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The 60s Stew: Lucy in the Sky with Din Din


The 60s Stew: Lucy in the Sky with Din Din by Eva PascoUp Up and Away TWA…PSA Gives You a Lift…It Pays to Fly Pan American World Airways.  These popular air liners to “Fly the Friendly Skies” (United Airlines) behooved us to wing it during an era when flight attendants were Lucy in the Sky with Din Din stewardesses—attractive waitresses in uniform who expanded our horizons by serving meals and doling out pillows and blankets to assure passenger comfort.   


Even though the sky was the limit, the stewardess was fair lady game for work place discrimination through the no marriage rule, and retirement or transfer to a ground job upon turning 32 – 35 years of age. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 under Title VII challenged these restrictions, eventually forcing airlines to abolish these barriers by the end of the Sixties.  Yet, emboldened by the sexual revolution, airlines further exploited their stewardesses by favoring uniforms with miniskirts and hot pants which aired more flesh in flight. 


Air travel in the Sixties had an aura of glamour and excitement if you travelled first class which was more affordable than it is today.  Swiss Air’s own Lucies in the Sky may have served this typical din din circa 1966: Your choice - hors d’oeuvre: imported malossol caviar, melba toast, butter; slices of foie gras de Strasbourg, pumpernickel, butter; fresh cold lobster Bellevue, chef’s sauce; glaced asparagus speares, air – dried ham, sauce mayonnaise; thin slices of smoked salmon, fluffy horseradish sauce; New Zealand shrimp cocktail, cocktail sauce.  Soups – cream, real turtle, or cold Vichyssoise.  Main Courses -  prime filet mignon with truffles, potato balls, artichoke bottoms, grilled tomato salad; veal steaks, Swiss-Italian style with thin layer of Swiss cheese, noodles in butter, braised lettuce with chipolata salad; poached breast of chicken in curry, rice pilaf, early June peas, salad; chops and cotelette of spring lamb, miniature potatoes, buttered string beans, salad; roast pheasant en Cocotte, sauce Smitane, mascotte potatoes, leaf spinach, salad; Swiss specialty of minced veal with button mushrooms in cream sauce, salad; sauté of filet of English sole with truffles, diced artichokes, olive potatoes, and salad. 


I doubt many of us Baby Boomers would have been on Cloud nine wielding a knife and fork as there were fewer people flying in the Sixties, let alone first class.  Folks in economy got the shaft then as now—seats with a 34”pitch as opposed to 42” in first class, no free drinks, and limited in-flight entertainment.   TWA was the first airline to regularly show movies, the first in 1961 by the title, “By Love Possessed.”  Films shown by airlines were characteristically bland because they had to be inoffensive while attempting to entertain as many passengers as possible, and were only shown on long-haul routes. 


Meanwhile, Coffee, Tea, or Me? (The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses)-- Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones, published in 1967, only served to corroborate that Lucies in the Sky served more than din din as high-flying, amorous, busty, lusty, adventurous “stews”…Boeing! Boeing!  


The skies surely were friendlier during the Sixties: it’s already been established the female flight attendants were attractive and enticing as their mini skirts climbed higher whenever they made a reach for the overhead compartments; there was no such thing as airport security—you bought your ticket and boarded the plane; you could stroll to the observation deck to watch incoming and outcoming planes; you could smoke on the plane; you could buy life insurance at the airport knowing your family would be rich on crash cash if you perished in the plunge. 

“Is this any way to run an airline? You bet it is!” – National Airlines. 

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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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