I won’t go if the dress code says “leisure suit”

PanAmExp

I think I would have already had The Pan Am Experience by now if I lived anywhere near L.A.:

Your Pan Am experience starts on the main deck with a cocktail and beverage service in the First Class cabin. Each stewardess that greets you will be adorned in her original 1970’s Pan Am uniform. Our Pan Am crew will offer various video & audio selections while you sit back in your Pan Am Sleeperette seat and sip a cocktail.

Soon after, you’ll climb the winding staircase where the crew will set your table for a truly memorable dining event. In classic Pan Am style, you’ll be offered your favorite cocktail and served a delightful gourmet meal. Everything from the china to the glassware is authentic with careful attention to the exquisite service delivery of the era and menu offerings of Pan Am.

After dinner, you will have an opportunity to view the vast collection of airline memorabilia and view other film production sets.

“Pan Am makes the going great” was Pan Am’s slogan in the early 1970s. I still remember the excitement of my first commercial flight, on one of Pan Am’s first two 747s when I was ten eleven years old, so yes, please.

My first flight of any kind was less than a year before that, and was in a canary yellow – 3M’s Post-it® colour trademark be damned – Piper Cub that I had helped repaint, flown by its owner, a veteran TWA Flight Engineer. The door’s paint was still drying, so we flew in the vicinity of the now long-gone Tewksbury, Mass. Airport (Tew-Mac) for half an hour without it. Scared? Nah, I was too young to be scared. Plus, I was flying, dammit!

PiperCub

Pan American World Airways went out of business in 1991, but its name lives on, and still in the world of transport, in the form of Pan Am Railways, which bought the rights to the Pan Am name in 1998. I took this photo of one of their engines idling just a few blocks from my house two winters ago:

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On a peripherally related note, I just received from the UK this spiffy print of a Geoff Nutkins painting of the B-17 Mon Tete Rouge II of the 452nd Bomb Group that was based at Deopham Green, Norfolk in WWII. It’s one of a limited edition of 500 prints produced in 1980.

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He painted this several years before I used the same source photo of the aircraft when I painted my Boeing Belle flight jacket painting. I thought it was the perfect angle of a Flying Fortress for the back of a jacket, and didn’t find out about his painting until a few weeks ago, when I looked up “Mon Tete Rouge II” as I wrote that “Boeing Belles” post. After I saw his eBay listing for the print, it took just a few hours before I decided to order it.

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The photograph that we both used was black & white, and we each figured the lettering on the nose must have been red given the name (translation: “My Redhead II”), but I found out during that recent search that the lettering was actually blue on ship 42-97069. At the time I painted the jacket, my research indicated that the wingtip colouring on 452BG aircraft was yellow, so I believe that’s correct in my version.

MTR2

I’m not sure where I’ll put the print yet, but it may replace the B-17 print I have in my office at the moment, or I may rearrange this wall to accommodate both:

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2 thoughts on “I won’t go if the dress code says “leisure suit”

  1. Oedivale says:

    You’ve brought to mind a bit of nostalgia: the longest airplane flight I ever took was on a Pan Am 707 in November 1967. It was a non-stop from Chicago to London. We left O’Hare at about 5 PM and arrived at Heathrow about 7 AM. An 8-hour flight plus 6 hours time difference. There were only about 25 passengers. The in-flight meal was apparently not memorable as I can’t recall if we even had one. The cabin lights were dimmed most of the way to encourage sleeping, thereby reducing jet lag. I don’t think I managed more than a short nap. On arrival, the first real English person I encountered was an airport official directing passengers to the international terminal entrance. I couldn’t understand a word he said.

  2. Lloyd Smith says:

    In 1990 the former pilot of Moa Tete Rouge II asked me to copy a print he had of his B17. I just looked it up and there is the same painting/photo on your Website. Send me your e-mail and I will send you the photo.

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