I had majored in history and archeology and wanted to see all the things I had read about and studied. Being unable to afford travel, I did the next best thing and got a job as an airline stewardess. Having taken many Post Graduate Courses, like getting my pilot's license, completing a modeling course, certified nurses assistant, and a course in aircraft maintnance. I faked it when I applied for a job with the airlines, telling them, I had experience.
My first job was with THE FLYING TIGER LINE which was a cargo line with government contracts for moving military personel. We brought back many a load of wounded soldiers from the Korean front.
When the korean war was over they, being a cargo line, had no further need for flight attendants.It was then I went to work for an Oakland , Ca. based company, TRANSOCEAN AIRLINES, which was an International Line. I was fortunate to see 90% of all the countries in the world, and to meet my future husband, Capt. Frederick W. Sheppard. At that time we had a few days to a few weeks layovers wherever we landed. I worked for them for several years, and attended many schools in subjects such as nomenclature of all passenger carrying planes, ditching proceedures, international document requirements and emergency proceedures of every kind.
SPAL was instrumental in taking all the actors, directors, camara men and equipment from Honolulu to Papeete for the filming of the movie MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY staring Marlon Brando
I was ask to do some posing for their publicity shots at the Honolulu Premier.
When SPAL sold out to Pan American Airlines, I was given the choice of a years severance pay, or being intergrated into Pan Am's seniority list which would have based me in Suva, Fiji. I took the pay and returned to the mainland.
During my tenure with SPAL, I spent one Christmas over Easter Island, and one Easter on Christmas Island. I remember landing on the runway littered with scurrying coconut crabs and probably smashing a few hundred. The British personel there were so hungry for news there. They were elated when we gave them the newspapers and magazines from the plane. Our new engine finally arrived and was installed so we continued our flight to Tahiti.
After returning to the mainland, I opened my own business called "TAHITI ITI" and was quite sucessful at it, importing polynesian arts and garments, catering parties with both luau's and polynesian floorshows. I studied all the dances of Polynesia, and became quite proficint in HULA, TAHITIAN & MAORI
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