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White Gloves to Washington: A Capital Experience

Pat Powers Rothacker

Pat Powers Rothacker has ventured to relate her experiences about the history of air transport during the late 1950ís and the early 1960ís. Pat Powers, (as she was known then,) was there to see it all happening. She has done so in style, combining shrewd observation with delightful humor. She has captured with flair the essence of the life-style and the special status that the cabin crew held during the period when the airline world was still quite small. In this book, she brings vividly to life the trials and tribulations, and also the joys and delights, experienced at Capital Airlines during its best years. Her account of her initial training is an introduction to her charmingly whimsical style that is laced with often impish humor. The reader can enjoy, especially in her well-selected use of hyperbole, some episodes that are hilarious. On the other hand, many are heartwarming, and occasionally some are sad. But Patís approach is always positive, and she has the confidence to laugh at herself. She wore her White Gloves to Washington with flair, and in this book, Pat Powers Rothacker invites the reader to laugh along with her.

When she was still Pat Powers, Pat Rothacker joined Capital Airlines on 25 March 1959. She had left her secretarial position at Pepsi-International, almost on an impulse, to become a stewardess. She did not realize it at the time, but her months with that airline were eventful and memorable, as Capital was shaking up the airways with its new prop-jet Viscount aircraft. But she also earned her wings the hard way with many hours in the old DC-3ís and DC-4ís. She retired from Capital because she married Captain Ira Fargotstein, a jet fighter pilot who unfortunately died in a auto accident in February 1961. She returned to flying, at first with smaller non-scheduled outfits, but in 1962 she joined the reputable Seaboard World Airlines and flew on international routes with it for four years.

Pat retired from flying in 1966 to manage the Travel Department at Columbia University Electronic Research Laboratories, which became the Riverside Research Institute. She was in charge of travel, communications, and catering, and while there she met Donald Rothacker, an engineer-physicist. They have one daughter, Marlene. In 1978 they moved to Fairfax, Virginia, where Pat owned and operated a travel agency for eleven years.

She has remained in touch with many of her former stewardess ďfamilyĒ friends, some of whom are featured in this book, which recalls the exciting days when Capital Airlines introduced turbine-engined comfort to the American air-traveling public.

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Format: Hardcover  240pp
ISBN: 9781888962253
Publisher: Paladwyr Press
Pub. Date: 2004
Item No: 9781888962253

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