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Aviator C

Blackie Sherrod, one of the best sportswriters ever to have pounded a typewriter (remember them) in this area, used to devote some of his columns to odds and ends (that weren’t necessarily sports related), and he would start off the column with this line:  “Scattershooting while wondering what happened to ZaSu Pitts” or some other forgotten celebrity.  Sportswriters don’t come with names like Blackie anymore, and it’s a shame they don’t write like Blackie anymore too.  Looking back, one of Blackie’s contemporaries wrote that Blackie blogged without the Internet.  Anyway, in honor of Blackie:  Scatter shooting while wondering what became of Ding! Boy and External Blog Boy.

Actually, both are still around, and they are now official Southwest Employees.  Ding! Boy, a.k.a. Joe Friedmann, is an Aircraft Appearance Technician at Chicago Midway, and External Blog Boy, or Kim Seale on his birth certificate, is a new Writing Representative in our Customer Relations Department.  Welcome to the SWA Family, guys!  (Don’t worry, each of them still maintain their twisted sense of humor.)

Speaking of new titles, we have some new titles on the blog.  The Blog Team is now officially part of our new Emerging Media Team, under our Senior Manager, Sherie Blanton.  Both Paula Berg and I are permanent parts of this new Team, and Paula’s new title is Manager Emerging Media.  Mine is Manager Online Relationships & Special Projects, and no, the relationships aren’t of the type mentioned in this previous post.  We will also be expanding our use of videos as soon as we can.  This new Emerging Media Team signifies that Southwest Airlines intends to be a longtime resident of the blogosphere.

Here’s another:  Scattershooting while wondering what became of airport observation decks.  Here at Southwest Headquarters, we have a third-floor deck which provides great view of the runways and Love Field Terminal—and most importantly, the airplanes.  For those of you old enough to remember them, it reminds me of airport observation decks.  The Love Field Terminal had a great one, with inside theater seating overlooking the ramp, and if you wanted to brave the elements, it had walkways on top of the three concourses.  Some other great observation decks were at both Chicago airports, Atlanta’s old terminal, London Heathrow, and Paris Orly Sud.  When I was a kid, my Dad, who worked at Love, would bring me to work with him in the summer, and I would spend all day on the observation deck.  I know security has sealed off the last of these amenities, but we have lost venues that would let you stand and wonder, and dream of far-off places.

And finally, I have to mention an embarrassment of riches.  This year, the Dallas/Fort Worth area hosted both the national convention of the National Railway Historical Society and Airliners International.  Of course, I attended both.  Probably of the most interest to those reading this post is the Airliners International memento show.  It was one of the biggest I have ever attended, and I purchased a February 1946 Official Airline Guide.  For those of you who don’t know, “the” Guide contains the schedules of all airlines, and in the days before computerized schedules, it was the only way to plan connecting flights.  One of the many things that make this Guide so special is that it still contains schedules of Pan American’s Boeing 314 flying boats between San Francisco and Honolulu. 

I hope you didn't mind me borrowing your catch phrase, Blackie!  We miss you in the paper.