FLASHBACK: 1941 Stewardess-in-training Margaret Zabriskie practices carrying a tray during a class. From the beginning, poise and an inner ear of steel were demanded of the flight attendant/stewardess/air hostess, and still are. But it takes more than that to make the cut, and that was especially true before World War II. A candidate had to be a registered nurse, age 25 or younger, no taller than 5 feet 6 inches, attractive and well-groomed, And single. It was no glamor job at first. Stewardesses hauled luggage on board, made repairs in the cabin, even helped fuel the planes and push them into the hangar. Today's post-9/11 flight attendants face considerable challenges, to be sure, but at least they don't have to refuel the aircraft -- or even most of the passengers.
Tribune archive photo