Saturday, September 22, 2012

Robert Reardon Makes Guinness World Records 2013

Bob Reardon and Lady Skywriter at the NWA History Centre for the 
Donald Nyrop tribute, June 2011
You will find part of this photo in the brand new Guinness World Records 2013.  Go to page 69, the Oldest category, where you will find Mr. Reardon at the very top of the page with the heading Oldest active flight attendant. Congratulations, Bob! This is a huge honor.
Right below Bob, with the heading Longest career as a flight attendant is Ron Akana, who, although four years younger than Bob, has worked for United Airlines since 1949.  (Bob started at Northwest Orient Airlines in 1951.) At the time the 2013 Guinness World Records went to press, Ron had worked 62 years, three months, six days.
Having attended Bob Reardon's 60th anniversary party in October, 2011, it would seem to me that Bob has a very good chance to go for the "longest working flight attendant" category as well.  Hmm. Let's see.  He's still going strong at 88 years old, right?  He now has 61 years of service, right?
I think Ron Akana retired this summer.  So if we can help Bob Reardon log another year and a half, he will leave Ron Akana in the dust, Guinness-wise. (No offense, Ron. You are certainly to be congratulated for your longevity, too.) The way I see it, Bob can beat Akana in years of service as well as age, and not yet reach the age of 90. Go for it, Bob!
I wonder if Reardon and Akana ever met?  Maybe we should engineer that one day next year at the NWA History Centre - maybe when Reardon holds both designations, all to himself.
In the first paragraph I mentioned that only part of the above photo is in the Guinness World Records 2013 book.  You guessed it - they cut me out.  Just think how close I came?  Carim Valerio, Database Manager for Guinness World Records Ltd, in London, has been wonderful to work with.  And he saw to it that I was sent a copy of the 2013 book.
How did I get involved?  Back in April, 2012, I received an email from Fran Morales, Picture Researcher for Guinness World Records, Ltd., saying that she had found a photograph of Robert Reardon on my Lady Skywriter website.  Would I send them a high-resolution copy of the photo? Did I have any more photos of Mr. Reardon?  Yes, and yes, I replied. And sent them off.
Then I forgot about the whole thing, until this past Wednesday afternoon, when I received an email from Carim Valerio, telling me that my book was on the way and I was given a picture credit on page 284 (in very tiny letters).
The book arrived the very next day and I have had a ball showing Bob off to everyone I run into. And it is a heavy book to carry around.
If you run into Bob please encourage him to go the distance.  He might as well cover the category in 2014.  In Carim's last email to me he said, "If you talk to Mr. Reardon, please give him my best regards and tell him to drop me a line when he beats Mr. Akana's record!"
I'll have to copy this post and snail mail it to Bob.  No, he still doesn't care to have internet access.  But he's still jetting all over the world, taking great care of his passengers.  Again, Bob, Congratulations!