Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wayne Sherman returns!


Hello again everyone! I'm pleased to share some more stories from WAYNE SHERMAN today, beginning with a correction from a past post of his I'd made.
In regard to the innovation of TV monitors behind ticket counters needed some clarification. As Wayne states, "What I had done was have them moved from behind the ticket counter back walls out onto the floor areas away from the counters. The situation with them behind the counters resulted in passengers on departing flights, who had tickets already, would elbow up to the counter through the ticketing lines to get a better look at the monitors. They would get there and frequently couldn't see them because of the distance to the back wall. They then would have to ask the ticketing personnel 'what does that say.' We also had people meeting arriving flights who had to go through the same procedure to get arriving gate numbers."

In his recent email to me, Wayne had reread his past postings with me and wanted to be sure to state that , 'it looked like I was doing a lot of bragging, which was not my intent.' He goes on, " I was proud of what had been accomplished during my career, but it took a lot of cooperation from my superiors and subordinates over time. I was lucky enough to work for people that permitted experimentation, and for the help of those I was working with to put in their two cents worth of suggestions that made things come together. As an example, it took some special effort from pilots to try the gate arrangement that allowed more planes to park (at MDW). It was a risky situation for wing tips to maneuver in the confined space. Together, though, we got it to work.
As for the atmosphere at Midway, which at the time was allegedly the busiest airport in the country, it was small enough to allow workers to develop interline friends, with some exceptions. We got to see famous people at times, and found time to talk with some of them. I had the good luck to meet Audie Murphy who was on tour promoting a movie that he was opening soon. He was with his costar (whose name I forgot) and a woman who was the then Miss Germany. We talked a bit about his movie career, he expressed how homesick he was, and couldn't wait to get back home to his wife. He was so ordinary, it was hard to believe his military accomplishments, things he did not want to discuss.

I was also witness to an incident with Anthony Quinn, who was traveling with two small children. There was a boy, about 3 or 4 years old, and a toddler in diapers. I didn't see a woman with him. The toddler messed her diaper and he put her up on a bench to change her, and put on a new diaper. He then put her on the floor and she proceeded to walk right out of it! He struggled through repeated attempts, but never succeeded. Eventually a woman came to his aid. I had some babysitting experience and could have helped but it was too much fun to watch...
We also had an upscale restaurant just above the ticket counter area and below the control tower called The Cloud Room. In the afternoon and evening, it served full menu meals, but in the morning it was a self serve coffee and Danish operation. Some of us usually went there in the morning on break. Ed Sullivan met every Monday morning with 2 to 4 other people on his way to Los Angeles. There were no non stops from LGA to LAX in those days. We got into a habit of exchanging 'good mornings' on a regular basis. The only time I ever said anything to him was the day after Elvis appeared on his show. I was walking out as he walked in and I said, 'how did the Elvis thing go last night?' He just shook his head...
Thank you again Wayne for sharing these stories! I know others love to read them as well so please continue sending them in as you please!

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