March 27, 2011

Pan American World Airways 2...

I'm sure at some point in time I mentioned I spent my early youth in Northern California (Carmichael to be more precise). During those days, my Mom's parents (Gramma and Gramps) lived in the San Francisco Bay area. We spent many weekends visiting them and when Gramps was home, between "Round the World" flights, he would whip out the slide projector and screen so we could watch (and of course we all had to take turns pushing the button that advanced the photos) pictures of his travels and of my mom and her siblings growing up.

A few of their early years were spent in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Based on my recollection, it would have been sometime in the early 1940's. Gramps was based there with Pan American, but I also remember that he was somehow connected with military efforts (not sure doing what). At that time the Pan American routes for the Caribbean and South America usually originated or terminated in Miami, at their state of the art Terminal at Dinner Key (Coconut Grove/Miami).

Here's the interesting part... In late 1972 Gramma and Gramps came to visit us for the holidays. We were in the states after a recent cruise in the Bahamas on "Firebird" and based ourselves at Dinner Key Marina. Below are a couple of photos taken some 30 years apart:

The Pan American "Gateway to the Americas" at Dinner Key (circa 1940)

Dinner Key Marina (present day)

Notice any similarities? Let's look at the building in the center of the photos:

Pan American's Terminal (circa 1940)

The City of Miami's, City Hall (present day)

Yes that's right, what was once the terminal is now city hall... Gramps had a blast exploring and reminiscing. He showed us boys all around and explained what used to be where. He was so shocked that the visit with us that year would bring back so many memories of his early career with Pan American World Airways...

More to come...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

As a side-note from CNN for a possibility to ABC's Fall Line-up:

You can't fly it anymore or see its famous logo at the airport, but the airline that came to symbolize the glamor of the heady early days of air travel is a hot commodity once again.

Pan American Airways -- known to travelers around the world simply as Pan Am -- may be heading to the small screen as the setting for a nighttime drama about flight attendants working for the iconic carrier in the 1960s, when flying was the domain of the rich and famous.

The characters are fictional, but "Pan Am" the series -- a pilot for which has been ordered by ABC -- will draw on the experiences of executive producer Nancy Hult Ganis, who was herself a stewardess for seven years.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting posts. Thanks for letting us glimpse them.

Buddy Bear said...

A great trip down memory lane!

Anonymous said...

This is very enjoyable, thanks so much for sharing the memories!

Peace <3

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