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LEGEND of the NATIONAL Sundowners

In 1985, Carol (Wallace) Heinrich (NAL 1955) arranged a reunion for the once Jacksonville based stewardesses........sixteen attended. Shirley (Boatright) McClure (NAL 1953) and her husband, Denver, went to Jacksonville from Miami to attend.  Shirley and Denver then decided to host a reunion for all stewardesses who flew up to 1960 at their Old Cutler Inn restaurant in Miami in 1987. Nancie LaRue and Dori Bissell met at that gathering and, along with Gerry (Gawert) McLeod, put together 90 names and began planning for a full-scale reunion.  As word of their plans spread, Nancie received and began cataloguing the names and addresses that became the basis for the first reunion held in Orlando in April 1994. Nearly 200 attended. When the ball landed in my lap, I was mystified!  I became computer friendly to save myself from drowning in a sea of names and addresses and was determined to develop a name for our organizationů.an organization that would represent all the stewardesses and flight attendants that flew during the years of National's existence from the early 1930's to the merger with Pan Am.  NATIONAL Sundowners emerged from the many suggestions and the logo incorporates the stars from "The Airline of the Stars" and the face of the "SunKing" that became familiar to so many until the end in 1980. I am pleased to say that we now have approximately 1,100 names with addresses in our directory. However, there are 4,450 names in a database drawn from the many seniority lists I have accumulated and know that there are names still missing from the overall count.  Each time I can add another address to a name is like finding a piece to a puzzle. Our reunions have been held biennially in Orlando since that first one in 1994 and we are now looking forward to returning to Miami in October 13 and 14, 2000.

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