Dodi Mabry from Grapevine, Texas
I met with Ms. Abra Schnur and her assistant, Mr. Jacob Flores , on January 18, 2014, at my home in Grapevine, TX.
Abra and Jacob visited with me and tape recorded my memories of Braniff, growing up in Dallas and my airline career.
The interview began with Abra’s question, “What is the first thing you can remember?”
That question led to a flood of childhood memories of my father, his travels and business associates. My father knew Mr.Tom Braniff and Mr. Malcolm Harrison, the head of Braniff personnel. My father encouraged me to go to work for Braniff International Airways and Mr. Harrison hired me on February 5, 1967. I wanted to be a Hostess, but there were no openings. The only position they had open was as a clerk in Line Maintenance.
So, my airline career began in Line Maintenance, then Hostess Scheduling, Pilot Scheduling and Planning, and eventually flying as a Hostess (Flight Attendant) in 1986. My goal was to be a Hostess, but things seemed to get in the way and prevent that until I was finally given an opportunity to attend training and become a Hostess in 1986.
Then, I retired from Braniff in 1987 after twenty years and experiencing several bankruptcies, went to work for American Airlines for the next twenty-three years, then retired and accepted an offer as a Contract Administrator for the APA, the American Airlines Pilots’ Union, where I have been for the past five years.
Abra and Jacob asked me many questions about Braniff and the 1960’s. They also wanted to know what I remembered about the growth of Dallas, Texas, during my lifetime. I described the downtown buildings that I remembered like the Magnolia building with the “Flying Red horse,” and the Medical Arts Building. I told them about watching Central Expressway being built during my lifetime from its beginning in downtown Dallas to its expansion far beyond Northwest Highway and North Park Mall.
I told them how I had watched Dallas grow beyond Preston Road and mushroom out into the suburbs of North Dallas. We spoke of Grapevine, Texas, and its growth, and I explained how I had ended up living there to be close to work when Braniff moved from the old Love Field to DFW.
All in all, I had a lovely interview and visit with Abra and Jacob. It was a lot of fun to recall past events and speak of the “old days,” which are becoming older by the minute. And, it was nice to know that Abra and Jacob wish to preserve the Braniff family lore and culture through taped interviews of the people who lived the experience so that those younger generations, which are now making their own memories, can hear about ours long after we are gone.
It is comforting to know that one will be remembered long after one’s time on earth has ceased, and perhaps, in some small way, contribute to history and keep Braniff’s memory alive.
This is a very important project which Abra and Jacob have undertaken and one which will ensure that we, the voice of Braniff, will still be heard throughout the years by the generations coming after us.
Abra and Jacob have my sincere and heartfelt thanks as well as my endorsement for their monumental project. I would encourage all Braniff personnel to participate and contribute to this worthwhile effort.