Charlywalker's Blog












Rule number two was written in bold type with massive underlining and Italics. 

CURFEW. 

I thought I left this behind after graduating high school. It made me wonder if all the “New Stews” parents held a meeting with the airline presenting their list of wrongs.  I left my family back west purposely to break the confines of parental controls.

CURFEW… try telling that to my empty stomach at 10:00 p.m.  My tummy had jet lag and was still adjusting to the three hour time difference as East met West in my digestive organ.

Miss Midwest and I missed our dinner bell and the Airline Gestapo  sent us  straight to our room without dinner. Just like in Junior High ,when your mother got mad just because you were sent home from St. Luke’s Catholic school for setting the goldfish free in the holy water during set-up time for the Church Bazaar.  Anyway, as Midwest and I sat in our double occupancy suite rifling through drawers for signs of pre-packaged sustenance, I noticed a pair of eyes peeking through the gape of our drapes covering our partially opened window.

I whispered to Midwest that someone was outside our room.  She walked over and flapped the curtain open and standing like a deer in headlights was the Bell hop from the Villa’s.  We stood there glaring at him as he squeezed his face partially through the window and spoke in broken English:

“Are chjew gurlz  mucho hungree?”.

It was Jorge ( pronounced: HORE-HAY).  The Cuban bellboy that befriended a few Stews at the villa’s.  He was our only connection to the outside when forced into solitary confinement.  Jorge knew everyone and everything about the Villa’s.  Jorge was able to get you Anyone and Anything at Anytime from the Villa’s.

We pleaded our gastronomic case and asked if he could fetch us some food. He stated he could but we would have to accompany him.  Miss Midwest gave me the same look she gave as when I pulled her into the Bentley earlier that day.  We had made the time constraint of the late night bed check, but we still needed to cover ourselves should the airline gestapo happen to sleep walk.  We stuffed our beds with pillows and blankets to form an “S” shape resembling two laid out Stews. After shutting the light, we proceeded to crawl out the window with the assistance of Jorge who had a golf cart waiting behind a palm tree.

Jorge ushered us into the cart and drove us to the Villa’s Restaurant, which is excluded to New Stews and open to visiting vacationers.  The one thing about an Airline School in the 70’s,  is most of the students are pegged the moment they arrive, and are easily identified by staff and visitor’s.  I was still in my Miami white attire and Jorge was dressed in his Villa’s employee uniform.  I asked Jorge to loan me his tie and red jacket and walked through the Staff entrance to the restaurant kitchen.  It was there I picked up a serving tray and started to slam salami and crudites onto a pile, followed by a stash of French  baguette.  The kitchen staff rambled something in Cuban pointing and laughing as I paraded my silver tray through the aisles of leftovers.  I turned and popped them a smile and a Gracia’s and raced back to the golf cart where my cohorts in crime anxiously awaited.

Miss Midwest et all laughed up a storm as they saw me exit with a tray of delights wearing the Bellboy’s jacket and a black bow-tie.  Jorge let me drive back to our room  and as I parlayed the Cart in reverse  and darted with full  throttle in the dark, I neglected to look behind me and rammed another cart that approached from the rear.

Two well dressed “Suits” stepped out of their golf cart and stood hovering above us ready to land their disgust with this minor accident incident.  Both gentlemen cross examined Miss Midwest and I regarding our status at “this hour of the night”, and “are we employed by the Airline?”.  I  conceded  and offered up our feeble excuse while slowly removing my rented costume and returning it to Jorge.

The one Suit who was missing his tie stepped closer into the light and leaned into our golf cart and spat out:

“Do you know who I am?  I am the V.P. of the Airline that just hired you”.

I was hoping at that time I was not going to crap my Miami white polyester pants.

Mr. Veep scolded us and threatened to have us returned to our homes.  It was then I realized I should have listened to my dad and applied to law school. He always said I could argue my way out of  going the wrong way on a one way street.

 I pleaded with the “Pinstripes” and begged forgiveness from the courting of the idea of; maybe, just maybe, a sentencing of no breakfast in the morning?  I ended with my closing statement describing the heartbreak and disappointment our parents will endure as a result of us being thrown out of “Stew School”.  I sniffled a sentence or two referencing my “stature as a temporary college misfit and winning the Flight Attendant lottery with your Esteemed Airline, and how this is a child’s dream come true to one day turn in my Miami White polyester for the Noble Blue Uniform of the Wings of Man”.  Then I eeked out the airlines rusty slogan in the key of “E” flat with hopes of my cohort butting in as a back up singer:

“You gotta Belieeeve in Eastern……”

The V.P. nearly peed his pants to suppress his laughter. He took our names and numbers and ordered us back to our rooms. He instructed Jorge to drive us back safely.  Miss Midwest and I crawled back through our window and fell onto our beds hardly sleeping, and thinking about our demise facing us in the morning.

It was 8:00 a.m. and the morning Gestapo shift entered our room to announce that “Miss Midwest and I were Grounded for a week”,  thus being responsible for the breaking of  rule’s #3 and #4………

Never miss class and Never miss your Familiarization flight……

It was then I started to study the tactic’s of Gandhi and missing a meal once in a while to prevent any uprisings.    Plus, how was I to know that having Hotel Staff loitering outside your window after 11:00p.m. was breaking rule #5……..

(to be continued……)




Continuing on with the parody of entering the Airline world, back when the dinosaurs roamed, and First Class served meals on real china…….not made in China……..

My adventures with this airline flew me across the country miles away from my family and landed me on a small island in the Caribbean. It is pronounced Cah-RIB-Be-an…if you are to be  a local. Most folks take on the pirated Johnny Depp’s annunciation: CARE- a -BEE-an.  Well, if Johnny Depp was pilfering Puerto Rico when I was living there who in their right mind would focus on Grammar……

My first stop before heading off to the assigned base in San Juan, was a six week layover in Miami for training. I managed to meet up with another chosen trainee on my flight to Florida, as she was from Oregon, and after chatting for what seemed like eight hours, we decided to share a cab to our hotel; The Villa’s. aka….Stew Zoo.

  Ms. Oregon and I were not accustomed to cabs and neglected to add a tip to our fare as we wrestled with our chump change laughing at the bottom of our purses.  The driver stood in disbelief as he fingered the coins and darted after us yelling something in Cuban.  Ms. Oregon turned  around and flipped him an added gesture with her free hand. I stopped to dig deeper in my pockets while Ms. Oregon was long gone halfway down the walkway to The Villa’s.  I was left with Scar face wielding and empty open palm in my direction.  I felt my Airline funding from my parents was dwindling before I even started the job…..

When we entered the Hotel, the lobby contained two genre’s of patrons:  “New Stews” and ” Lot’s of off the cuff men lingering after a busy day at Hialeah Race track.   The “Stew Group” sat in a designated mosh pit and awaited their Commander and Chief to assign their rooms and deliver vagrant instructions.  I was hoping to room with Ms. Oregon, but ended up  with Miss Midwest.

While unpacking our allotted one suitcase only, my roomie and I went over the itinerary and rules for our six week stay:

1) There will be Three meal times: 8:00am Breakfast, 12:00pm Lunch, and 6:00pm dinner. Should you miss any of these time you will not be allowed in the cafeteria, and no compensation for missing meals.

2) There is a curfew: In rooms by 9:00pm and bed check at 10:00pm. Should you not be present during these times you will be sent home.

3) Never miss class, unless there is an emergency or illness.

4) Never miss your assigned Fam Flight. Familiarization flight, there is only one, and no make-ups.

5) No bringing anyone to your rooms. Cause to be sent home.

6) There is one day dedicated to make-up and hair, must be present and abide by the Airline standard.

7) There will be random “Weigh -ins” at the Airline’s discretion.

8) You must present yourself professionally at all times, remember you are representing the Airline.

9) No alcohol.

10) Welcome aboard “The Wings of MAN”. See you at 8:00am sharp!

My first week there I broke rule number one.

We had some free time and I went to the beach with my roomie.  We managed a ride out there and did not secure a return trip back to The Villa’s. We were about eight miles from our Villa and it was getting to the dinner hour.  Most of the trainees came with a minimal amount of money as the airline suggested, and thus money was to be used to secure your living quarters when you settled at your new Base. Not for shopping.   My roomie and I used some of it in a few designer stores that screamed our names out as we passed by.  We bought new outfits during our “free time” at the beach.  We also realized we were short funds for a cab and the clock was ticking for our nightly room visit by the Airline Gestapo.

As Miss Michigan and I started to walk , and she was complaining about “not getting back in time”,  and “getting thrown out in our first week”, and “these stupid shoes are killing her feet”.    I  wanted to stick my thumbs in my ears, but decided to flag my hand out and trail my thumb along the  roadside towards traffic.  My roommate was horrified and slapped my hand down and proceeded to lecture on “deaths of hitchhikers”.  I told her who in their right mind would mess with two sunburned girls wearing new designer clothing?

I stuck my thumb out again. She slapped it down..again.  I slapped her hand back and there we were having a hand slapping conversation along the roadside dressed in Miami white pants and matching peach tops scuffing our decorative jeweled sandals. As we stood there slapping Patty-cake, a vintage beige Bentley pulled up with a shaggy haired bespectacled -what looked like an aging rock star- behind the wheel and he asked us if we needed a ride.

I grabbed the door handle and  then said “yes” before Miss Michigan objected. I tugged her too tight top into the back seat and blurted a “Thank you” to the driver.  He asked our destination and I told him “The Villa’s”.  He asked if we were Flight Attendants.  I said yes we were and we needed to get back to our rooms before curfew.

Our ride was not that long, and started out in complete silence.  My roommate kept darting hate stares at me and whispering heated words about , “Duct tape and Pick axes in the trunk……”.

The shaggy driver asked us if we “liked music” and stated he had “started a new band” and would we “like to hear his tape”.  Simultaneously we said Yes. Miss Michigan leaned over to me and exclaimed in my ear: “Music soothes the savage beast”…apparently she still had shades of Ted Bundy running through her head.

The driver and I conversed about his new band and as we were getting closer to our destination I asked him about  his Old Band. His former band.  As he pulled into the back parking lot of The Villa’s and stopped to let us out, he turned around and said:  “Oh.. I was the key-board player for The Doors.“.

I popped out of the car and smiled at my roommate. Ray Manzarek was our driver.  THIS is why you buy designer clothes when attempting to hitch hike…..

As it turned out we made it in time for bed check, however, we neglected to eat anything and my stomach was aching. Mostly because I could have held intense conversations with Mr. Manzarek about Jim  Morrison, but, instead, chose to fan off  the continuum  buzzing in my ear from my mid-western roommate about Hitch hikers and  Serial killers.

It was my stomach growling that lead me to break rule number two………

( to be continued…)



et cetera
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