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The Reverend Billy Graham on a CLT - DCA flight
Posted by: stevelyons (
Date: November 24, 2007 05:04AM

Not long after my wife and I got married in the late 1980s, I was working a sunday morning at CLT around the end of the C concourse. It was on the even number side on the left end beside C18 and C16, one of those corner gates.
It was a DCA flight using a relatively new Boeing 737-300.
It was a slow and quiet morning. Not many passengers in the boarding lounge.
After all the passengers deplaned, I did what I often did when no one was up at the counter when we took turns pulling tickets while the other agent in our two person team was working the seat assignment checkin desk, I walked down to the plane for a walkthrough to see if any crewmembers I knew were working the flight.
When I got down there, the cabin was empty, all except for Reverend Billy Graham.
I offered him my handshake and told him what an Honor it was to meet him.
We spoke for a few short moments and then I made my way back up the jetway, seeming like a dream, as it was hard to believe that I actually got to meet him after all these years.
We often got to meet famous people while working at Piedmont.
It was one of the many little purks.
We knew that it was equally important to be discrete and not make too big a deal of it so that their trip would be pleasant and to respect their privacy.
He was one of many I met at Piedmont that I will treasure the memory!


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Re: The Reverend Billy Graham on a CLT - DCA flight
Posted by: chris runge (
Date: November 25, 2007 12:16PM

Another great story Steve. I have great admiration for that man and have never heard of a bad encounter with him.

When I was in television I had a friend who got the opportunity to do a sit down interview with him at his home in the NC Mountains. He left for the assignment a bit cynical and really wanting to get some good, controversial soundbite from Rev. Graham. The reporter was one of those got get-em kinds that was always out for the BIG story.

He returned from the mountains with an absolute adoration for Graham. Taled about him contantly and became quite a fan.

I love hearing the stories about celebrities who flew Piedmont. I was HORRIFIED when I heard rumors about how one of my all-time favorites acted on a Piedmont flight... but I was never sure if it was just a "rumor" so I won't mention any names.

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Re: The Reverend Billy Graham on a CLT - DCA flight
Posted by: stevelyons (
Date: November 25, 2007 05:08PM

Throughout my life, I have admired Reverend Graham.
Occasionally I see him on TV in short interviews and kind of recently,
perhaps last year, was on TV for a library dedication in his honor in CLT.
Several well known people were there as I recall.
I think I saw the interview you speak of on TV back in the late 1990s.
He appears to be doing well considering his condition.

Throughout the years, I only experienced one unhappy encounter with a famous person. I do not wish to specify who it was in a public forum.

One unhappy encounter is a good ratio considering the large number of famous people I encountered while there.

Steve :)

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Re: The Reverend Billy Graham on a CLT - DCA flight
Posted by: stevelyons (
Date: November 25, 2007 11:19PM

I feel I need to add this to this discussion per my continuing lifetime admiration of Rev Graham.

As many, I first started watching his TV ministry series as a child.
Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to catch many of these TV
specials as they were on the local networks.

After I moved to Charlotte CLT to work full time for Piedmont in 1986 after serving as a customer service agent for Piedmont part time since Oct 1984,
I was alone in a large city and did not know anyone, only those I worked with.
The first months from July until October 1986, I worked night shift and
on the way home from the airport each night, tuned into WMIT Black Mountain
Christian Radio, a station I have been told Rev Graham started.
They called it at that time, "The Carolina's Christian Voice".
There was a radio minister at the time named, Bill Pierce, whom had one of the
most comforting radio shows to this day.
Each night on the way home, I listend and was comforted after a long nights work
at Piedmont. It became synonymous with my time in CLT in my memory.
The People of Piedmont have always been and still are comforting, loving people
who I have found are good friends and can be turned to in times of trouble and
are excellent in comforting those who need comfort.
My friends at Piedmont who worked with me both in TRI and CLT have been among
the best friends of my entire life.
I add that to a long list of things I am thankful for over the years.
As well as the Piedmont People in my life today who I still am able to keep in touch with!
God Bless you all, you are truly the most high caliber people I have worked with!

Steve :)

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