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.


Kent Wien said...

Thank you, Argie for the wonderful stories and amazing pictures. You've captured a moment in history there with amazing detail.

It's just so great that you saved so much (passenger manifests and all the memories) from that time.

I've written about your blog on my Plane Answers blog at:

Thanks for taking the time to put all this down in a blog!

Argie Hoskins Shumway said...

Kent, Thank you for viewing my blog. It has been fun. I am still pulling a few things on now and again. I keep tract of your blog. It is really great.

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dklord said...

What a great time-warp to the golden age of aviation. I grew up in El Paso and was an airport bum hanging around Southwest Air Rangers. I eventually hired on with Southwest Airlines when we had around 28 planes and left a few years ago at 450+ 737's. I look forward to your next update.

Don Lord
Yukon, OK.

Anonymous said...

Good thought thanks for sharing.....

Get Payday Loan in 4 easy steps said...

Dear Argie,

First of all I forgot how I wound up here. Secondly I'm glad I did!

I was an airport kid...still in grade school, Ansco camera in hand...always hanging out at San Diego's old terminal building at Lindbergh Field...late'40's, early '50's. I guess my passionate love for airliners and crews rubbed off on my youngest daughter Kerry. She's been an AA F/A for almost fifteen years. She was broken in with flights from Miami to Latin America. Not easy routes or layovers! Up to a short time ago she was on the North Atlantic run between Boston and either London or Paris...depending on the assignment. She's on furlough right now. I received an e-mail the other day telling me she just got hitched. She promised that in time she would go back to American and continue to fly.

Thanks for reminding all of us about the days of flying in style.

Oh, by the way punch up on your computer "Historic Flight Foundation" I think you will find it interesting.

Happy landings kiddo,

Doug Vernon

Anonymous said...

My grandfather was the kind Mr. Colangelo that made your American Airlines uniform in Chicago. It was heartwarming to see his business card.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was my grandfather and his two brothers who had the ladies tailoring business, so it could have been any of them. They made all the American Airlines stewardess uniforms for years.
Cornelia Bayley

argie hoskins shumway said...

Thanks for the comment. It is meaningful for me to hear from the memories of others. Happy New Year to the Colangelo family from Argie Hoskins.

argie hoskins shumway said...

Doug Vernon, In response to your comment, I did look up the site you suggested: "Historic Flight Foundation" and wanted to forward it. Thanks for finding me. The love of flying never gets out of the bones. However, I have had some scary landings recently. I never remember having the like when I was flying. Those "ole" military pilots who were hired by A.A. were the greatest. One evening soon after we started flying the 707, I was in the aft cabin and I thought that the tail was going to shake off as we approached the landing strip. Passengers were alarmed. That was the only time that I visualized my obituary. That seasoned pilot brought that "baby" in with the finesse of grace without a problem. Happy New Year

Martha said...

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Anonymous said...

El Paso to Douglas- Bisbee in a DC-7! The government regulated era made AA do that. I just cannot picture the economic sense of that, though there obviously, were many similar regulated routes in those days.

How many passengers got off at Douglas on a typical day either coming or going from ELP or TUS? Two, four? And from a DC-7 no less. I'll bet there were some days when there were zero. What do you recall as a normal passenger origin or destination load at Douglas- Bisbee? What do you remember as the highest number of pax that ever got off or originated on one of your flights there?

I too, would like to thank you for sharing this bit of history.

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Thank you for your comment. I have finished bringing the blog to a book with corrections. One of the corrections was to change the DC-7 to a DC-6. You are the first one to look closely at that information. I remember that at the time that I was flying in and out of Douglas, we had passengers from teams of individuals taking core samples of the earth; drilling and sampling of soil. If you know any thing about the exploration of such at the time, I would appreciate knowing. Oh yes, an occasional passenger from Phelps-Dodge was on board. I was a passenger now and again, going home to the ranch in Animas. Our stops were productive, however few in number. It does seem like only yesterday, but sooo long ago. Thanks for the comment. My family of Hoskins lived in Las Cruces as did I when at NMA&M. Argie

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