On my first trip to Athens, which I believe
was June 1972, none of the crew luggage
was put on the plane. That night ONA treated
us all to dinner at the Athens Hilton.
It was a feast. From dinner several of us
went to the bar on the top floor.
The Acropolis was illuminated and I remember
standing at the window hardly believing I
had escaped the pink-collar world of work
in New York City. My souvenir from that
trip was a beautiful gold round ring that
still makes me smile every time I open
my jewelry box.
The longest trip I remember first landed
in Athens (from the US), then went to
Frankfurt, then London and finally
returned to the US. We were weary,
yet still had our lipstick on and our
hair combed. (The overtime pay from
that flight was great.) After that,
I never left home without some spray
cologne in my carry-on bag.
Do you remember circular rainbows
off the nose of the aircraft?
FAR EAST - JAPAN
I just loved the Far East!
On one trip to Japan, we bought
wonderful pastel aprons that the
mamasans wore over their blouses.
Mary 1973 in her Tachi apron
I, instead, used the apron as a
blouse, sans bra, and was laughed
out of the market by the mamasans.
They were gesturing, laughing and
telling us “no, no.”
There was so much to see.
I didn’t sleep on my first trip to
Japan but ate, shopped, showered,
ate again and happily got back
on the airplane to work.
Pam Baughman Eaton and
Mary Jane Seery Talbott
Vacation to Egypt with Pauline
A camel ride in Egypt...
Pauline & Mary Jane
ONA DC-8 N1976
Stewardess Negotiator´s Report 1
Stewardess Negotiator´s Report 2
Stewardess Negotiator´s Report 3
MARY JANE SEERY TALBOTT
Mary Jane Seery Talbott,
Arnelle Pappas Meyer,
Pauline Horton Bagdonas
I graduated from Overseas National Airways
DC-8-63F Flight Attendant Initial Training
in April 1972 and was based out of New York.
Although I don’t remember all of my classmates,
Pam Baughman Eaton, Pauline Horton Bagdonas,
Arnelle Pappas Meyer, and Joyce Olson were
among the group. It was only about a year
that I flew with ONA, but the memories have
lasted a lifetime as has my friendship with
I never had a class picture and am not sure
one was taken. Names have faded, but good
memories remain. In looking at some of my
old photos, I think someone should have
called the fashion police.
My first trip to Vietnam was the
hardest. I was sent to the bottom
of the stairs to say goodbye to the
soldiers leaving the plane. It was
dark and I was glad because it was
hard to keep from crying.
“Enjoy your trip” and “Thank you
for flying with us” seemed
With a smile, I settled on
“See you on the way home.”
We went back to Japan in an empty
plane that night. The next trip was
joyful, at least until we arrived.
We were ferrying the plane to
Da Nang Air Base (I think).
Just before landing, the captain
announced that there had been
shelling near the field.
We took our seats and my eyes
were glued to the windows watching
for puffs of smoke. It seemed we
came in fast, or as I would learn
years later “hot.” When we got
off the plane, a few very polite
airmen offered to show several
of us around the base.
We took off in a jeep and enjoyed
the wind in our faces and a tour
of the tower. When we returned,
we caught hell from the captain.
But it was the good-natured kind
of hell that is tempered with a
The trip back to Japan that
afternoon started with thunderous
cheers and clapping as the wheels
left the runway. That was my VIP
flight and we only had milk and
soda to serve!
An ONA Globetrotter
Paris, London, Malaga, Osan,
Frankfurt (too many times),
Tachikawa, Hawaii, Quam, Anchorage
and Bangor all provided funny and
Even a somewhat pathetic Christmas
Eve in a Chicago hotel with the
crew decorating a plant with
pretzels remains a fond memory.
MARY JANE TALBOTT -
US AIR FORCE
Mary and Neil Talbott
One of ONA’s gifts to me was the
ability to talk to anyone,
regardless of rank, position or
title. I do believe it was for
this reason that in future years
in the Air Force, even as a low
ranking enlisted person,
I was selected for lunches with
visiting generals and commanders
and to serve on the
Korean-American Friendship team
at Kunson, AB.
I went on to enlist in the Air
Force in November 1973 and there
I met my husband of 37 years,
Neil Talbott. We were both
commissioned after graduating
from college and served in a
missile wing. He was a missile
crew officer and I was a missile
maintenance officer, in fact,
one of the first female missile
maintenance officers in the
Air Force. In 1992, I earned
my private pilots license and
loved every minute of flying.
We raised a smart, beautiful,
independent, creative daughter,
who is now married and lives
in New England.
As the years passed, I earned a
master’s degree and, once upon a
time, almost finished a doctorate.
We’ve been in Colorado for over
15 years, and I retired from public
health in 2009.
The 25th anniversary film created
for the Air Force included that
often heard saying, “Life isn’t
measured in moments of breath
but in breathtaking moments.”
I think then, I should be 100
for all the breathtaking moments
I have experienced. I’d love to
attend the next reunion in the US.
I’ve posted a few pictures and
hope folks can fill in some of
the names. Arnelle and Debbie,
best wishes on your book…
I promise to buy a copy.
Mary Jane (Seery) Talbott
ONA COMMENDATION LETTER