A Woman’s Guide To Everything: I Want To Play Where The Dolphins Play

Dolphins create a joyful bond with humans with that big dolphin grin. Humans pay particular attention to appearances, and we make judgments based on looks. If it doesn’t look good, we may not eat it, buy it, or want it. If someone doesn’t look good, according to our perceptions, we may not make any effort to get to know them, or even greet them. We are snobs.

Whenever we see dolphins, they always appear to be playing. Even if they weren’t cuter than the dickens, we’d overlook it just for that reason. Otters have this same persona, but I have heard stories of otters attacking humans who were invading their territory in a river, or lake. I have never heard a similar story about dolphins.

Continue reading

Australia and Me: The Dingo Was My Baby

At one time, in the 1960s, Australia was actively searching for people to move to their country and be productive citizens. This is rather amazing really; in the eighties we saw a flood of immigration here in the states, but rarely do countries actively invite strangers to their shores. I’ve heard rumors that Canada is welcoming and polite to foreigners, and I am thinking of moving my family there, to determine if I can leave my doors unlocked, and be free from homicide by gunfire.

My father took Australia up on its offer to become a modern pioneer, settle in the outback, and become a blooming citizen. He had retired from the Air Force, earned his helicopter pilot’s license, and flew small aircraft. He and a partner were going to start and run a crop dusting business.

It fell to my mother to hold down the fort at home with four kids, and after two years of uninterrupted single motherhood, she packed us all up, we boarded a Quantas airplane, and off we flew to New South Wales. There, after a suitable interval of getting to know Dad again, we all set out for Kununurra, a tiny outback town in Western Australia that looked just like the town where Crocodile Dundee lived when he wasn’t wrestling crocodiles.

Crocodiles were as elusive around Kununurra as the black sambas in Africa where we spent Pan Am layovers in Monrovia, or the cougars in northern California where I lived for two years, or the black bear in Colorado, where I also lived and hiked. I never saw hide nor hair of any of them. Perhaps they are all urban myths.

My father saw some  crocs though, like saltwater crocodiles that were in excess of thirty feet long. He also brought us fire opals of all sizes; they were abundant in the outback, and could be scooped up like any other stone.

Continue reading

Pan Am Captains and the Revenge of the Flight Attendants

ThesemenarecalledpilotsThis humble little post about our Pan Am captains and how they occasionally got out of hand and were ‘revenged upon’ by flight attendants, generated so much controversy on a social media site among former flight attendants, some of whom had the audacity, the temerity, the gall, to tell me to cease and desist from telling ‘my crazy stories’ that I decided to polish it up, and repost it. I don’t like being told what I can and can’t write about, or that I can’t talk about certain things. What is this, bloody Russia?

I understand much was said about me behind my back too, comments focusing on my character, my antecedents, my parents marital status, etc. My, but some of those ladies of PAA are such Christians, aren’t they? Continue reading

Pan Am And The Cult Of The Former Flight Attendant

In September of 2011, a show on ABC aired titled, “Pan Am”. It centered on the flight crews of Pan Am Airlines, mainly the female flight attendant of the sixties.
There is an upsurge of interest in the 1960s, perhaps due to the popularity of the show ‘Mad Men’, a show depicting advertising men of the ’60s, their wives, and sexy secretaries. All the hoopla over the Pan Am Airlines show engendered much fantasizing by the younger male demographic about the ‘good old days’ of the gorgeous flight attendant, and the supposed opportunities businessmen and pilots had with the sexy ‘geisha’ girls of the skies, both during and after a flight, while they got away from the ‘little woman’ for a few days. Flight attendants were fondly imagined to be solely dedicated to the pleasure and comfort of their male passengers.

mad men

Continue reading

Pan Am Gets Tackled

It was New Year’s Day, over twenty years ago. I was Los Angeles based, and reporting for a Pan Am Airlines flight to New York. I was actually senior on this trip, because most really senior people didn’t have to work New Year’s Day. I chose to work up front, and missed much of the action in back that would make this a memorable flight.

jets

Continue reading

Pan Am Flight Attendants Were First Responders

On the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 there are many memorials around the country featured on television and radio which commemorate the ‘first responders’, the firefighters, and the police. On social networking sites, there are prayers and short memorials for a largely overlooked segment of people who were on duty too, the flight attendants and cockpit crews of the aircraft that crashed into the towers and the ground.

Continue reading

Pan Am Adventures In Shopping, Getting Mugged, And Being Groped

If there was one thing Pan Am flight attendants knew how to do, that was shop. I’ve heard that there is a master’s degree offered for this. People can learn how to shop for the incredibly wealthy: cars, furnishings, art, clothing. I wonder if any former Pan Am flight attendants have looked into this degree. Why, I’ve seen the rumor of a sale bring a fainting, ill, flight attendant right back from the brink of darkness!

It was Christmas season, and we were in India, and it may have been a manifestation of a miracle of some kind, but it was some powerful medicine. We had all congregated in a crew member’s hotel room, and a flight attendant was feeling very punk. She was dizzy and pale. Another flight attendant entered the room and mentioned a sale taking place in the lobby. The dizzy flight attendant was brought back to immediate and rosy health.

christmas   Continue reading

Pan Am And The Perfect Size 12

When I was hired by Pan Am I was a perfect size 12. I must have had some fat on me somewhere, but it was probably in strategic areas where I may have needed it, and where it was occasionally admired by passing strangers. I had no quarrel with that except in Rome. Rome is a city where men do not recognize any personal boundaries between themselves and the female flesh of a passing woman.

After I arrived at training in Honolulu, I was weighed, and found wanting. I had to lose something like fifteen pounds by the end of training. And so began the odyssey of my cheekbones; in and out, chubby-cheeked, or a la Sophia Loren. I have to say, I preferred the hollow-cheeked look, like a hungry supermodel, to the rosiness of a cherub. I didn’t want to have ’heroin chic’, (or cheek) but neither did I want to look like I was straight out of a Michelangelo painting on the Sistine Chapel. Cheekbones galore! Continue reading

Pan Am and the Pool

There are many jobs that require people to be on call. Pan Am, like all other airlines, even today, had a reserve system called the ‘pool’ in order to make sure there were a minimum number of flight attendants on board any given flight. As long as they had every door covered, they could send a flight out with barely enough flight attendants to make a pot of coffee.

Having sufficient personnel on every flight was not the company’s top priority toward the end of its existence. By the time the demise of the company came, we were down to crews of nine or ten, serving four hundred people. Two to four of those crew members had to serve in first class and Clipper Class, which was Pan Am business class. I am positive that if scheduling personnel had been allowed to let a flight go out with flight service for only first class and clipper, and designate some hapless passenger to serve coffee in the back, they would have.

esther Continue reading

Procrastinating Can Be Put Off Until Tomorrow

pomeranian

Today, I hopped on my stationary bike, and while I was pedaling away, I read some of a book I had checked out a month or so ago and kept procrastinating reading, ‘The Fall of Berlin, 1945′.

Because of my regrettable habit of procrastinating, I have forgotten the reason I checked out this book. It is buried in the mists of time, but the book remains, silently reprimanding me with the legions of the dead soldiers of the Red Army, the Third Reich, and the residents of Berlin, many of whom did not vote for Hitler, and didn’t like the Nazis being in power. See? I have learned something from the regrettably few pages I have read.

Continue reading