Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Flying First Class

Way back, like a hundred years ago, or maybe it just feels that way to me this morning, flying around the country was a big deal.
A very very big deal.
A big enough deal that you got dressed up for the occasion.
Men wore suits and ties
Women wore dresses, heels and hats.
And pearls. Pearls were daytime wear.
Think Mrs Cleaver.
(Matt-Man: think Mrs. Cleaver with clothes on. Just teasing. No really, put some clothes on her!)

This was back when airlines served food.
Real food!
Food that you used a knife and fork to eat.
Real knives and forks!
Made of silver or stainless.
Stainless for those flying coach,
Silver for those flying first class.

The flight attendants were all women.
And they weren't called flight attendants.
They were called stewardesses.
They wore dresses.
And little caps.

If you were lucky enough to be flying first class
after you got settle into your seat,
you were handed a menu.
A menu with choices of what was being served on that flight.
The menu usually had some sort of art on the cover.
Art like this:

This is a first class menu from a United Airlines flight to.....
Guess where?

I thought it was suitable for framing.
What do you think?


PS: this is one of those things that I found among my in-laws things. Eddie worked for United Airlines as a mechanic. I thought it was wonderful. I will not be handed a menu on my flight to Washington DC tomorrow. There will not be real food. There will not be silverware. Not even plastic. I won't be wearing a dress, or heels, or pearls. And the flight attendants will not be all women. Though that's not a fur sur thing.


  1. I do recall that it wasn't that long ago we all dressed just a little nicer - the suits and stuff were a little before I started flying - but I do remember that attendants were known as stewardesses and stewards. I flew business class back & forth from Belgium to the states and always had real silver & yummy food, etc. (this was in late 1980s). Nowadays flying is no longer fun - too much crap to go through just to get on the plane then you don't even get peanuts anymore. No more flying for me if I can absolutely help it. sigh.

  2. I've gotten to the point where I don't even want to fly unless it's first class, so I won't be doing much flying unless Beloved is willing to shell out some of his frequent flyer miles (he is; we're going to Vegas next month). Driving is more fun, especially playing "We Can Afford That!"

    And that menu is absolutely frame-worthy.

  3. I thought for sure you had painted that and then I found out is was a menu.

    A framworthy one, though.


  4. The only business-class meal I ever had (in twenty years of regular flying, it was the only time I got bumped, hmmph) included a small packet with a card in it with separate little blisters of salt and pepper: black pepper, white pepper, table salt and sea salt.

    I probably still have it somewhere.

  5. Once in a while, you see people who still dress up for flying. I have flown first class twice in my life and I loved it. There's a HUGE difference!

  6. I can't imagine getting dressed up to go to the bank or on a plane. I took my parents to the airport last week and my mom was all dolled up. She said she wanted to look nice. For who? Really, WHO?

  7. And if you have more than a carry on, you might get charged to boot! Flying sure has changed over the years, that's for sure.

  8. Flying sure isn't as fun as it used to be. It's more of a hassle, which is why we'll be driving to my sister's in Iowa, and next year we're planning a month-long cross-country excursion to visit my other siblings and parents and friends in Seattle. :)

    And that menu cover? Absolutely frameable! :)

  9. Great picture...I too thought it was one of your paintings!

  10. Heh, now the airlines are lucky if you dress at all. :-) Have a great time in DC!

  11. Looks awesome framed!
    You're so right about flying. I have never flown first class. The Ex travels for a living and he has some pretty cool digs at times.

  12. I recently visited your blog. It is a very interesting one. Keep it up.

  13. You have an incredibly clever eye. Framing the menu was a cool thing to do. Cheers Michele!!

  14. I LOVE it! And it's totally suitable for framing. What an excellent idea.

    Yeah, it always upset my mother when people flew wearing sweat pants and sneakers!