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Author Topic: Pre-flight....21st Century Style
extwacaptain
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In days gone by, pilots spent the hour before departure planning their flight. Most of us would honestly agree that if the Captain spent more than 15 minutes evaluating the weather, he had seen too many movies or was an aspiring actor. (Some of the remaining time was spent criticizing top management and how to "really get 'em on the next contract".)

In today's world, weather, winds, notams, fuel requirements and passenger comfort and safety are as important as ever, however because of terrorism acts (and threats) I believe there now exists another extremely important facet to "pre-flight." This would be the Captain's personal evaluation of those passengers in the gate area about to board his flight.

It would not be at all surprising to learn that such a program has been in existence for some time, and that it has already proven of great value to the safety of airline aviation.

It would also not be surprising if the airport security people feel that this infringes on their 'authority', but we ALL know who is really in charge of, and responsible for, the flight......... The Captain.

Randy

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dave carr
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Hello Captain Kramer

Good evening. Hope all is well with you. You make an interesting observation concerning the captain evaluating the possibility of problems by being observant in the boarding area.

I wonder if captains currently spend any time in the boarding area prior to flight. I travel constantly on AA, Delta and UAL. I have in the past made the effort to talk with the flight crew prior to flight just to let them know that I appreciate their aviating me and mine safely from A to B.

In the past six months I've given up on this effort. On most flights they come rushing through the boarding area and out the jetway, or in the case of AA they're totally involved in pulling up dispatch documents and seem to have no time for anything to do with passengers.

On a recent flight from Lima to Miami (LAN Peru) our flight was delayed and finally cancelled due to a mechanical after a 3 hour wait. The flight crew found the problem during pre flite but at no time did they take even a minute to walk throught the boarding area to answer any questions.

It seems that the days when we as pilots had time,flexibility or even interest in interacting with our customers might have gone the way of free meals and informative PA announcements. My goodness, would Captain Randy Kramer have a difficult time locked behind those barricaded cockpit doors!

How do those of you still working in this environment view interacting with your passengers? Has this part of the job changed?

Dave Carr

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extwacaptain
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Captain Dave,

I greatly appreciate your response and obvious concern for the interaction between a crew and their passengers. Our flights together will always be remembered, not only for your flying ability, but your interest in making each flight a most enjoyable experience for our passengers..(and crew).

Not since airline flying began has there been a greater opportunity, OR need, for those fortunate enough to sit in the left seat, or the right seat, or the third seat, to show to the world their true concern for passenger safety.

I guess it's called: "That personal touch."

Dave, let me thank you, once again, for your contributions to TWA and for the many enjoyable flights we shared.


Randy Kramer

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Bob Ritchie
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Dave Carr,

Those of us who like yourself, Randy and thousands of others, have spent our careers being pro-active are still doing so. The "attaboy" letters continue to grow within our personel files as we cordinate with our flight crew: dispatchers, maintenance, gate and ramp personel; keeping everyone in the loop. We continue to spend time in the gate area; explaining delays to our passengers, greeting them while boarding, delaying departure for meaningful connections, confronting aggressive law enforcement personel, calming jittery nerves, welcoming kids to the cockpit, helping elders from their wheel chairs, retrieving "baby strollers" from the cargo bin and ......making sure "that puppy" got on board.

The spirit lives on. However it is much, much more difficult than in the past. Unlike OZA and TWA the departure papers are not prepared for the AA captain. We collect the release etc. ourselves, normally at the gate. This takes another 5 to 10 minutes from the AA captains time. As you commented; the cockpit door is hardened and locked. That simple fact alone changes the psychology of our profession. Inflight interaction is impossible beyond the PA. Todays captains are more harried than ever....burdened with concerns and obligations that did not exist five years ago. Almost daily we get new security proceedures and considerations which must be coordinated with our crew, station personel, FAMs and other LEOs. Considerations and proceedures which are confidential and invisible to the passenger eye.

At a departure station just this week for example: my duties required me to interact with a FAM traveling on his days off, two FAMS working my flight, two armed guards escorting a prisoner and an armed IRS agent. Six guns on my flight! All armed personel required interaction with me. Introductions, credential verification, breifings, coordination with one another. Of course this required additional briefing of my flight crew. Just one example of responsibilities which took up at least 15 minutes of my preflight time. All of this during a :52 minute turn-around at a major international station. Barely time for primary "safety of flight" considerations; let alone public relations efforts. Meanwhile our exhausted, station personel are trying to rush 200 frazzled passengers aboard for a scheduled departure. A typical scene....not unusual at all!

It is a different world today. Bankruptcies, massive, 50% pay cuts, 75% reduction in retirement pay, career regression, furloughs, disruptions of domicile, commuting to work, insecurity. Did I mention terrorism, rude security personel, TSA regulations, packed airplanes, electronic devices, quick turn arounds, frequent gate and aircraft changes, crew changes every leg, loss of prestige....fear? Many pilots and FA's have just given up.

The leisure and luxury of bygone days are but a fond memory. Paradise Lost.... though some still struggle to retain a semblance of decorum.

If the industry; it's economic and security concerns would only stablize....then healing and recovery could begin. Alas I fear that this is the reality of the.....Brave New World.

Bob

p.s. Let me hear about your trek in S.America this summer. My knee is still healing.

[ 08-18-2006, 12:33: Message edited by: Bob Ritchie ]

Posts: 1936 | From: Warren County, Missouri  |  IP: Logged
zip
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Well said, Bob. Thanks for bringing us into the current real world. It is depressing that my great memories of trips with Randy and Dave could ever be repeated. Ah...dream on....
I wonder how long it will be before the Captain is limited to ONLY safety related PAs after the ACLU has determined that unrequested cabin announcements are a violation of one's personal environment, or that the Feds consider pointing out the Grand Canyon is a distraction of cockpit duty.
cheers...George Andre (proud to have served under Randy)

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Irish
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Bob,

Your description of piloting today sure is disappointing and depressing. In listening to reports from pax on the United flight recently diverted to from LON-IAD to BOS, they thought they were doomed to a water crash. They knew they were descending rapidly and that they were near the water but apparently there were no PA announcements intended to inform them of the BOS diversion and to reassure them. That's disgraceful.

Paul

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L1011Ret
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Flying doesn't sound like much fun anymore. We should consider ourselves fortunate to have lived in the "Golden Age of Aviation."
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Jeff I.
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quote:
Originally posted by L1011Ret:
Flying doesn't sound like much fun anymore. We should consider ourselves fortunate to have lived in the "Golden Age of Aviation."

L1011Ret:

Indeed I believe you and your generation of pilots not only lived in the "Golden Age of Aviation" but also were allowed to provide a great service to your customers. Those of us who were fortunate enough to fly as passengers through this age benefited greatly and also have our great memories (although, truth be told, I really only caught the tail end of it as my heavy flying didn't start taking place until the 1980's) .

Bob presents a sad but realistic description of where we are today. I stil like to fly and look forward to my flights on AA. That said, one thing among many that is missing is the great passion one used to see regularly on a pilot's face. Randy reminds us regularly of the pride and passion that used to be a near ubiquitous trait. It's not that this generation of pilots are not trying as hard ---- in fact, they probably need to try even harder. But all the adverse circumstances are bound to wear anyone down.

I fervently hope, as Bob has suggested, that perhaps there will be a stabilization at some point down the road that would allow healing. It is a tragic loss that we rarely have the opportunity of getting that sense that a pilot makes each flight with a sense of passion and love for flying. This is true, of course, in any profession. It is a wonderful thing to sense that someone approaches their profession with great love and passion. But for those of us who remember, it really was something special to see a pilot being able to interact regularly with passengers, be assuring about any circumstances that arise and, moreover, speak with absolute confidence that we were all not only getting from point-to-point, but also sharing a wonderful adventure with each and every flight!

And I used to be able to toast this all in-flight with a Johnny Walker Black rather than a Dewars!

Jeff I.

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extwacaptain
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quote:
Originally posted by L1011Ret:
Flying doesn't sound like much fun anymore. We should consider ourselves fortunate to have lived in the "Golden Age of Aviation."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Captn' Bill,

I will never forget one of my first flights with TWA about 60 (sixty) years ago. The Captain was possibly in his early thirties. I was maybe 22 by then.

As we flew along in that DC-3, he looked over at me and said: "Young man". I sat at attention and answered; "Yes, Sir". His next words were: "This airline flying isn't as much fun as it used to be". Well, for him, that was probably true. For me....if it got any better, I doubt that I could have handled it.

Having said this, I firmly believe that for every pilot who no longer enjoys his airline career, some one else will come along with the same dreams and hopes many of us shared prior to and during those "Golden Years". They will find ways to recapture the pleasures we enjoyed in the past and they will smile and say: "It just doesn't get any better than this".

Who was that guy who wrote: The power Of Positive Thinking? It definitely was not the Captain I flew with in that DC-3. [Wink]

Randy

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dave carr
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Captain Kramer

The spirit of your last post describes in absolute detail the reason that I found flying with you to be such a pleasure. You found so much joy in being a TWA Captain. Your crew and passengers were very fortunate to experience your unique enthusiasm.

Bob Ritchie

Glad the knee is recovering. I still hope that we can meet up sometime maybe at Dauster Flying Field. Ah, the stories I would tell about traipsing about in the high Andes. I spent one month this summer above 10,000 ft. in the Southern Andes with my grandson and we had a ball.

If you're still thinking of doing the Peruvian Andes please contact me. I have a wealth of experience in Peru and would love to share it with anybody that might be interested. I love living and traveling in that part of the world.

I was interested in your comments concerning Captain responsibilities and challenges in today's environment. The situation has changed so much that maybe I'm fortunate that I retired in 2000. Retirement has treated me very well.

Take care------

Dave Carr

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Bob Ritchie
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Randy's comments....

....concerning an early DC-3 experience reminded me of passages in a book that I read this summer.

It is titled MILLION MILER,the Story of an Air Pilot by John R. Tunis. Anyone who loves our industry and especially TWA would devour this book. I read the entire book in one sitting. Just couldn't quit until it was finished.

It was written in 1941 and is the story of TWA and it's chief pilot of the era, Captain Jack Zimmerman. The book takes one on a tour though the airline, it's operation and daily activities. It explains in almost childlike simplicity but enjoyable terms all one would want to know about the airline during the early 40's. The author rode along on several trips with CA Zimmerman and gave a detailed account of the flights; both in the DC-3 and the Boeing Stratoliner. In reading the book one is reminded how mysterious the very subject of aviation was to the general public during this period.

CA Zimmerman had started as an airmail pilot and began with TAT as a Ford Trimotor copilot. He survived several crashes including two in DC-3s. One occured at Columbia, Mo. not far from where I live. Another landing accident was at Pittsburg with Jack Frye on board!!

I don't want to give all the stories away but one thing that struck me....captains of the 1940's were already bitching that "flying was no fun any more", "CAA regulations have taken away all of our authority" and "ATC calls all the shots!"

I laughed when I read their comments. Men who proceeded my career by 30 years already thought that the days of "real airline flying" were already over. Me.....I thought that I caught the tail end of the glory days. It is all perspective I guess.

Don't doubt for a minute that there are aviators among us who still hold great passion for flight and love our jobs. Things change that is all. It is human nature to resent unwanted change and mourn the loss of treasured freedoms. Since deregulation the changes have come fast and furious. Few of them have been improvements. But the passion for "flight" still burns deeply within many hearts.

Anyhow....read the book if you get a chance. You would enjoy it. My copy is being sent to PITBEAST in N. Carolina for his pleasure. When he returns it....I'd be glad to loan it to others. It is a treasure; bought at a used book store in Bloomington, Ill. this summer.

Bob Ritchie

p.s. While I am having this lovefest concerning TWA I'd like to mention a rare pleasure which was mine to enjoy at OshKosh last month.

Ms. Ruth "Richter" Holden was there with her father's Lockheed 10, which she owns in partnership. Ruth and her partner have recently painted it in TWA colors and are flying it to airshows around the nation. She had planned to park it next to the SAVE-A-CONNIE'S Constellation, which is of course painted in TWA colors. Unfortunately the Connie blew another engine just prior to OshKosh. So Ruth and her L-10 had to show the flag for us.

It had been my intention to seek her out and I was not disappointed. What a charming and attractive lady she is. We spent :45 together talking early one morning. She regaled me with stories of TWA and it's early history. Her father, Paul Richter, was the senior V.P. of TWA during it's formation and early days. An airmail and airline pilot himself;he had flown her in that very Lockheed 10 when she was a four year old child.

I did not want to monopolize her time and kept trying to break away out of courtesy. But she just would not let me go. Her praise of TWA and it's pilots were of near idol worship. Even my Ozark pedigree seemed not to cool her admiration and respect. If it were not for the public nature of our meeting I would have gladly spent the entire day in her company.

I cannot get over how gracious, attractive, stylishly dressed and charming she was. There was that special "sparkle" in her eye and "lilt" in her voice. There was a certain kinship felt immedietly. Her love for TWA, it's history and people was boundless. It all made sense when she confessed...."Yes, I was a TWA Hostess....long ago!" "You still could be" I replied! "And a credit to the profession."

If I were not computer illiterate; I'd scan the picture of she and I next to her Lockheed. It is my prize picture from the airshow. But....I don't have that ability.

If you ever get a chance to meet or correspond with her please do so. I recommended that she contact Randy. Unknown to me at the time, they had already corresponded. She is desperate to hear from and about true, historic, TWA aviators; especially anyone who might have known her father.

Time is wasting...........

[ 08-19-2006, 06:35: Message edited by: Bob Ritchie ]

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PITbeast
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quote:
My copy is being sent to PITBEAST in N. Carolina for his pleasure. When he returns it....I'd be glad to loan it to others.
Oh. You're loaning me the book? Well, okay, I'll return it, but Bob, there's an old bookseller saying (I'm an old bookseller, remember?) you need to know. There are two certain ways to get a broken heart: 1. Date a cheerleader; 2. Loan a book.

You did include a self addressed, stamped envelope, didn't you? [Wink]

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L1011Ret
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I understand a career is what you make of it, but I was fortunate to move up in seniority fairly fast. By age 30 I was flying round the world and in and out of Vietnam. We were signing for meals in those days, lots of Rosae wine in Lisbon charged off as orange juice. Later I was based in Europe for 30 days at a time. Lots of long layovers too, once 17 days in Okinawa as I remember it. The opportunities and benefits we enjoyed are not likely to be repeated anytime soon.
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Herb Phillips
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Was it Rose Mateus or Mateus Rose?

Lisbon at the Tivoli.

Yes it was great.

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Glasspilot
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quote:
Originally posted by Herb Phillips:
Was it Rose Mateus or Mateus Rose?

Lisbon at the Tivoli.

Yes it was great.

Not to mention "cheap chicken"!
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extwacaptain
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quote:
Originally posted by L1011Ret:
We were signing for meals in those days, lots of Rosae wine in Lisbon charged off as orange juice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Captn' Bill,

Not only did you prove my DC-3 Captain wrong by enjoying your career, but you have "One-Upped" William Shakespeare. He believed that story about a "Rose by any other name", but you, Sir, have been able to make an orange TASTE like a rose. [Big Grin]

Randy

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Irish
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quote:
Not to mention "cheap chicken"!
and Vino Verde! Sigh....
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ss278
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No, it isn't what it used to be. Perhaps I'm getting jaded or just old, I don't know, but after this past week I'm again looking for reasons not to travel. For those of us who ride in the back, the "hassle factor" has returned with a vengance and I've had it. Hopefully it was just a one-off experience; me running into nothing but jerk TSA agents and overworked, fed-up-by-concessions and not-appreciated by management flight and ground crews.

Sorry for the rant. But yes, I was spoiled by the days of a bed on the Constellations, Royal Ambassador service, clean dependable airplanes and incredibly friendly and service-oreinted crews. I was spoiled by the fact that after I had spent several weeks in some God-forsaken spot on this Earth, I could emerge from whatever hole I'd been "living" in and upon spying that Blue Meatball on the tail of a 707, know that as soon as I stepped through the forward door there would be good food, scotch-on-the-rocks and a beautful woman who would take care of me for the next 18 hours to get me home.

And it ain't coming back.

So much for the old curmudgeon. However....

I'd like to think I had a small part to play in the following. Back in the day when I still had my medical and was flying myself, I took two neighborhood kids up one day in an Arrow. They enjoyed it a lot, and over the next few years I'd fly with one or the other whenever it worked out. They were (and are) brother and sister.

Fast forward to today.

The young lady in question is now flying P-3's in the Navy. And her younger brother is a First Officer with a large regional carrier. They are living their dreams and loving every minute of it. And I suppose thirty years down the road they too will lament that "this flying business ain't what it used to be..." But I suspect that they will have few if any regrets and more than a little satisfaction in their chosen life.

And for some of us old farts, (NOT Capt. Randy, Bob Ritchie and many others) sometimes its just better to get the hell out of the way.

[ 08-20-2006, 09:33: Message edited by: ss278 ]

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L1011Ret
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I stand corrected. Rose Mateus sounds about right. Then again the waiters winked when we asked for orange juice. They knew exactly what we wanted. It was a Rose by another name. I see lots of posters remember the Tivoli. Then too they remember the "cheap chicken" too. I can forget that place. I have yet to find out what the big draw for that place was other than it was cheap.
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Gloriaswansong
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I enjoyed reading about the old days at TWA. I wasn't in-flight, so what are LEO's?

Thanks, if anyone answers

Gloria

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extwacaptain
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quote:
Originally posted by ss278:
No, it isn't what it used to be. Perhaps I'm getting jaded or just old, I don't know, but after this past week I'm again looking for reasons not to travel. For those of us who ride in the back, the "hassle factor" has returned with a vengance and I've had it. Hopefully it was just a one-off experience; me running into nothing but jerk TSA agents and overworked, fed-up-by-concessions and not-appreciated by management flight and ground crews.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mr. Jack Mark,

Ever since reading your recent post concerning an unpleasant experience flying, I have been trying to think of words or thoughts which might make that "memory" less painful. There are no such magical words.

There was a saying in the military which suggested the following answer when asked to explain a failure to perform properly: "YES, SIR....NO,SIR, and NO EXCUSE, SIR". There is absolutely no excuse for our passengers not receiving friendly, professional service in spite of any and all of the recent problems in the industry. Many of us were taught to "leave our problems at home". That's probably a difficult thing to do, BUT IT
ALWAYS HAS BEEN.

Jack, by the way, some of your past posts would indicate that you are not nearly old enough to qualify as an "Old fart". As far as being a "Curmudgeon", that term would better seem to fit some of the individuals you encountered on that last flight.

One last thought.....Had this happened on a TWA flight into LA a few years back, you would have been ushered to the Ambassador club, enjoyed a few scotches on the rocks while observing Pamela walking back and forth. [Wink] (Sometimes this could change unpleasant memories to fond memories.)

Respectfully,

Randy

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CPRIC
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quote:
Originally posted by Gloriaswansong:
I enjoyed reading about the old days at TWA. I wasn't in-flight, so what are LEO's?

Thanks, if anyone answers

Gloria

Law Enforcement Officers {Cops}
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Jeff I.
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quote:
Originally posted by extwacaptain:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ss278:
[qb]
One last thought.....Had this happened on a TWA flight into LA a few years back, you would have been ushered to the Ambassador club, enjoyed a few scotches on the rocks while observing Pamela walking back and forth. [Wink] (Sometimes this could change unpleasant memories to fond memories.)

Respectfully,

Randy

Captain Randolph -

You know how to connect, sir. I completely relate to your comments on the healing nature of being ushered into the LAX Ambassadors Club. And ...... for once ..... I'm not talking about the healing nature of the scotch on the rocks .....!!!

Those were the days, my friend!

Jeff I.

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extwacaptain
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff I.
[/qb]

Captain Randolph -

You know how to connect, sir. I completely relate to your comments on the healing nature of being ushered into the LAX Ambassadors Club. And ...... for once ..... I'm not talking about the healing nature of the scotch on the rocks .....!!!

Those were the days, my friend!

Jeff I. [/QB][/QUOTE]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jeff,
Actually it wasn't always easy being around that club room. Many of the guests "ushered" there had not experienced a problem with their flight. They just happened to present the impression of "belonging in the club", rather than standing around the terminal. [Smile]

Of those who accepted an invitation to be a guest for a cup of coffee, many were pleasantly surprised and pleased by the most gracious and friendly atmosphere they encountered there. As a result, a large percentage requested information on becoming a member and joined. (That was the most expensive cup of coffee they ever had in their life..... and they enjoyed it!) [Wink]

However, over the years, my "BOSS" suggested that I might have been favoring the beautiful ladies in selecting guests. She was absolutely correct. Before that day was over, several rather handsome gentlemen were signing in as guests and that criticism was replaced with a big smile and a "Thumbs Up".

Not long after, it was business as usual, as 4 (four) rather attractive young ladies were introduced as guests. Everybody in the world would have recognized these ladies, but I had no idea who they were......Miss Universe, Miss U.S.A., Miss America, and their equally attractive chaperone.
(Somehow, they just looked like they belonged in the club.) [Big Grin]

Needless to say, it was then necessary to find a few movie actor-looking guys to maintain that perfect harmony with my "boss".

Yes, Sir. Those were the days.

A lot of guys probably couldn't have handled it. [Roll Eyes]

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Irish
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quote:


A lot of guys probably couldn't have handled it. [Roll Eyes]

Sheesh!!! [Roll Eyes] [Big Grin]
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extwacaptain
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quote:
Originally posted by Irish:
quote:


A lot of guys probably couldn't have handled it. [Roll Eyes]

Sheesh!!! [Roll Eyes] [Big Grin]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Captain Paul,

I am assuming the roll-eyes, followed by the big grin, indicate your acceptance of my comment "A lot of guys probably couldn't have handled it." as an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor. I sincerely hope this is true.

Should others have taken those words seriously, allow me to change that comment and say: "ANYONE could have handled it". A street person could have been cleaned-up, dressed in a uniform, told to smile and shake hands. The end result would have probably been the same, as the "job" did not require great talent. It only required time.

But, back to a story only half told. We had a co-pilot flying thru LA who could have been Smilin' Jack's younger brother. He was a real pleasure to be around and made being around his flights most enjoyable. On one occasion he asked: "Randy, do you have any good-looking ladies to bring up to meet the crew?" (Well, it just so happened that this was the day all the beauty queens were escorted to the Club.) I hesitated and got that kinda dumb look on my face and replied: "How about Miss Universe.......Miss America...and Miss U.S.A. ? He obviously thought I was kidding, so I asked his Captain if I might "borrow Bob M. for a few moments", as the ladies had requested pictures with their crew. The good Captain responded as he climbed out of his seat: "Maybe I better go along, too." And he did.

Yeah, it was a tough job.

Randy

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Irish
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quote:
I am assuming the roll-eyes, followed by the big grin, indicate your acceptance of my comment "A lot of guys probably couldn't have handled it." as an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor. I sincerely hope this is true.

Oh yeah, big guy! [Big Grin] Actually I really admire you LA studs that travel in the big-time circles with the ladeez. (Tongue firmly in cheek!)

Paul

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exTWALAX
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Bob Ritchie: Thanks for your report on OSH this year. Enjoyed your telling of the talk with Ruth Holden. I think I've read about her on these very pages. I thought of the fly-in this year and remembered the ones I attended in the 80's. I was privileged to interview and photograph TWAers who flew their own planes to OSH one year for The Skyliner. I was so proud of being a TWA employee when talking to them about their love of flying and of TWA. I remember specifically, Roy Geisert, sitting under the wing of his Cessna painted in TWA colors, talking about always thinking about flying. He said even when he saw a bird fly around the corner of a building, he learned from the angle of the bird's wings. One of the high points of my life. I had always heard that TWA was the pilots' airline. That year, I knew why.
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dave carr
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exTWALAX

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post. It has partly to do with the name Roy Geisert. Seeing his name in print brings to the surface such a flood of great and pleasant memories. I had the pleasure of being a crew member with Captain Geisert in 1966-67. Such wonderful times, such wonderful people. Oh, where do the years go?

Dave Carr

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Dave Carr: You were fortunate indeed. I was priveleged to be in his Cessna at OSH for one of their "parade of history" flight shows. At the last minute, he was instructed to land, not on the runway, but on the field of grass. He did and put it down with such smoothness that I couldn't tell when we landed. Marvelous! He was truly a pilot's pilot.
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