The year was 1985, it was spring...
But you'd never know it by the weather we were having at TRI.
The snow was deep and it was around -20 (20 below -0-).
I had to get to TRI to work and I was not so experienced at driving in snow.
My Dad, Herman Lyons, volunteered to drive me to the airport in his ole
1972 Dodge maxivan. It was one of my favorite vehicles Dad had.
I called it the Piedmont van. We had it painted up in shades of blue.
Dad drove through the two lane winding roads of sullivan country from Bluff City to Blountville via I-81 to the airport. It was a slow drive as the roads were iced over and hazardous. Dad braved the night weather for me so I could get to work.
We got there and all was well. I spent the night aboard the 727 as I had done
and continued to do on many occasions, sometimes going in to classes at ETSU the next morning.
I kept the bird warm so that the pipes did not freeze over.
I will always remember those times, just the 727 and me.
The aft airstairs and that cold breeze and snow blowing.
When it's that cold, you can't stay outside very long and you have to
take quick short breaths.
I will remember my parents dedication to my job long after they are gone.
Dad is now 77 and Mom almost 81.
God Bless them both.
For those of us on the "outside" who are merely fans of Piedmont and never worked there... it is great to hear stories like this. The general public has no idea what it really takes to provide the service you guys did.
I can tell you one that goes back 1961 on a cold winter morning as we departed TriCity Airport. I was flying as steward at the time and our flight was leaving to go to Cincinnati.Well we walked out to the aircraft(DC-3) in a couple inches of snow. The chill factor had to be in low double figures.As we opened the aircraft up we went onboard I stayed in the back of the aircraft checking supplies. A Coke Case was strapped down in the back on the floor. I opened it to check the cokes and found them frozen. As the Captain and Co pilot walked up front they left snowey foot prints on the carpet leading to the Cockpit.The agents brought out our coffee in thermos jugs for any passengers in route. We boarded one passenger from Tricity going to Cincinnati.We closed the door and were off.After take off and much frustration the flight crew could not get the aircraft heater fired up needless to say I had bundled the one passenger that we had up with over half the blankets that we had on board. The Captain and Copilot had a few more wrapped around them. We overflew LondonCorbin,KY. enroute but did land at Lexington as we picked up freight and the continued on to Cincinnatti.Enroute to Cincinnatti our one passenger walked up front and chatted with the Captain and Co Pilot upon our arrival he walked off the aircraft with nothing but praise for our airline as he had enjoyed himself so much. As I walked down from the forward part of the passenger cabin I noticed the snowey footprints on the Isle carpet still there.One of many memories of one of the greatest airlines to be in existance due to the comradory of the employees and management.I want you to know that I just joined this site as I was not aware of it due to my own stupidity.However being a man of not many tears I want you to know that they have been running down my cheeks as I read of those departed to the great skies above and the rush of memories that have come forward from being On Board. Capt.Harold O Norton (snorton norton)