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Friendly Skies?

Getting prepared to travel for the holidays is a daunting task. 

It’s not just the packing, but its deciding what to pack, how to pack, my destination, how long I’ll be gone, the paper work I need to fill out before I even get to the airport, the lines for boarding, and…oh yes, I forgot, the mask, the shields, the no food, the fights on board, and accidental gun fires. 

But there is some sense of excitement, or is it apprehension? I want to be ready for anything but hope this will be a mundane trip like going to the grocery store. Now that I think about it, that too can create a knot in the stomach for fear someone will walk in with the desire to harm.

But, back to flying through the air.

I remember the first airplane I ever boarded, not certain how old I was, probably in my early teens, but I remember being dressed to the t’s. And everyone else in the commercial prop plane was decked out too. The men wore suits and ties (do they still have clothes like that in their closets?), the women were in high heels, some wore gloves (even in the summer), and the ritzy ones had fashionable hats perched on their coiffured heads. 

It was an awe-inspiring sight and flight. I don’t remember being frightened, but rather excited. The roar of the engines, the race down the runway, the thunder of the wheels on the pavement, and then we were soaring through a thin layer of clouds. 

Of course back then, we are talking in the late 50s, restrictions were nonexistent. Family could accompany a passenger to the gate, even get on the plane with them to say goodbye. 

Baggage wasn’t inspected, identification wasn’t necessary, food was served on real china, people were friendly, and the ‘stewardess’s all wore cute little hats and smart looking skirt suits.

Most of those young ladies looked alike. Their hair was cut the same way, they were all about the same height and weight,ly and they must have been taught a certain smile because each one had that same pleasant look plastered on their faces.

I think they quit teaching smile etiquette because now the flight attendants (they’ve changed their titles) don’t greet as much as they make sure your belt is secured, the baggage bins are shut, tray tables are up, and you get to your seat quickly. It’s not a scowl on their faces, but a look your mother wore when she felt you weren’t following the rules and her patience was near explosion level. Yeah, that look.

I don’t blame them for being exasperated, tired, wary, perhaps even frightened. Life aboard today’s airplanes isn’t the same as it was back in the day. Of course, what is the same? Actually, nothing. Well, maybe Jack Daniels Black Label, if you are into bourbon.

So, I’m busy deciding how many pairs of socks do I take, how many extra masks do I pack, and will my flight be on time or cancelled? 

Who knows, but I’m readying myself to ‘fly the friendly skies’. 

5 thoughts on “Friendly Skies?

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