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The only connection of this post to The Ticket is The Musers' immersion in all things Southwest Airlines today. Just a brief encounter with the history of this great American company.
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A few years ago, Mrs. P and I attended an evening function sponsored by my employer at the time. We were seated at a table with one of my employer's leaders. His companion for the evening was a very attractive woman of indeterminate age -- maybe late fifties, early sixties, hard to tell. She was beautifully dressed, and extremely gracious and charming. A lovely southern lilt to her voice We chatted briefly but non-memorably. I had never seen her before -- or so I thought; I never learned her profession or affiliation; and I did not recognize her name.
But I thought: OK -- this woman is someone. There is something about her. I'm not good with names, terrible, in fact, but I resolved to remember hers. I told Mrs. P on the way home of my hunch that this woman was notable in some unusual way -- I thought perhaps she was a prominent local benefactress -- and that I was going to look her up on the electric computer internet.
I did so.
Her name is Sandra Force.
She was one of Southwest Airline's first 17 employees, a flight attendant. Those employees, most of whom continued to work for Southwest well past their financial need to do so, did quite well, as The New York Times reported in 2006 in an article that prominently featured Ms. Force: On Some Flights, Millionaires Serve the Drinks.
But that is not where she has been most prominently featured. Remember the early days of Southwest, where the FA's were dressed in hot pants or miniskirts and boots? Did you like that outfit? So did Esquire, especially on Ms. Force, who was featured on its February 1974 cover:
And there is my brush with Southwest Airlines history, and the charming Ms. Sandra Force.