Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who were these guys and where are they now?


Something that has always intrigued me about the picture in the previous post is the presence of the three guys in the bottom of the shot. I enlarged and cropped them this time, just to see if more can be discovered.

Who are they? Possibly Martinair employees? Mechanics perhaps, at least the two on the right, judging by their cover alls. The one on the left a supervisor perhaps. What were they doing?

And, even more intriguing, where are they now? The young man on the far right appears to be in his early twenties. That would make him in his early sixties today. Possibly retired, grandchildren, health problems, false teeth, etc. The other two appear even older, could be approaching seventy.

Sometimes life just seems to evaporate in the twinkling of an eye.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It was 40 years ago today…


…that this big ol’ airliner carried me to The New World, in a literal as well as figurative sense. If I recall correctly, the plane left Amsterdam Schiphol at around 11:00 am, arriving in Detroit at 2:30 pm. A non stop flight. Eight short hours from a closed in, tightly controlled society with (still) old fashioned norms to a world where newness and non conformity seemed to be the thing of the day.


The plane itself, a Douglas DC-8 55F, serial no  45824/267, shown here with the registration number PH-MAS, was delivered to Overseas National Airlines (ONA) in June of 1966. It was then sold to Martin’s Air Charter (or Martinair) in October of 1968. Martinair  then used it until early 1977 when it was sold back to the manufacturer Douglas Aircraft. After that, it was used by a variety of airlines, the last one being a Venezuelan outfit called Avianco, who used it as a freighter. It was last spotted in 2001 sitting at Miami International Airport in something called ‘Corrosion Corner’, likely an area used to store planes for stripping parts off them.

My picture above is actually a composite of two, taken with my Rollei Magic, which I had acquired a few months before the start of this trip. Second hand, of course. Unfortunately, I lost that camera on a later plane light in November of 1972. Color photography was still somewhat rare back then, because it was expensive. This shows the old style MAC livery colors very well. As far as I can tell, this is the oldest picture of PH-MAS on the web.