I urge you to read The Glamour Years of Flying as a Stewardess by Heddy Frosell DaPonte. This first person account of a young woman who became a PanAm stewardess is mesmerizing. I happily give it full stars!
I knew that flying used to be far more glamorous, but I had no idea that the meals were multi-course affairs, cooked from scratch on the plane with fresh cut flowers and everything to an exact measurement. While I knew that there were strict guidelines for the stewardesses, I had no idea how strict! Perhaps they could have easily retired from the airlines and become models, as the requirements seem quite similar when it comes to looks and reputation, but stewardesses had so many other skills, they are a force of their own.
I really enjoy the tone of the story as the author speaks of her travels and the people she had interacted with. She acknowledges the common practice of buying ivory and such native items, despite how hindsight makes her wish she had not been involved in their export. At the time it was common practice though, so the author acknowledges it and moves on. Her tone is also key in explaining some uncomfortable situations with humor and honesty that make uncomfortable scenes seem amusing.
The author does a fantastic job of describing the locations so that the reader feels like they are right there seeing and hearing the people, surrounded by the architecture, and immersed in the culture. The writing style is comfortable and easy to read. The writing and editing themselves are impeccable. I highly recommend this book to anyone wondering about the skies of old, the amazing stewardesses of PanAm, or who may dream of a career traveling. There is no vulgarity or sexuality limiting this book’s audience, anyone may enjoy it.