well, of course, this ignited a wonderful exchange of mutual great memories surrounding this sky tour experience. they in fact, mentioned that during their flight, the learning channel was filming a segment for "romantic places in the bay area" -i haven't been able to find it via google search, but.. would love to see it.
they also mentioned having a rare poster, that shows the dc3, with an otis spunkmeyer hostess... of course, i can't help but wonder if it might be a picture of karin carter... wouldn't that be somethin'. they promised to bring it in for me to see next visit to ruby hill. [and you know i'll get a picture of them with the poster]
OTIS SPUNKMEYER DC3, come fly with (me!) sandra, tvgp
when i met sir robert wilkins at the pleasanton library during steven johnson's book reading and signing
he said about his position as a media escort, that it is "one of those obscure jobs that few people have ever heard of, but that everyone wants once they learn about it"
i want it. -which is funny, because i really don't like to drive so much, but.. for certain things, i'll do what i must. i have, after all, picked my ex-husband up from the oakland airport several times, and i'm still alive to blog about it. only, when i pick my ex-husband up (which is necessary because he is also the father of our children), he always hops in the driver seat and gets us all home safely.
so it gives me great laughs to picture myself picking up some famous author at the airport:
"hello! famous author person.. nice to meet you. i'm here to pick you up..
and i made it! isn't that great. and thank God!
and so, but, do you mind driving now? -getting us out of here. airports make me nervous.
-and then when we get back to my territory, we can switch, and you can be the passenger, okay.."
anyway.. it triggered a memory in me.. this coversation with bob (and notice here, that while driving might not be my greatest strength, i do make friends easily, because he just went from sir robert wilkins to bob write before your very eyes)
anyway.. it triggered a memory in me, this conversation with my new friend, bob
because i have had many different jobs over the years, but only one that i can think of that other people coveted.
every saturday i heard the same thing from almost every person:
"how do you land this job?" "can i take over for you?" "if you can't make it for any reason.. call me. i'm happy to step in for you" "what a lucky person you are!" "and YOU GET PAID for this?"
and i would always answer with a big smile.. "not bad for weekend work, huh"
because it really was an extra special, very rare opportunity that came my way: a chance to play flight hostess for otis spunkmeyer's dc3 sky tours over the bay area.
and now, i have to ready myself and leave for work..
but when i get back, i'll tell you all about it.
so where was i?
the way this went down, was that there were no uniforms and no real training to speak of. -you just show up dressed in whatever you see fit, welcome the guests, pour champagne and offer chocolate covered strawberries and fancy hors d'oeuvres to the passengers during the flight
and the flight! was incredible!
some hour or so up and over oakland, san francisco, berkeley, circling back to see pleasanton, livermore, san jose (?), and then back to san leandro -but- all at about (14000 feet?) so the views were spectacular from every window.
and the dc3 itself: a real vintage beauty: former wwII plane all refurbished for tourist,
but maintaining its historic look and feel.
sometimes veterans would come with their spouses and family, dressed in their old military uniforms with such nostalgia etched in their expressions and pouring from their conversations
i understood it to some degree, but in honesty, was too young at the time to fully process what this experience meant to them.
that, and i was preoccupied a bit with my own survival and concerns.
it was very important to me i was a great hostess. -i really wanted to do a stellar job. make sure everyone had a great time. -be invited to come back and hostess again.
and it all sounded so exciting. and i knew it was a special treat to land this job.
-and i was recommended by some friends, and so didn't want to let them down
and all this, -anxious energy- i suppose, combined with it being my first time on the job, and first time in a dc-3, and first time standing, walking, balancing, pouring champagne and carrying on delightful conversation at the same time i'm in flight
well, i started to feel a little nauseous.
then i started to feel a lot nauseaous.
and then i started to panic.
-because, if i were to say, throw up, on one of the passengers
i was thinkin' that might not fall kindly on the eyes and ears of the pilot, the passengers or my dear friends who suggested me for the job.
and so as pale but non-chalant as i could possibly be on this intimate (#) passenger airplane, i found my way to the restroom, locked myself inside, and as quiet as humanly possible
puked my guts out.
then i washed my face, finger-brushed my teeth, gargled champagne, touched up my lipstick, pinched my cheeks to bring back some color
and went back out with a reloaded plate of fresh chocolate covered strawberries.
if anyone heard or noticed, they never brought it to my attention. i chit-chatted with the passengers, took in the mini-stories of their lives, listened to them oooh and ahhh over the spectacular views -some of them reliving memories from their war days
refilled their champagne glasses with a smile
and before you knew it, we were real smooth landing on the runway with everyone applauding.
that's me in the picture with the very beloved captain
captain dale, i think it was. /it's been a long time.
and i might not remember his name, but i do remember he was a great pilot, and he tolerated my over-enthusiastic hostessing skills with a certain tempered wisdom.
and i remember also, his co-pilot, for a few of the flights. a GORGEOUS, SEXY, red-headed female co-pilot, and i can't recall her name either, but i do remember
spending a lot of time wondering what it would be like to be her.
anyway, i can't remember how many saturday afternoons i spent as hostess for the otis spunkmeyer dc3 sky tours
i just remember it being a great time. -and in addition to the veterans who would wear their old uniforms for the flight
i remember two other passenger stand-outs.
the first was a man who was celebrating his 40th birthday. his friends had blind-folded him earlier in the day. kept him blind-folded while sticking him in a limo without any hint as to where he was going or what he was doing
kept him blind-folded all the way to and inside the airport. kept him blind-folded even as we walked up the stairs and into the plane
"do you know where you are?" his friends asked him
"am i on a roller-coaster?" he wondered with a frightened laugh
and that's when they finally took off his blindfold, and he was so genuinely, completely, utterly surprised at what they had pulled off
the other stand outs, were couples and/or families who wanted to experience the flight, but not all together in case of a fatal accident
so half the family, or couple, would go one weekend, and the other half, the next time.
and everyone always made it back safely with exciting stories to share from their separate experiences.
and i'm often asked how i got that job; such a wonderful job
and i sure wish i could provide this post with a happy ending, but it takes a bit of a sad turn for me here
because the person who is responsible for providing me with this wonderful, rare, opportunity and these great memories
the gorgeous, kind and generous karin carter; she passed on into heaven july of 2007. -born the same year i was, 1966, but had her life cut short the same way my aunt susie did: skin cancer.
and just like my aunt susie, forced to say goodbye to a husband and two young children way too soon
but if you want to witness another way blogs have been used for the greater good of humanity, you need to see the beautiful, very loving, blog created to share, celebrate and remember karin's life: http://www.karincarter.blogspot.com/
and if you're curious how i knew karin to begin with.. it was because she was the girlfriend, (and later wife), of a college friend of mine, jeff, who worked for otis spunkmeyer
whose brother i dated -in fact, was briefly engaged to- but never married.
and we lost touch and took on separate lives as the years passed
but we have quite a history, all of us -which today i remember with tremendous sentiment, lots of love and deep gratitude
"to you karin! -thank you!-"
doesn't look like they do this anymore... can't find mention of it anywhere.