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Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Don Conner (---.bna.bellsouth.net)
Date: July 12, 2005 10:59PM

I know this has been answered somewhere before but I can't find it in my notes....

What was the name of the purser on PI's first flight. I have read several diff histories of PI and they always name the flight crew, but I have yet to see the name of the purser?

And while we are talking about pursers, I began with PI in 1963. I would be interested in you "higher seniority" folks throwing me some names of early day PI pursers. I knew some of them, but not that many. I know some went on to become pilots, etc.

Thanks for any, and all, help.
don in hendersonville, tn

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: John Kinney (198.65.167.---)
Date: July 13, 2005 05:38PM

It is my recollection that Mr. Bill McGee was the purser on first flight. He went on to be Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing. I was honored to help PI celebrate it's 40th anv. at ILM back in 88. They brought down the DC-3 from INT and Mr. Davis and Mr. McGee flew it in and talked about first flight.

I was with the RDU- Sales Office and I have a great picture of Mr. Davis and Mr. McGee in front of the DC-3. Had rainy weather so we had to pull the plane inside the ILM hanger. The hanger looked like it had not changed since 1948.

I asked Mr. Davis what he was thinking the night before the first flight of Piedmont in 1948. He never mentioned that he hoped to have international airlines that we were then (although US in 88.) He said he was concerned about bad weather that could delay flight.

I asked him what he thought of as his vision for PI was in 1948. He said to have great employees and treat them fairly, offer best service, have best safety and on time record. Keep fares reasonable and never over charge a community just because you where the only airline serving the city. Treat customers as paying Piedmont family members. Do the right thing for both customers and employees. He said most of all remember that we are in the customer service industry and we just happen to fly planes.

Can you think of an airline that could have used that advice that it paid $1.4 Billion for and threw it all away.

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Genie Ramsey Fisher (---.ec.res.rr.com)
Date: July 16, 2005 01:36PM

I can't remember the first purser either but I can see his face. He later became in charge of F/A in ORF. I was hired in 1963 too...didn't realize they hired men in the sixties...thought they had started hiring only females in the first 3 classes ahead of me. Do you remember Herman Barco and David Caudle? They were early pursers There were several in Roanoke where I was based, but for the life of me I can't remember their names....one was Allen and another was Dick....If you remember their last names, let me know...Genie Fisher..Oh yeah, how can we forget Red Stewart!

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Don Conner (---.bna.bellsouth.net)
Date: July 17, 2005 12:29PM

Genie,
I began in Ops in Roanoke Dec. 2, 1963. Alan Kirk was a purser based there. I believe Jim Lockamy, who was later our sales rep here in BNA, was based there then. Alan was the purser on the first flight I ever rode, back in 1960 when I was in the USAF. Capt. Bev Berkeley piloted the flt and we had radar probs and were dlyd in CHO. Radio personality Herb Shriner was on the flight. I remember you, also, when you were based in ROA. I worked Ops (Wgt & Bal) a lot 1964-1965, then in reservations there 1966, back to Ops for 1967 (I was working the day flt 22 went down at AVL), then xfered to BNA 1-15-1968. Would like to hear from any/all employees who worked in ROA 1963-1968, in any job function. Would also to love to share photos from this period, especially ones taken at the airport. Oh, Ken Brock was a purser at ROA.

I had never heard that Mr. McGee was purser on the first PI flight, and, for some reason, I have doubts. If he was, he sure changed in the face as he got older. I have seen the name somewhere, and I keep thinking it started with an "H". Prob just my senility setting in, tho.

Along this line, Bud Gilley was Nr. 1 captain on the seniority list (line pilots). I know they drew lots among the first 12 pilots to determine original captains and co-pilots, and that the chief pilot's position was voted on by the group, but how come Leon Fox got to fly the first flight instead of Bud?

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Margie Kye (---.com)
Date: July 19, 2005 01:30AM

Capt Leon Fox & F/O Hoss Dobbins flew the first flight because they were based in ILM where the first flight originated.

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Verne Crisp (---.dialup.mindspring.com)
Date: July 20, 2005 01:57AM

Don Connor
Right off the top of my head,in addition to the ones already named:
Al Huddleston,Charlie Cross,Harold Warner, Roger Dietz,Bob Idol, Bill Dolan, ???? Sullivan,Joe Treadway,Allan Kirk,Jim Locamy
Some that later became pilots: Al Page,Lonnie Dennis, Bill Austin,Daryl Gordon.
Maybe....Dick Sorrels,
I will try to think of some others and add you some names later.
My seniority date is 12/24/1956. I worked with some of the above mentioned people in ILM in 1957

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Verne Crisp (---.dialup.mindspring.com)
Date: July 20, 2005 05:06PM

More pursers:
Lonnie Dennis, Don Kimery,,Smothers,Jim Locamy,Bob Myrick,Ronnie Vogler,Charlie Peery ,George Stack,Wayne Throckmorton,George Lancaster,W.R. Allen, Treadway,Trollinger.
Come on guys,as many flight plans that you have sent and read,you must remember some of these pioneers!!!

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Debbie Brown-Martin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: July 21, 2005 03:36PM

My farther, Jim Brown started out as a purser.

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Donnie Martin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: July 21, 2005 04:31PM

I had a supervisor that worked for me in LYH named Ken May and he was a former Purser.

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Bob Wall (---.airt.net)
Date: July 21, 2005 05:18PM

How about Johnny Wayne Wideroad, Jim Combs, Phil Beeson,

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Genie Ramsey Fisher (---.ec.res.rr.com)
Date: July 21, 2005 09:58PM

Thank you for remembering all those pursers. I guess time takes its toll on the old memory. I have looked at the names that everyone has given you but I fail to see the name of one whose first name was Dick based in ROA. He was from St Albans WV and I was on flt 494 when the crew was notified that my Dad was ill and they would take me off in Crw. It was Christmas and Dick was on stand by and he was able totake the flight over for me. Flight 494 did not stop in Crw but Htg and they flag stopped Crw for me so I could get off. Cal Redburn and Carl Martin were the crew. Can yoy imagine an airline doing that today??? What an airline. What times!

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Donnie Martin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: July 22, 2005 12:00PM

What about Dick Sorrells

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: kermit (---.nas7.winston-salem1.nc.us.da.qwest.ne)
Date: July 22, 2005 12:20PM



What about Johnny BROADSTREET Who could forget him !!

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Don Conner (---.bna.bellsouth.net)
Date: July 22, 2005 01:41PM

Wow, what responses! Great! Especially since I am currently writing Part 2, "The Piedmont Years", of my life (strickly for private use by my family.... to pass family history down thru my grandchildren). Almost every name mentioned brings back an additional memory.

I have been told by private e-mail that Bill Dolan was the purser on the first flight, but the individual admits he never saw it written in concrete, so I am still looking for a concrete answer, however, I have heard Dolan's name mentioned several times in that connection.

Debbie Brown-Martin: Was your father Capt. Jim Brown? THE captain Jim Brown....THE Jim Brown who loved the Grand Ole Opry, was friends with singer Neil Diamond? THE Jim Brown who stood beside all the Opry singers while they sang on the radio one night when we attended the Opry? Billy Walker was singing and Capt. Brown was one foot away, singing right along with him. ha I never will forget that.

This is not about a F/A, but does anyone happen to know where Mason Linker is these days? I remember his as a brand new F/O in ROA and he used to fly the milk run flights to/from ROA-PSK-BLF-BKW-CRW-HTS-CVG. At each station where he got off the airplane he would forget something, picking it up on the way back through. Flew a lot with captains Berkerley and Cal Redburn. Mason was one of my favorite people.

don

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Genie Ramsey Fisher (---.ec.res.rr.com)
Date: July 22, 2005 02:17PM

I finally remembered the purser who releived me that day....Dick Moran!
Mason Linker is living and has been forever in INT. His wife Martha and I have been friends for thirty five plus years...ever since Mason got married! He has two children. a boy and a girl and his son has given him a granddaughter, Molly. I used to fly all those old "milk runs" with him...told customers he was my little brother because he looked so young! I don't know how many of you remember that his roomate was Joe Selvia who I married in 1966. Unfortunately that marriage was not as successful as Mason's We have two children also , a boy 36 and a girl 31 who lives in Denver. ..no grandchildren though. I found an old f/a seniority list from Jan 1964 and there were 110 of us...can you imagine!!!!

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Don Conner (---.bna.bellsouth.net)
Date: July 22, 2005 06:29PM

Genie-
Very, very interesting comments. When we lived in ROA my wife's hair dresser had an old album of newspaper clippings dating from the late 50's that she got from.... Joe Selvia. I remember Joe well from the time in worked in ROA ops.

Did you ever hear Mason Linker talk about flying the charter for George Wallace when he was running for president? I don't think George originally wanted "this young kid" flying him into all those small northern airports, but then he found out that this "kid" had all this experience flying into all the PI mountain airports.

I would dearly love to have a copy of that seniority list of F/A from 1964. Could you send me a copy to: 118 Donmond Dr., Hendersonville, TN 37075
Please advise me if you can...I would be greatly appreciative.

Who was the F/A based in ROA that was wanting to learn how to fly and the crews were helping her? Supposedly, and I say this SUPPOSEDLY, she was in the left seat when they ferried a M404 in one night when I was working ops. I can see her face but can't recall her name...first name started with an "M".

I have been writing all morning on my story, which today included bits about some of the crews you knew: Gene Melson, Carl Martin, Bill Cash, Walt Downey, and E.V. "Bill" Settle. Bill was responsible for the most embarrassing, and the most touching, incident in my work career.

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Debbie Brown-Martin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: July 22, 2005 08:08PM

Yes, the Jim Brown. I did not know about Neil Diamond but he had opry friends. He a guitars signed by Roy Drusky and Billy Grahmer.

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Don Conner (---.bna.bellsouth.net)
Date: July 23, 2005 01:35AM

Debbie,

After I transferred to Nashville in 1968 we went to the Opry many times (a lot of it being the taking of people visiting us). On three occasions I saw your father either on the stage when the curtain went up, or walking out onto it right in the middle of someone performing. One of those first times I saw him get Billy Grammer sign a light colored acoustic guitar. I later knew Roy Drusky, as he lived close to our area....a fine gentleman. Your dad was one of a kind, a person I will never forget, and a person I am glad I had the opportunity to know on a first name basis. I hope you inherited his sense of humor. As for Neil Diamond, Jim met him on a flight somewhere and I know he was backstage at at least two of Diamond's concerts.

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Genie Ramsey Fisher (---.ec.res.rr.com)
Date: July 23, 2005 01:20PM

Gosh, I remember them all. I'd be happy to send you the seniority list. I didn't know Joe when he worked in ops. When I met him, he flew for N and W with Harold Miller. Remember the Miller twins. The stewardess you are thinking of was probably Margie Smith. As far as I know, She lives here in Wilmington. Don't know her married name so I am unable to get in touch with her. Do you remember Aloma Gudger? She lives here too. She was one of my roomates. We lived on Wildhurst Avenue in a dupex. Found an old rent check....96 bucks a month...unbelievable!
I remember the George Wallace charter, I believe there was a JFK one and I remember hearing them tell about the fact that he had no money on him and had to borrow a comb. Harold Norton (remeber him) had a charter with Englebert Humperdinck (which was very interesting to hear about) and Joe had a charter with one of the rock bands of the day which was very interesting to hear about. Remember when the Martin went down in Huntington with the Marshall University football team....Joe was the ALPA representative for that. I won't ever forget that when he got home, he took several showers a day...couldn't get the odor out of his system! I've got lots of tales!!!! Remeber Jay Jones??

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Re: Purser on 1st Flt
Posted by: Don Conner (---.bna.bellsouth.net)
Date: July 23, 2005 02:32PM

Genie,
Joe Selvia never worked ops; I meant that I worked ops, and I knew Joe as one of the ROA based flight crewman because I worked with them (weather, flt releases, etc) constantly. I remember when he flew the N&W plane with Harold Miller. The Miller twins provided me with an embarrassing moment. When I first started working for PI I did not know there were Miller twins who were captains. One morning one of them came up to the window, signed his flight release, and took his flight out. Two hour later I look up and there (he) is. I said, "What are you doing here, you just took a flight out to CVG". He said, "No, that was my brother." Frankly I did not believe him. 3-4 days later the Ops supervisor came into ops, got me by the arm, drug me out on rampside, pointed to the two Millers standing side by side and said, "See, now do you believe us?"
Later, after I moved to BNA, they used to fly trips thru here where they ended up on the ramp together, one headed for MEM, the other to AVL. They were two of the nicest people I have ever met.

You are right, it was Margie Smith who SUPPOSEDLY was in the left seat on that M404. And I most definitely remember Aloma Gudger.

Harold Norton, do I ever remember him! I worked with Cindy when she transferred to ROA reservations. We kept telling her she had "broad shoulders" and she didn't know what it meant, so she asked Harold what it meant and he got really mad at us about it. I assume you know what it means.

Are you referring the Capt. Jay Jones....Johnny Jones? Or to an agent named Jay Jones. I knew both.

We lived in Ramey's Mobile Home Park in Salem, behind the GE plant. I, too, have the check for the rent...$25 a month for the lot, and $73.26 a month for the mobile home payment. Plus I had a $42 car payment!

Remember John Best, who died recently? Had that German Shepherd that went everywhere with them. John's wife knitted John and the dog matching sweaters for Christmas one year. Came a good snow and they all, dog included, went sledding over near Lakeview Apts. The dog wanted to ride on the sled with John and John finally put him on and down the hill they went. Well, they had to make a turn to miss a fence and John leaned over so he could turn the sled. However, the dog did not know to lean, and being very large and heavy, they couldn't make the turn and they went thru the fence. Sure tore up those sweaters. Plus, I was working Ops when John reported for a flight with scratches all over him, which is how I know the story.

E-mail me privately, this is getting too long. djconner19@bellsouth.net
Also, anyone else who wants to share PI stories, especially from the 1960 - 1975 period, regardless of your job function.

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