"Bette has been a flight attendant for 57 years, which she believes makes her the nation’s longest-serving. She’s been a flight attendant 10 years longer than Ted Kennedy was a US senator, four years longer than President Obama has been alive."
You've read stories like this before. Most airlines trot out their most senior flight attendants before reporters, who write the same stories every year. Air travel has just changed so much in the past five decades, they write.
But a piece in the Boston Globe this week is better than usual, mostly because reporter Matt Viser is a strong, facile writer. We meet Bette Burke-Nash, a US Airways flight attendant. Here's how Viser describes her in the first paragraph, or the lede in journalism lingo.
"Bette Burke-Nash wakes up at 2 a.m., peers into a mirror, and begins to paint what she calls the blank canvas of her face. She applies mascara and fresco-colored makeup and layers of cream to help cover up wrinkles 78 years in the making."
You should check out the story on the Boston Globe's website. You're not likely to learn anything new about flight attendant history from the piece, but you'll likely find it amusing. You might even get a little nostalgic. And if you have time, be sure to check out the video accompanying the story.