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Tacoma, Washington, United States

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The End of the Narrative, but not the End of the Story

Con Frieze doing his "Golden Voice" selling 727s to CEOs, presidents and royalty

By 1979 I could see that I was going no farther in the Marketing Department than manager of the Cargo Development Group.  Both the 747 freighter, and the 747 Combi were well-entrenched in airline service and I felt that my job with that program was done.  I had then been with Boeing for thirty years and was presented with my gold watch.
Con 1970

                                        I shopped around and Dean Thornton, a Boeing vice-resident who was in charge of the new 767 Sales Support.  I accepted that I was back in Engineering at the Everett plant where the 767 would be built alongside the 747.
                                        My days of world travel were over for two reasons.  I was a bit “burned out” and no longer seemed to have the presence and “golden voice” that I once had.  (I believe that I may have been somewhat lacking in enthusiasm.)  More importantly, my eyes failed me.  I had been correcting keratoconus with hard contact lenses for more than twenty years but the time came that I could could not pass the eye test to renew my driver’s license.  It was time to go under the knife for corneal transplants.
Following one of Con's many eye surgeries

                                        I found a top eye surgeon, Jack Chandler, in Seattle and came to discover that over the years, eye surgery had progressed immensely.  Even so, the next few years saw a succession of eye operations—seven in all.  The first corneal transplants in each eye in turn rejected and had to be done over.  Then O developed cataracts that had to be removed from each eye.  After that there was a detached retina in my left eye that had to be put back by a combination of surgery and laser beam.
[In fact, by his passing in 2002 my father was virtually blind and had been for some time.  As his health declined because of emphysema, his eyesight declined as well.  The man who had helped his brother shoot down a Zero on December 7th and then traveled the world for Boeing gradually had his world shrink.]
Phyllis and Con in Sandy Point

                                        Although Phyllis and I had started literally from scratch in 1972 and I knew that my pension woul not be large, I was ready to retire.  It was no longer a joy to go to work in the morning and suffer the 45-minute commute from Braeburn to Everett.  My group provided the sales brochures and materials for the 767; however, I did not particularly enjoy the ‘behind the scenes” role I played in marketing the new airplane.  I had promised Dean Thornton that I would see the 767 to certification and I did just that.  The day after the airplane was certified I put my resignation on my boss’ desk.
Con explaining the 727 to King Hussein of Jordan

                                        Along the way, in 1977 I believe, we had purchased a small condominium on Sandy Point, north of Bellingham in Whatcom County.  It is nine miles from the nearest small town, Ferndale, and has a private dock on a marina canal opening onto the Strait of Georgia.  The local fishing is so-so, but the crabbing is great.  We used it as a summer retreat until I retired.
Con at Sandy Point in retirement

                                        There was no way we cold support both the Braeburn house and our condo at Sandy Point on my retirement income so we had a choice between the little golf course and the dock at Sandy Point.  It was not a difficult decision because, even though my eyesight is perfectly adequate for normal purposes, I have not enjoyed golf particularly since my eyesight went to pot.  We sold the Braeburn house, paid off the mortgage at Sandy Point and moved here in 1982.
Con with his family, parents Ernest and Eva Frieze, Sandra Frieze Hard, Con, Rex Frieze, Dick Frieze

                                        We live on a small scale but we are perfectly happy.  We had a small power boat and we bought a small travel trailer—one of the smallest in the world, a ten-foot “Burro”.  It is a tiny accommodation but Phyllis, bless her heart, professes to like her “doll house keeping” and we have pulled it more than one hundred thousand miles all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico as far south as Puerta Vallarta and Guadalajara.  Two years ago we lived on the road in the Burro for four months while we toured the U.S. east coast all the way form Nova Scotia to Key West.
With Dick & Mary and Glover in front of the Burro

                                        One advantage that we have at Sandy Point is that another “Fukawe chief”, Clare Adriance and his lovely wife Shirley, retired to a home a few hundred yards down the canal from our condo.  They are “family” to us—a brother and a sister, sharing our years of retirement.  They, too, have an RV trailer and we share miles on the road traveling together.
Three generations singing around the organ, 1984

                                        With escalating prices against our small fixed retirement income, we may never achieve the world travel that Phyllis longs for, but we are, indeed, supremely happy.  Not once since that March 3rd evening in 1971 when Phyllis walked through Stephanie K’s door have I been attracted by another woman.  (I should explain that “Stephanie K”.  Not only do I have a daughter Stephanie, one of Phyllis’ daughters is Stephanie Ann and one our daughter-in-law is Stephanie Laura.  We use the middle initial so we know which Stephanie it is to whom we refer!)
Frieze Family at the time of Eva's death 1985

                                        Between us we now have nine children and eighteen grandchildren, all doing quite nicely on their own.  It is my hope that some of them one day may be interested in reading these stories of an old Ozark country boy, their “Papa Con”.  It is not “the story of my life” because hopefully, there are many adventures yet to come in these our golden sunset years.
[This is not the end of my father’s stories, but it is the end of his narrative of his life.  One thing he did not mention was that in 1967 he began painting and painted as long as he could see.  Most of them grace the walls of my Tacoma and Ilwaco homes.  In the late 1990s my husband and two of my children spent my birthday in Phoenix, AZ with my dad and Phyllis at Stephanie Ann’s vacation condo.  There they told me that he had been diagnosed with emphysema and given two years to live.  Because he had always been able to fix things, cars, toys, boats, etc. some part of me thought that he would find a way out of this death sentence.  He didn’t.  It didn’t help that he didn’t stop smoking until about six months before his death.  By that time, they had moved from remote Sandy Point to a condo owned by Stephanie Ann in Edmonds.  There they spent several happy years, but his heath and eyesight continued to deteriorate.  On June 22, just days after my youngest’ high school graduation, my father drew his last difficult breath before I could arrive.  I had lost my hero.  My son Frank and I took part of his ashes back Bona, per his request, back to where he began.  With my Uncle Dick and my cousin Janice we sprinkled them in the lot where his grandparents’ house and store had stood.  Because none of the immediate Frieze clan lives in Dade County any longer, now it is my desire to have what is left of his ashes interned at Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington, Washington.]

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Love and Marriage

Conrad Frieze and Phyllis Sprague Frieze, December 2nd, 1972

1971 was a banner year for me because I met a lovely queen of my own who is now Phyllis Marie Frieze and sharing the golden years of retirement.  It was no coincidence that we met.  For two years, I had been playing the ‘eligible bachelor” bit on the Seattle scene including an extended affair with an ex-secretary, then a succession of available women.  My daughter Stephanie, who was now married and soon made me a grandfather, did not like some of the women with whom I turned up with. [In fact, I loved Penny, the Boeing secretary, but she had a little boy and was considerably younger than my father.  The last “girlfriend” that Dick and I went out with him with was definitely a “broad”, not a lady and we went into panic mode because he was lonely and likely to attach himself to her.  We had a neighbor who was attractive and very classy so we acted quickly.]
Stephanie and her first husband, Dick Casey, lived in the Shorewood apartments on Mercer Island.  They had a nice neighbor across the hall, Phyllis Chilton, who was a divorcee.  Stephanie invited me to their apartment for my birthday dinner in March 1971 and asked me specifically to come alone.  She also invited her neighbor from across the hall.
From the moment Phyllis walked in that evening, none of the others had a chance.  Here was a slender, young-looking (she turned out to be just three years my junior), brunette with a beautiful smile.  The “tender trap” snapped without ever having been set and baited.  We thoroughly enjoyed dinner.
While we were sitting, Phyllis with her back to the kitchen door where Stephanie was swamping up dishes, Phyllis mentioned two sons, Barrett and Phillip.  I innocently said, “Oh, you have two sons?”
Stephanie appeared in the kitchen door and, behind Phyllis, waved her hands and held up eight fingers just as Phyllis answered calmly, “No, I have six sons and two daughters.”
At that point I was ready to bolt and run like a rabbit until Phyllis went on to assure me that all of her children were grown except for nine-year-old Phillip who had come along several years after her other youngest [13 years to be exact], Barrett.  Only Phillip would be living with her.
Phyllis was unbelievable.  After having and raising eight children, she literally had the figure of a twenty-year-old.  When we thanked Stephanie and Dick for dinner and said goodnight, I went across the hall with Phyllis for a nightcap.  When I left for my bachelor apartment in Renton we had a date for dinner the next evening.
Phyllis and I soon discovered that we had many things in common.  For one, when I was in V-12 at the University of Washington living at the Beta house, Phyllis Marie Sprague was a pledge at the Chi Omega house just down the street.  (She allowed as how she had seen us at our morning calisthenics out on the median and one in a while when we marched.)  We both enjoyed gold and much of our courtship was on golf courses.  She was soon my partner on a bowling team and she became a regular with me in Smitty’s fishing boat.
We were both cautious, each having been through a divorce, and even tired to call it off once for a while, however, we had a quiet wedding ceremony on December 2nd , 1972.  We spent a week of honeymoon snowed in at Lake Tahoe—and me down in my back from having had to put chains on the car on the way over the pass!
We lived for a time at the Shorewood Apartments on Mercer Island, then, with Phillip who had turned eleven, bought a house on the little Braeburn golf course between Bellevue and Redmond.  My world travels continued but I did not like leaving Phyllis.  Although, not being a Boeing vice-president I had to pay her way, I did manage to take Phyllis with me to Hawaii, Mexico City, and she joined me on one trip to Singapore where I tacked a week of vacation onto a round the world trip so we could see the sights there and in Tokyo on the way home.
                                        [I am happy to take credit for hooking my father up with Phyllis.  She truly loved him for 29 years and kept him at home even as he lay dying.  She truly was his queen and I am forever in her debt.  She remarried two years after his death, to a shipmate of my dad’s—another sweet Midwest man, who has since passed.]

Monday, November 28, 2016

Moving on to a New LIfe and a New Boeing Program

I moved into a bachelor apartment in Renton in 1968 [it was ‘69] and almost at the same time concluded that it was time to move on from the 727/737 program.  Both airplanes were well along in airline service.  I needed a new challenge.
An old friend from Wichita Flight Test days provided that.  Howard Montgomery had moved to the Sales and Marketing Department under Clancy Wilde and was starting a new cargo development group.  It was prompted by the advent of the huge 747 airplanes that would have considerable cargo capacity in the lower holds.  Also, freighter versions of the 747 were anticipated.  The world of air cargo needed a shot in the arm.
My world travels were not to abate, but, indeed, accelerated.  It was the overseas airline customers that needed the most assistance in developing their air cargo markets.  My territory was primarily Europe and Africa.  During one year (1970 I believe) I made nine round trips across the Atlantic and spent just over fifty percent of the calendar year in Europe, primarily aiding Lufthansa in preparing for the introduction of the 747 freighters.
One memorable experience in my association with the 747 occurred just two days after I had reported to my new assignment.  Coming off the 727/737 program I was as yet totally unfamiliar with the technical details of the 747.  One afternoon before I even had a secretary my phone rang.  It wa Clancy Wilde who had become Boing Vic-president of Sales and Marketing so he was now my big boss.  The conversation went something as follows.
“Clancy here, old silver tonsils.  How about doing the voice of the airplane bit on the fist 747 press flight?  Day after tomorrow we are going to fly the domestic press to New York, do three demo flights for American and Pan American, then fly the international press back to Seattle.  I want you on that PA system.”
I knew an order from the commanding officer when I heard one, but I protested, “Wait a minute, Clancy!  I just came on board the 747 program two days ago—I don’t even know what engines we have on that big bird yet!”
Wilde was friendly, but terse, “Hell, you’ve got two days to bone up—see you on board at seven thirty Thursday.”  He hung up.
Bone up, I did, burning the midnight oil for the two short days over the technical details of that monster airplane.  Somehow, I got away with it.  I was glib enough that I got a top accolade from the top aviation reporter for ABC who was aboard to tape a segment for the ABC News.  (I had previously met him on the 727-world tour.)  He came around late in the flight to have a cup of coffee with me at the forward galley and said, “Hey, Con, why aren’t you in the broadcasting business?”
I just smiled and said (knowing that he probably made ten tines my modest salary), “The broadcasting business can’t afford me, boy!”
I also received what amounted to high praise from my old and critical ex-boss, Jack Steiner.  Jack was aboard for one of the demo flights.  He stopped as he deplaned and said, “Great work, Con.  You sounded as if you had grown up on the 747 program!”  To me that was as good as a Navy “Well done!”
Another gratifying incident during the demo flights was when our ex-president, Bill Allen, came aboard to ride back to Seattle.  (He had ridden the 727-world tour with us as far as Tokyo in 1963 and never forgot a name or a fact about an employee.)  At the entry door where I was greeting people, Mr. Allen paused and threw an arm about my shoulders.  “Con,” he said, “they just cold not run a sales tour without us, now could they?!”
My apologies for getting diverted by personal reminiscences.  I survived the big Boeing layoff that occurred in 1970 and for several years continued to travel the world for Boing as a spokesman and air cargo development manager.  I developed, installed, and manned a Boeing 747 air freight display at the huge national air show, Transpo ’72, in Washington, D.C., and represented Boeing at many other trade shows around the world.  I also did the “golden voice” bit in the cargo section of a 747 “Combi” (half passengers, half freight) airplane during a sales tour of the Middle East and North Africa.  It was during that tour I had occasion to personally meet King Hussein of Jordan and his lovely queen, Alia, (who was later killed in a helicopter crash).  [Because he was a licensed pilot, King Hussein was allowed to take over the controls of the 747 in flight and my father later dined with him at his palace, along with other Boeing dignitaries.  My father liked the king very much.]
[As a part of my parents’ divorce our family home in Lake Hills was sold.  Although my father makes it sound like my mother came out of the divorce smelling like a rose, she did not, but he did pay alimony and child support.  She and I moved into a two bedroom apartment for the duration of my senior year in high school, 1969 and in 1970 she moved back to Vancouver, WA and I into a studio apartment across the hall from my father’s apartment.]

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Beginning of the End and the Beginning of Something Else

Boeing 737 and 727

In 1964 we did a smaller scale repeat performance with a 727 by doing a similar tour of South America which had not figured in the original world tour.  Again, at the invitation of the vice-president of Sales, I was the Engineer representative and took my place at the microphone.

That started a period of world travel for Boeing as a member of Sales teams and sometimes alone for customers.  Between 1963 and my retirement in 1982 I did not keep a detailed log of my travels, but adding up the approximate miles from Travel Authorizations, my travels around the world would have made it an even million.  I covered every continent of the world except Antarctica.  The only major countries I did not visit more than once were the Soviet Union and Red China because those were the days of the “the cold war” with communist countries.

My sales support organization grew to include both the 727 models and then the smaller 737 airplane.  The latter caused a lot of traveling and lecturing to explain why, after the tremendous success of the 727 tri-jet with the engines on the tail, we put the engines back on the wing of the 737.  (Apparently, we were successful—the 737 eventually became the best-selling commercial airplane in Boeing history and advanced models are still in production.)

I shall take time to relate here but one of the many anecdotes that resulted from my far-flung travels as a Boeing spokesman.  It was during a trip to Europe for an international aviation symposium that one of my presentations resulted in two lessons for me that I never forgot.  I forget the date, but it occurred sometime in the mid-1960s.

One of my jobs in Customer Engineering was to prepare presentations complete with visual aids for the 727/737 Chief Engineer, Jack Steiner.  When we were first introducing the design of the new 737 to the world, I prepared a presentation for Jack to give at a symposium in Paris.  Two days before his departure, Steiner called me and said that he could not go.  Since I was familiar with the material (I created it) I was to substitute for him.

It was “a piece of cake”.  I thoroughly enjoyed public speaking on a subject with which I was familiar.  My efficient secretary took care of the tickets, advance travel funds, airlines schedules, and notified the Boeing Paris office of the change.  It had become a familiar routine to me.

The Paris symposium was impressive and was truly international.  The large auditorium seating more than three hundred was filled with delegates from all over the world.  It was equipped like the United Nations with simultaneous translation equipment for several different languages.  The speaker ahead of me on the program made his presentation in French so I, like many others, had to listen to the translation with earphones.

When I was introduced and took the podium I made a mistake.  I began by apologizing that I could not deliver my presentation in the local language, French, because I spoke only English.  Seated below me in the very first row was an Englishman who was the epitome of the old “India Major”—white hair, ruddy face, walrus moustache and carrying a silver-headed walking stick.

When I said that I spoke only English, the old gentleman interrupted by pounding his stick on the floor for attention.  When I acknowledged him, he roared, “Mr. Frieze, I beg to correct you!  You do not speak English; you speak only American—and don’t you ever forget it!”

There was a slight pause for the translators while my face no doubt turned beet red, then the auditorium erupted with laughter.  I recovered by stating calmly, “You are right, sir.  I would reckon that George Bernard Shaw was correct when he said that England and America are sister nations divided only by a common language!”

There was more gentle laughter but this time it was with me, not at me.  My presentation of the 737 design was with an apology and never again did I claim to speak English—only American.

My world travels continued through the 1960s while my marriage steadily disintegrated.  My little daughter, Stephanie, was growing up in Lake Hills part of the time almost as a one-parent child.  I thought it was amusing one time when I heard her tell a friend on the telephone one Friday when we had weekend plans for a family outing, “No, I can’t come tomorrow—my father is making a personal appearance at home this weekend!”

There are two sides to every coin and I do not place blame on Shirley for the failure of our marriage.  I take my share of blame.  Since we were never really suited to each other I would reckon I placed my career ahead of our home-life to the detriment of the latter.  I was one of the fortunate few in the world who thoroughly enjoyed a job.  Although I made it a rule not to take my work home with me, I was always eager to get to the office (or to the airport) for new challenges most of my working life.

We were often reasonably happy, but arguments came to be more frequent and more bitter.  I stayed partly, I believe, because of my ingrained sense that a man’s word is his bond and partly because of my lovely daughter.  It is my belief that Shirley stayed with it because of a combination of love for me and being ill-equipped to make her own way in the world, the security that I meant to her.
Stephanie's graduation 1969

It lasted until the late 1960s when Stephanie was a senior at Phantom Lake High School, then I packed my clothing in my car (we had two) and bailed out.  There is no necessity to go into the sordid details.  It was an agonizing two years of separation then finally a divorce in which, in my efforts to be fair, I surrendered literally everything—house equity, all furnishings, one car, etc.—and started from “ground zero” at the age of 46 financially clean as a plucked pigeon.  I paid child support as long as Stephanie was still with her, and although Washington was not an “alimony state” (an against the advice of my attorney), I also paid alimony ($400 per month) for a long four years.  I am happy to say that I never missed a payment.
Engagement party, December 1968

[It is telling that even long years after my childhood my father still did not know where I went to high school.  Phantom Lake was the elementary school I went to.  Sammamish was the high school.  He never attended one function at school until graduation and by then he was not living with us. It is true why my father stayed as long as he did.  It is no coincidence that I became engaged in December of 1968, the beginning of my senior year in high school, to a lovely sailor and my father decided to bail after the holidays.  Jerry was my father’s parachute to a large extent. He was getting the son he never had and a sailor to boot. Most importantly, a way out. They never really got to know each other because of my father’s traveling and then Jerry was deployed to Vietnam. I think they would have become good friends, especially after Daddy retired.  My mother's whole identity was wrapped up in my father and in her defense, I will say that while I was growing up she never spoke to me about my father in anything but loving, wonderful terms—until he left.  I felt that I was left holding the bag to deal with her anger and neediness--alone.  Her bitterness over his traveling so much and leaving her still spills out to this day.  It lessened with his passing in 2002, when there was no longer danger of my actually spending time with him.  She still sees herself as a victim.  I think all three of us felt victimized in some way.  I caused my own share of pain to myself and to others by not marrying Jerry, but going on to have a couple of disastrous marriages (but wonderful children) myself.  Reflecting from a half century later I can only surmise how differently things would have turned out if we had all made different decisions and really, that does little good.

And my father’s story isn’t finished yet.]

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Preliminary Design

1960 -1963
Boeing 727 World Tour.  Con Frieze 5th from the left.  Harley Beard at the far right.

I moved from Boeing Field to the Boeing Renton engineering building and went to work for a designer named Peyton “Two-Gun” Autry.  The design of the new 727 tri-jet was complete and the airplane was being manufactured.  The job Autry and I had was to design derivatives of the 727, on larger and one smaller than basic 727-100.

Of course, I became thoroughly familiar with the design and characteristics of the 727.  One day I was asked to brief some visiting airline officials on the 727.  Apparently, I did a fair job of selling because a few days later Jack Steiner, Chief Engineer of the 727 program, offered me a job as manager of 727 Customer Engineering, Sales Support.  It was the job of the “Sales Support” in Customer Engineering to produce sales brochures and visual aids and furnish technical support for salesmen and route analysts in working with airlines.

It sounded like a great job and I accepted, but Steiner threw in a proviso.  He said, “If you do a good job, Clancy Wilde or someone in Sales will make you an offer.  The last two men who had the Sales Support job used it as a stepping stone to Sales jobs.  You have to promise me that you will not ask out without talking it over with me first and we agree that it would be best for you, the program, and the company.  I agreed and became Manager, 727 Sales Support.

In 1963 Boeing gambled.  To promote sales of the 727, it was decided to send an early production model on a tour—first around the domestic United States and Canada, then around the entire world.  The trip was planned to begin just seven months after the first flight of the first 727 and prior to completion of flight testing and certification by the FAA.  The airplane would be flown by Flight Test crews and would carry a crew of Boeing mechanics for ground support.  727 Engineering personnel would take turns riding two-week legs of the extended tour.  I was selected for the initial portion of the domestic U.S. tour and would be getting off in Washington, D.C.

That was not to be.  I wound up flying the entire world tour and became “the voice of the 727”.  During a demonstration flight for the Air Force at Scott Field in Illinois, our sales rep for the military, Brooke Harper, asked me to do the description of the airplane during the demo flight for him.  I knew the 727 intimately and was delighted to tell people about it so I took the P.A mile at the forward end of the cabin and told the VIPs aboard all about the airplane and its performance as the flight progressed.

During the ferry flight from Scott Field to Tulsa for a demonstration for American Airlines, Clancy Wilde, the Boeing Director of Domestic Sales, came to me and said “Great job, Con!  How about doing that pitch for tall the demo flights on the entire domestic U.S. tour?”

“Your sales reps won’t like that, Clancy.  They are supposed to tell their customers about the airplane.”

“Hell, they don’t know diddly squat about the airplane like you do.  You leave the sales reps to me!”

“Jack Steiner only appointed me Engineering Rep for as far as Washington, D.C.”

“You leave Steiner to me, too,” Clancy retorted.

I phoned hoe that I would be gone another four weeks and on all the demonstration flights, sometimes three a day plus a ferry flight, I was a fixture at that microphone at the forward end of the cabin.

Ken Luplow, the Director of Foreign Sales, came aboard for the last two or three domestic flights and heard my pitches.  During the final flight back to Seattle to prepare the airplane for the four-month international tour of the entire world, Luplow said, “Take a while to think it over.”

I just looked at him and smiled, “Kenny, I just did—of course I’ll go!”

It was the chance of a lifetime and, in spite of the excitement and drama of the nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific, was to be perhaps the premier event of my entire 33-year career with Boeing.  Again, told in detail, the 727 World Tour in 1963 would be a small book in itself.

The permanent crew of the tour consisted of two flight crews, one navigator for the over ocean flights (it was before the day of inertial navigation), one steward hired from Pan American (stewardesses for the demo flights would be furnished by the airline to whom we were demonstrating), a corporate vice-president (the Boeing President, Bill Allen, rod the tour as far as Tokyo), a ground operations engineer, a flight line supervisor, a crew  of our top mechanics (with spare parts in the belly compartments we were self-sufficient except fueling and servicing), sales representatives, a Boeing photographer, and me—“the voice of the airplane”.  Other Engineering personnel who had been instrumental in development of the 727 met us and rode different sections of the tour.

The international tour had been scheduled in detail six months in advance and we took off just seven months after the initial flight of the first 727.  We were determined to prove the reliability of our airplane and prove it we did.  In 68 days we made a total of 139 flights and never missed a scheduled takeoff time except for one VIP delay in Singapore and one twenty-minute delay in Europe due to fog.

Our route read like the index of a world atlas—Gander, the Azores, Rome, Beirut, Karachi, Calcutta, Bangkok, Manila, Tokyo, Manila, Darwin, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Jedda, Beirut, Khartoum, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Athens, Zurich, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, then back through the Azores and Gander to home.

We sometimes flew as many as five flights in one day between cities and for demonstrations with airline VIPs and pilots.  We had very few days off in all those exotic places for sightseeing.  It was like being part of a traveling road show making one-night stands on a global scale.  It was a marvelous way to get my first look at the entire world, but was not easy.  I lost fifteen pounds during that demanding expedition, but managed to be at the microphone for every demonstration flight.  I maintained my enthusiasm for the airplane and like to believe that I contributed to the soaring of the 727 sales that resulted from that unprecedented tour.

One problem with the world tour was that changing cities and often countries almost every day and there was a new language and different money with which to contend.  I came home with the ability to say, “Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.  We hope you enjoyed the flight” in at least seven different languages.  Sometimes I woke in a strange hotel room and groggily could not remember where in the world we were.  After a while I learned that the best technique was to go to the writing desk in the room and look at the hotel stationary.

[Over the years, particularly when my father first returned home from that world tour, I heard lots of stories about those flights.  I am sorry that my father didn’t add anything about the pilot, Harley Beard.  Harley, like many Boeing test pilots, was a WWII pilot and also the father of my best friend.  The 727 was designed to be able to land and take-off on runways shorter than what the 707 and its like required and Harley was able to make the 727 perform to breath-taking maneuvers.  He landed that plane where no other airliner had ever landed.  Best of all, I had a friend who knew how it felt when our fathers were not home for our beginning junior high.  I missed my father lots of times during my childhood, but not being able to share that experience of first feeling like more than a child with him has stuck with me.  Despite my father being gone a lot as I grew up, or maybe because of it, I was and am “Daddy’s girl.”]