Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More photos from "All About Bob"

Mary Pat Laffey Inman with Richard Moody during "open mike."
Lori Rothmund, center, lynch-pin of the guest list and other arrangements
I love this: the first moment Mary Pat Laffey Inman and Jean
Carlson Schreier saw each other in 53 years! They were in the same
NWA "stewardess" class in 1958.
They really enjoyed being reunited.
Bill Marchessault and John Joseph, Delta/NWA flight attendants
Welcome to the festivities
Bob Reardon memorabilia
Mary Fryer and Bruce Kitt, NWA History Centre Directors,
manning an information table.
More photos on yesterday's (10/4/11) blog.
That's All, Folks . . . .
. . . if you have more photos you'd like to share, send them to me please.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Bob Reardon Information, gleaned at his fantastic 60th Anniversary Party

Bob Reardon with his sisters and Waverly MN pastor. l-r: Bernice
Reardon, Rev. Martin Shallbetter, "the man of the hour", Mary Klingelhoets
For openers, I did not know Bob was born and bred in Waverly, MN. His sisters shared that with me. I didn't know he was from a family of nine children. I did not know that he studied at the Sorbonne in Paris his junior year in college. How did a boy from Waverly, short on funds, arrange the transportation? He worked as a waiter on the Queens; Queen Mary on the way over and Queen Elizabeth on the way home. He claims that is when he really learned first-class passenger service. Again, the sisters know.
Bob's 60th anniversary party last night was a smashing success. Masterminded by Richard Moody, Delta/NWA purser and event planner extraordinaire, it was a fitting tribute to Bob's 60 consecutive years of flying. At 87, Bob is nowhere near ready to retire. When c.j. (Minneapolis StarTribune columnist) asked me today how many people I thought were there, I answered, "Oh, about 200." She informed me in a subsequent conversation that there were actually 345. No wonder it was so crowded. And what a crowd it was. Old flight attendants, young flight attendants and middle-aged flight attendants. Some so old (moi included) they weren't allowed to retire, but forced to resign when they either (a) married or (b) reached their 32nd birthday.
Then along came Mary Pat Laffey Inman and changed the rules. Inspired by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1966, Mary Pat and other Northwest Airlines flight attendants were on the cutting edge of enforcing these Acts. Mary Pat had a front-row seat. And Mary Pat flew in from Seattle for Bob's party!
Bob Reardon and Mary Pat Laffey Inman
Another surprise visitor was a fellow named Mitch, who has worked at the Radisson Narita since 1978. This 400-plus room hotel is where NWA crews stay. Mitch, (pictured below with Bob), flew in from Japan especially for the celebration last evening at the Ft. Snelling Officer's Club. Mitch knows the crews so well he goes out of his way to be sure they have exactly the accommodations they prefer. And it goes without saying, Mitch has known Bob for a long time.
A few "old timers:" Mary Pat Laffey Inman, Carol Holmquist,
Jean Carlson Schreier, Anne Billingsley Kerr
A completely edible NWA DC-3 created by Jacklyn Dammel
Tune in tomorrow for more photos of this extraordinary event . . . .

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bob Reardon's Celebration, "All About Bob", will be much better than TV's Pan Am!

Bob Reardon and Mary Ann Gallagher talking with "Red" Kennedy, (r) retired NWA Captain, at the "Remembering Donald Nyrop event at the NWA History Centre, June, 2011

Just got off the phone with Richard Moody, who is producing the "All About Bob" event on Monday evening, Oct. 3, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Officer's Club.
Richard let me in on some of the surprises in store for Bob. I am really excited that I will get to meet some illustrious folks I've only corresponded with, until now.
There will also be dancers, singers, a 3-D cake and enormous fun.
Bob is celebrating his 60th year as a flight attendant/purser for NWA/Delta. To say he is a legend is an understatement. At 87 years old, I wouldn't be surprised if he is the oldest flight attendant in the world.
I loved flying with Bob in the late 1950s and have written a chapter about him in my book, Fujiyama Trays & Oshibori Towels - Recalling a time when passenger flight was an adventure and the Boeing Stratocruiser ruled the skies.
Now we'll see each other again. I can hardly wait.
If you are just now deciding to attend, hurry up and email Lori Rothmund or Richard Moody
Then come to the Officer's Club at the airport - 395 Highway 5 and Post Road, St. Paul, MN Monday at 4 p.m. with your $20 per person cover charge. It will be worth every penny.
I was not impressed with Pan Am's debut on TV last Sunday evening. However, "All About Bob" will be impressive. Please join us!