Click on photos
|It was said that flying was very popular around the Verde Valley, especially with members of the Elks Club in 1928, when Cottonwood’s Clemenceau Airport was dedicated. Today, Sedona Airport, on Airport Mesa, is located near the Sedona Elks Club on Airport Road. Saturdays are known for the gathering of aviation enthusiasts in Sedona, when it is a familiar sight to observe small planes of every color and description doing “fly overs.” An elitist group of female pilots called the “Ninety-Nines” uses Sedona as a meeting place. The first “Ninety-Nines” had a famous member, Amelia Earhart! This web site lists many flying clubs. Look for the designated link.
Bruce Bloomquist retired in 1994 from United Airlines, where he was a commercial pilot for 39 years. He began his flying career in the US Navy with a stint on aircraft carriers. He grew up in Middletown, Illinois where his father owned and ran the small local bank. He dazzled Donna (me) on one of our first dates by taking me to the movie "Cinerama Holiday," a film in which he had flown aerial maneuvers off a carrier. Before Bruce retired from his commercial duties, he was captaining 747s to and from China and Australia, among other places. He retired as captain in 1990, but continued to fly as a second officer until November 1994.
Donna's claim to fame was working as a stewardess on the first UAL flight out of O'Hare. At least that is how she remembers it. Photos were taken with corsages pinned to our jackets. She wonders if somewhere in the United Airlines' archives there is a photo of her from that day? Because she was an RN, a graduate of the old St. Luke's School of Nursing in Chicago, her UAL superiors were always urging her to fly the Honolulu route, which required at least one RN on each of its flights in the late fifties. There was one big problem, however, she had never learned to swim, a major requirement
When Bruce and Donna met on an O'Hare to San Diego flight, September 3, 1956, it was pretty much love at first sight. Of course, she had to retire soon after their marriage plans were announced. Married stewardesses were quickly grounded in those days. They were married in Chicago's Methodist Temple in the "Chapel in the Sky" December 3, 1956, exactly three months after their meeting.
Donna says: Here is an interesting account of a pilot's visit to Sedona for one of Sedona Airport's well known "Day Visits!" Sunday Brunch in Sedona I enjoyed Ron Kilber's other stories too. He seems to be a pilot with an interesting history. Now if Bruce would just get back to writing his memoirs! I may share a couple of Bruce's detailed log writeups, such as the one when he visited the "Great Wall of China."
Here is another interesting account of pilots visiting the Sedona area and checking out parts of Red Rock Country. Montezuma Air Park, AZ
We visted the Montezuma Air Park development several years ago, before it became a gated community. However, we live in a gated community too, even if its gates are frequently open!
Back to the subject of aviation helps and history: