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4 Profile | Christi Mathews of Mathews Gallery & Studios | "From Corpus Christi to Aransas Pass, Plus a Few Memorable Layovers"

Christ Mathews in Uniform
After graduating from Corpus Christi’s Miller High in 1964 and Copeland’s Scuba class in 1965, my favorite aunt & uncle, Dee & Ed Meisenheimer, convinced me to move to Seattle, WA. There I got a job on the Boeing switchboard where I was harassed unmercifully by all the male employees in hearing range of the PA system for my Texas drawl. In my spare time I became a scuba diving instructor for the Marker Buoy Dive Shop.

About a year later I was accepted to United Airlines Stewardess School. After graduating I was domiciled in New York city where I shared a one bedroom apartment with 3 other stewardesses. The thing that impressed me the most about the Big Apple was the cab drivers. New stews spend a lot of time on call. We would get a call at 2 or 3 am for a flight leaving in an hour or less at Kennedy Int’l, call for a cab, throw on undies, slip and coat, grab a suitcase that was kept packed and continue dressing in the cab, with a driver that never looked back and got us there on time.

My best flight was a junket charter to pick up gamblers in FL and take them to Las Vegas. They were the greatest gentlemen and took the stews to dinner and gambling that evening. I helped my escort pick a gift for his wife and he taught me Roulette. It was a dream come true when I had 15 to 20 large stacks of chips, more than I could count, but lost all except $55 by the end of the evening. A few months later, with a schedule that I laid over every Saturday night in Reno, I lost my whole months wages and never gambled again for 43 years.

My worst flight was a charter taking the Minnesota Twins baseball team from Minneapolis to Florida. They were the most obnoxious octopi, each with 8 grabbing hands, to the extent that we could not get down the aisle to serve. I had only been flying for 6 weeks but was head stew. I asked the owners and coaches for help and got laughed at. I went back to the galley and found a junior stew pinned against the wall by a 6 foot plus player whom I punched and told to get out. I called the captain and all the stews spent the rest of the flight in the cockpit. I haven’t watched a baseball game since.

Christi Mathews Today in Her Gallery

Another memorable, scary flight was a champagne breakfast from Portland, Oregon to NY. I was working first class and the flight was delayed at the end of the runway by dense fog. I had taken the doors off of the forward cabinet that held the trays of food to do some preparation for when we did get airborne. It looked like we would be sitting there a while so the captain said we could serve coffee while they were using the engines to blow the fog away from the fog sensor near the runway. As I was returning to the galley with the coffee pot the captain announced that we had clearance and were taking off. As the plane was starting to roll, I looked at that wall of food trays with no doors and grabbed the metal rim around them and held my body against them with all my strength. Luckily for me it was a DC8 that took a long slow take off and assent, enabling me to hold every thing in place. I was shaking when I walk out of the galley and was met with applause from every hungry passenger in first class.  Apparently no one mentioned my heroics, as I didn’t get fired.
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Christi Mathews and her husband Angus own and operate Mathews Gallery & Studios, in Aransas Pass.

4 comments:

said...

wonder how many former stewardesses we have in our wwn readership? I know of at least one other. Anyone else out there?

said...

Kay Scott....as we read in her story.

said...

I love hearing about your adventures, Christi, and seeing you in uniform!

said...

Well, Christi, this puts you in a whole new light...so interesting. More stories, please!



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