Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Marcy's Travel Blog- A Stewardess Remembers: A Blizzard I'll Never Forget!!

This is a story I published a few years ago, but it's a true story, VERY funny, and worth reposting from time to time!

This story could start as "Once upon a time, many years ago.." because this happened towards the beginning of my flight career! But stay with me, dear reader. It's a good true story, and a funny one.

One cold winter night I had a  flight to Saute Saint Marie, Michigan- with stops in Traverse City and Pellston. We were suppose to have a short overnight in Saute Saint Marie, and then return to Detroit the next morning, making the same stops on the way back.

The aircraft was a Convair 580 turbo prop. (That will give you an idea how long ago it was!) It held 48 people, one flight attendant (me, though we were called Stewardesses back then) and two pilots.

The weather was not good. It was snowy and cold. We landed in Traverse City, then Pellston and headed for Sault Saint Marie. About 15 minutes before we were suppose to land I got a call from the cockpit. Sault Saint Marie just got hit with a huge snow storm. And it was heading south, toward us! We turned around and headed back to Pellston, landing just ahead of the blizzard. At this point it was clear- we were going no where. We were stuck there until the weather cleared!

Now, the Pellston airport served Pellston, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and Cheboygen- an area that was considered a resort in the summer, but pretty quiet in the off season. Since this was the dead of winter, there were very few motels that were open. The agent in Pellston frantically called around to get accommodations for our passengers. That being done, he then needed to find accommodations for myself and the pilots. After what seemed like hours he came out of his office and announced he found us a place to stay, but it was a bit "unusual".

Our place of rest for the night was in the boondocks. It use to be a house of "ill repute"- yes, a house of prostitution! We got a car and started driving- in a blizzard, mind you.- down back roads, dirt roads, and rutted cow paths we drove, until we finally arrived.

We were greeted by an elderly woman who must have worked there in her youth! She had a sheer, see through night gown on! (With nothing on underneith!!) Her hair was up in a slightly off center bee hive. Dark blue eye shadow , false eyelashes, red lipstick, and bright red rouge adorned her face. (And a cigarette hung from her mouth.) The Captain stood on the porch with his mouth hanging open. The young First Officer blushed and stared at his shoes. Me? All I could think of to say was "Honey! Arn't you cold?!"

The main floor consisted of a sitting room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and I assume her bedroom. She showed us upstairs to our "accommodations".  Outside of the bathroom, it was one big room. The "bedrooms" were sectioned off by curtains. No doors. The captain looked around and suggested we sleep in our cloths, since the place didn't look too clean. I fell asleep with the blizzard howling in my ears.

The next morning I woke with a start. It was utterly silent! Looking out the window, I couldn't believe my eyes! There were mounds of white where trees were suppose to be, and our car was completely buried!

My immagination went into high gear. Questions and visions whirled in my head. I had no change of cloths. If we were stuck there for days, did this woman have anything I might borrow? I saw myself in multi-layers of sheer nightgowns---oh, no! Cancel THAT thought! ( I vowed to always pack a change of cloths, no matter how short the flight!) Would we have to hunt, finding a way to eat? Would our hostess finally put on something non-see through? Would the First Officer overcome his shyness, the Captain overcome his shock? Perhaps we could walk out? Did the airline know where we were?

All three of us were now awake. We pulled our curtains back, sat  on the edge of our beds- staring at each other- wondering just how long we were going to be there! We all were dying for a cup of coffee. The Captain pulled rank and ordered the First Officer to go down stairs and ask the woman for some.  The poor First Officer stuttered his "Oh, God! I...I can't go down there!" I offered to go instead.

There our hostess  sat, dressed just as she was the night before- Sheer see through night gown, cigarette hanging from her mouth, makeup still on- though the eyelashes looked like they were coming loose. She silently pointed to the stove, where I made the coffee. I did my best not to stare! With little else to look at, I found myself staring at the coffee pot! I couldn't help but wonder if she wasn't a shy bit disappointed that one of the pilots didn't come downstairs instead!

The phone wasn't working. There was of course no cell phones at the time. It looked like we may be in for a long haul! A few hours later we heard a truck with a plow on front coming down her dirt drive. It was the agent in one of the airport plow trucks! Our hero!!

He greeted the woman, letting her know he'd be back later to dig out the rental car. (Why did he know her by her first name?!) He piled us into the truck and drove us back to the airport. We three remained silent until we got on the airplane, at which time we looked at each other and burst out laughing. Now THAT was an experience!

As the First Officer said, we'll have many overnights in our careers, but we'll probably never forget that one! He was right. It's been 42 years, and the memory of it still gives me the giggles.

Sometimes the most ridiculous situations turn into your fondest memories!

Life is an adventure, especially  when the accommodations are way out of the ordinary!


Anonymous said...

Oh Marcy! How funny! Truth is stranger than fiction. You can't make this stuff up! I left the story wondering -- did you folks even leave her a couple dollars for a tip for opening up her home? LOL!---Cynthia G.

Marcia said...

I agree with Cynthia, that was one funny post. LOL!

Christine Gembara-Dyszelski said...

Enjoyed your writing style and accuracy of memory.... I'm dabbling at writing myself.... stories about my family and flying... Have any tips for me? Anxious to peruse more of what you have to offer. Christine G-D AAL-IOR