Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Coffee, Tea or Who?

I cannot believe it. 

I was happily processing book requests at the library yesterday.  In the interests of productivity, each item receives only a cursory glance - most attention being paid to getting the item on the shelf as quickly as possible for the borrower to pick up. 

I froze . . .  my routine interrupted.  In my hand was a copy of "Coffee, Tea or Me? The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses" by Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones with Donald Bain.  The cover had a 1960's look to it.  I checked inside for the year of publication.  It was originally published in 1967 and, amazingly, re-printed in 2003. 

Flipping through the pages, I discover drawings of bosomy, tiny-waisted, long legged, short skirted women introducing each chapter.  I was appalled.  

Then I remembered.  The Sixties!  Gone were the chaste navy blue calf-length skirts, modest white blouses and campaign hats we stewardesses wore in the Fifties.  In their place, the 1960's uniforms featured mini-skirts and perky little hats in magenta, lime, orange and yellow; often paired with color coordinated boots - "made for walking," I'm sure. 

Gone too, it appears, were the inhibitions that resided at the core of most of my colleagues in the dark ages. Oh, there was titillating gossip in our time, all right, and references to the 'mile high club,' but I suspect that ninety-nine percent of it was just talk.  Wishful thinking on the part of the pilots. Unfounded speculation on the part of the stews.

Paging through "Coffee, Tea or Me?" I wonder if it was the same in the 1960's.  Lots of show, but no go.  Is it easier to conclude that these mini-skirt clad babes were party girls than our more modestly dressed counterparts of the Fifties?   Who is to say? 

I guess 'appalled' is a bit strong.  I'll reserve judgement for another day.


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