Travel

TIA Airline Reunion

 

 

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Carole Jean surrounded by handsome airline dudes! (Photo by Herberto Alves)         

 

 

 

“I flew with Steve Lantz a lot!” said Catherine as we sat in our spacious hotel suite rehashing the actual event of the day—the thirty-first Trans International Airlines reunion held in Livermore, California. 

“Lancelot!” I swooned. Yes, Captain Lantz still has it! And, damn! He’s still married. I ask every year. Sigh…

Wait a minute! We’re talking like teenagers. We all flew together in the 70s—that’s like almost fifty years ago! Holy crap. Are we that old? Well, we all know old airline people never die, they just go to a higher plane! And us? Yup, still crazy after all these years. It takes a certain personality type to want to fly for a charter airline such as TIA. We are bonded forever kinda like Peace Corps people. We are kindred spirits and like-minded adventurers. As my friend, Anne, said, “There’s nobody in this room who would doubt the stories we tell.” We were there, flying the Hadj (Muslims to Mecca), flying orphaned babies out of Vietnam, flying refugees out of Angola and, and, and…

And a lively group we were. People flew in from all over the world for this event. Some of us are still flying. Some have taken on new careers—we have lawyers, motivational speakers, and authors among us. When “normal” people hear about our crazy lives from back in the day, they say, “You oughta write a book!” 

Oh, but wait—some of us have: Flight Attendant, Cindy McAlister wrote, “Crisscrossing the Globe for Free,” Karen La Puma wrote “Awaken a New Myth,” and yours truly wrote, “Flying High with Carole Jean,” all available on Amazon. Several people at the reunion want to know when the next book is coming out, Okay! I’ll do it. “Flying High 2” is coming. But. I can’t do it without you. Send me your stories. They don’t have to be grammatically correct or even done in full sentences. You don’t even have to write if you don’t want to—just call me. (415) 420-5777. caroleconnolly@gmail.com

Meanwhile, we are grateful to the organizers Judy Taylor, Lois Cox, and Patti Kistner for giving us yet another year of fun at Beeb’s Sports Bar. Each year I have such a wonderful time seeing old friends and meeting new ones who flew at the same time yet I never knew and I wonder how it keeps getting better. And yet, it does. Just ask Captain John Knebel. He’s ninety-eight and still “flying high!” Check out his shirt. Same time next year.

 

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Capt. John Knebel and Carole Jean (Photo by Herberto Alves)

10 thoughts on “TIA Airline Reunion

  1. Oh Carole, loved the pictures and your tribute to all of our flying buddies. And of course you with the flyboys and your special shining smile with “Captain John” and his smile that I will always remember. Carole Shatsky-Ryan

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