Charles Schulz was one of my favorite passengers because he interacted with the world around him. He had the gift of connecting with his very presence by just being there. He reached out in an engaging way that I knew that he was watching the world in an interesting way. Thanks Charles Schulz for bringing us a taste of how you saw our world. I would really like to know how Charles Schulz viewed flying. He could explained life in a way that none other could. I am pleased that I had the opportunity of saying, "Thank you Mr. Schulz for flying with America Airlines."
Charles Schulz Wikipedia

"Howie" Howard Laitin
Enjoyed some jazz spots together. I love jazz and Howie was fine company for an evening "out on the town."

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
Barbara Whaley, Gerry McMasters, Claire Bullock, Argie Hoskins
Christmas 1958 on Kerwood Ave. near what was known as Century City studio.

From American Airlines 707 Jet Stewardess Argie Hoskins
50 years later: Argie Hoskins