This Just In: Pan Am Memories

By Yvette Yurubi

A few months ago, we were honored to have former Pan Am stewardess, Daniele Desmoulins Perez-Venero, visit us to donate some of her papers to supplement our Pan American World Airways, Inc. records and our World Wings International, Inc. records. When asked to enrich her donation with some biographical tidbits about her time in Pan Am, she shared with us a few of her fondest memories of how she began as a stewardess and her years working for the glamorous airline:

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“It had barely been two months since I had arrived in New York coming from Paris in a Norwegian cargo boat. I was 24 years old and fearless.

I arrived alone in October of 1964 with 200 dollars in my pocket, no job in sight but possessing a precious green card. I was lucky to get hired as a secretary by the Cultural Department of the French Embassy about a week after my arrival and before all my money ran out. About a month and half later when I saw an advertisement in the newspaper that Pan American World Airways was looking for stewardesses, I was ecstatic. This had always been a dream of mine! So I hurried to make an appointment for an interview and decided to miss work on that day.

After dressing up in my second-hand blue suit, white blouse, and high-heeled leather black shoes, I presented myself at the appointed time and place. The waiting room was full of anxious-looking young ladies like me. When my turn finally came to be called, I was ushered into a dark room where someone -I assume was a psychologist- started asking me questions about myself and about pictures projected on a screen. Then, I was led into a small room with a window where a panel of four friendly looking people was seated. They asked me the usual questions: why do you want to work for Pan Am, how many years of college do you have, what other languages do you speak… I answered everything to their satisfaction. Then they asked me to tell them a little about myself, so I recounted the story of my arrival in New York and also how I had managed to learn English and Spanish fluently. They seemed to be so impressed that they decided to hire me on the spot! They asked me not to tell anyone because this was not done according to their usual long procedure where they would send letters weeks after the interview to let the candidates know whether they had been accepted or not. Of course, I was flattered and left the room beaming.

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After about a month of training and after graduation, Pan Am offered us a choice of destinations for our first flight as trainees. They let me have my first choice which was New York to Paris (with a layover in Paris) and Paris to Monrovia, Africa, where we stayed for a couple of days before flying back to New York. I thought the flight to Paris was a favor to me on the company’s part. They knew how delighted my family and I would be to see each other when I arrived at the Paris Orly airport in full regalia!! And since it was January, I was wearing the same winter coat that I gave to the Special Collections Library of the University of Miami with long black leather gloves. In warm climates, we would wear short, white gloves instead. The Pan Am uniform was actually quite nice-looking. It consisted of a blue-grey gabardine suit, a short sleeves white blouse underneath, a pillbox hat as was the fashion in the sixties, black high-heeled shoes, and gloves appropriate to the season. We changed once on board the plane. We took off our jacket, hat, white blouse, and put on a smock. We also changed our shoes to low-heeled shoes. To illustrate these looks, I provided some photographs of myself in uniform and also wearing a smock inside the plane to the Special Collections Library at UM.

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In those days undergarments were mandatory. We had to wear a girdle and a full slip… and those could be checked, as well as our weight, before flying time. Our hair style could not touch the collar. We could be reported for any transgression; I remember, for example, being reported for having worn green instead of blue eye shadow on a flight.

Because Pan American Airways needed flight attendants who could speak Spanish for their Boeing 707 flights from San Francisco to Guatemala and Panama, they sent me to be based in San Francisco. I remained on the same route for several months, which was a disappointment to me because it was not my first choice. The flights to the Pacific and the Far East sounded more exciting. When my two roommates commented on their flights to exotic destinations like Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Tahiti, Sydney, I could not help feeling rather envious! Finally, my turn came, and they let me fly all their other routes. Some of the countries I flew to that I remember are Japan, Thailand, Guam, England, Australia, Tahiti, and, of course, Guatemala and the Republic of Panama. We often made stops in Hawaii on our way to the Orient or Anchorage on the way to Japan. The company was so big, I never flew with the same people.

We were allowed to bid for the trips we wanted and according to our seniority we got it or not. We always stayed in the best hotels (such as The Intercontinental, Sheraton, Hilton, or other five star local hotels) and were treated like royalty. It was a dream life.

On my first vacation, in April of 1966, I invited my mother to fly around the world with me. I had kept the Pan Am itinerary papers as a souvenir, and I have given them to the Special Collections Library of the University of Miami recently, along with other papers and memorabilia.

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I had to have a valid visa for every stop the plane made along the way, even if we did not plan on staying there. This was a good precaution as we unexpectedly got loaded off in Beirut. It was a time of turmoil before the war and people were trying to get out. However, we did not regret this unscheduled stop; we were able to visit some interesting places like the ancient city of Byblos, and we ended up buying two beautiful hand-made oriental carpets at the free zone in Beirut! We were able to continue on our way the following day. This free travel was one of the wonderful perks of working as a stewardess for Pan American Airways.

I later became a purser but not for long. I got married in Panama and had to quit flying, but I am still in touch with my Pan Am family as a member of the World Wings Miami Chapter.”

These memories are now immortalized in her collection, the Daniele Desmoulins Perez-Venero papers, housed here in the Special Collections department and can be accessed by anyone who wants to relive the captivating world of Pan Am in the 1960s.



DVD Picks: Sports

by Sean P. Ahearn & Terri Robar, Learning & Research Services

You can tell a real sports fan by their passion. They feel every movement on the court, field, or track as their own. Beyond the excitement of a good game, sports can also be a way of relating to one’s own issues and struggles in life. The following DVDs are “sports stories” exploring many different real-life themes. Of course, the common thread is about having the courage to fight on and keep getting up no matter how many times you get knocked down!

The following films are a part of Richter Library’s DVD collection. In addition to the thousands of DVDs spanning comedy, drama, sci-fi, horror, documentary, and other genres, UM Libraries also houses film-related materials such as screenplays, soundtracks, musical scores, and original book titles. Search the catalog to browse music and print resources related to these films.

The captivating story of the glorious West Indian cricket team who, with a combination of phenomenal skill and fearless spirit, became the longest reigning winning team in sports history.

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A story of two English runners who were both driven by different means to win the Olympics. One used his faith in God, and the other his hatred of anti-Semitism.

Inspired by a true story, this is the inspirational account of a high school basketball coach who received high praise, and staunch criticism, for benching his entire undefeated team due to their poor academic performances.

In a life of constant struggle, Maggie’s gotten herself this far on raw talent, unshakable focus, and a tremendous force of will. But more than anything, she wants someone to believe in her.

A comedy about bending the rules to reach your goal. This film follows two 18-year-olds with their hearts set on a future in professional soccer.

As a 14-year old Roy Hobbs fashioned a bat from an oak tree. Nothing was going to stop him from fulfilling his boyhood dream of baseball stardom.

Bliss Calendar is a small-town teenager with a big dream: to find her own path in the world. Tired of following in her family’s footsteps of compliance and conformity, Bliss discovers a way to put her life on the fast track after landing a spot on a rough-and-tumble roller derby team.

The true story of professional football player Michael Oher. As a homeless teenager from a broken home he was taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do football family who saw his potential in the sport.

Based on a true story. When a half-blind, ex-prizefighter and mustang breaker team up with a millionaire and his rough-hewn, undersized horse, Seabiscuit, the men find a way to turn a long shot into a legend.

The coach of a third-rate hockey team signs up some rough-and-tough players to help his team win.

Aging pool shark who believes “money won is twice as sweet as money earned,” forms a profitable yet volatile partnership with a young pool hustler.

Nine races. One champion. Formula One drivers compete to be the best in this tale of speed, spectacle, and intertwined personal lives.



Replicating an Ancient Artifact: Exhibit Highlights 3D Printing in Action at the U

As part of the research for a current exhibit at the Lowe Art Museum, Kay Pacha: Reciprocity with the Natural World, curator Dr. Traci Ardren collaborated with Dr. William Pestle, a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, and anthropology student Adam Sticca to gain insight on how ancient Andean people made and used the art that would help tell the story of their lives 2,000 years ago. By creating a 3D replica of one such piece, an ancient Peruvian whistling vessel, the researchers were able to carry out intensive study of the artifact’s qualities in ways that could not have been done with the fragile original.

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UM researchers used the Digital Media Lab‘s 3D printer to replicate an ancient artifact from the collection of the Lowe Art Museum.

The 3D print, created in Richter Library’s Digital Media Lab through CT scan images they provided to the lab, is now on view on the first floor of Richter Library.

“From an archaeological perspective, 3D printing capabilities allow for more intensive study of an artifact free from any destructive processes which would damage the original piece,” says Adam Sticca, a freshman in the Department of Anthropology. “In this specific case, the printed replica allowed us to more closely examine the complex structure inside the hollow base. The process took a fair amount of trial and error in order to properly print the object as a hollow structure. This printed replica serves as a shining illustration of the capabilities and applications of 3D printing technology now offered at the library.”

Kay Pacha: Reciprocity with the Natural World is on view at the Lowe Art Museum through July 2, 2016. To learn more about 3D printing, including how to use it for your projects, stop by the Digital Media Lab and sign up for a 3D printing consultation.



New Collection Celebrates and Preserves Urban Art in Florida

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A unique collection generously donated by Barbara Young in honor of her late husband, artist and teacher Robert Huff, is now available for research. The Robert Huff Collection includes a vast array of exhibit catalogs dating back from the 1980s to the present. Of interest are the sheer number and variety of exhibits that cropped up all around Miami, showcasing different artists with their own brand and identity that contributed something valuable and new to the art scene.

At the forefront of the collection is one name splayed across many of these exhibit catalogs – Robert Huff himself, a former art professor and chairman at Miami Dade College. His stunning, three-dimensional visual style was celebrated throughout the decades as a welcome presence in Miami as his use of bright colors intersects with architectural designs to create pieces that are unexpectedly harmonious in spite of their disparate elements. Segmenting lines and geometrical shapes present in many of his artworks are where these elements meet and interact to create layered images that paint an urban jungle for its audience to be lured into, inviting them to traverse deeper into the story he tried to tell in each piece.

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These catalogs serve as a celebration of his prominence and success here in Miami and will hopefully evoke the curiosity of future young artists and researchers who wish to delve deeper into his work and those of his contemporaries. We invite you all to come stop by and take a look through the exhibition catalogs to experience the way the urban art movement has shaped Miami’s cultural scene as a whole.

Capturing Florida’s local art scene is one of our key collecting areas here in Special Collections as we feel it has something unique and culturally significant to offer current and future generations. We are striving to document as much of it as possible before historical materials are lost or disappear into the ether (as so many websites do), so materials such as our newly acquired Robert Huff Collection have become crucial to our initiative to preserve Florida’s modern history with the same eclectic flair that we experience in our day-to-day lives living here in this energetic and artistically vibrant city.



Objects in the Archive: Now on Display

objectsArchive_FINAL-withBlurb_webby Sarah Block, Library Communications

The exhibition features materials that highlight how the physical characteristics of objects can provide insightful clues about the past and inform the present.

Curated by Meiyolet Méndez, interim chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection, and Dr. Martin Tsang, UM Libraries CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Area Studies, Objects in the Archive includes three-dimensional objects related to education, industry, and religion in Cuba from the Collection and outside materials. They span commodities and marketing materials from the tobacco industry, Republic-era educational memorabilia, creative works such as artist’s books from Cuba’s Vigía collective, and a rich variety of religious objects.

Tsang, a former CHC Graduate Fellow, culled religious ornaments and sculpture, many from the Lydia Cabrera Papers, that document influences of Afro-Cuban religion on the island and largely informed his own doctoral work.

“As an anthropologist I’m very interested in these material objects that remain and the inspiration, symbolism, and value that is given to and contained in these materials.” In his ethnographic fieldwork Tsang, who is also an initiated Lukumí priest, has also studied Afro-Cuban religion in both Cuba and on our doorstep through interviews and objects including religious icons and Afro-Atlantic beaded art.

“In some cases,” he explains, “objects have their own lives. A sculpture, such as that of a deity, can be as meaningful in a person’s life far beyond the concept of an inanimate object, taking on its own biography.”

One such object, a cement figure with cowrie shell features honoring the deity Elegua, is featured in the exhibition courtesy of Biscayne National Park, where it was originally found and is part of a larger religious use study that Dr. Tsang has conducted there. “The materials used and the way it’s created offer insights about origins of time and place, and broader cultural patterns and mobility.”

Objects in the Archive is on view through August 2016.





Working on a Group Project?

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Working on a group project?

Our large-screen monitors are available so you don’t have to crowd around one laptop. 

The 46-inch monitors are located on the first floor of Richter Library and compatible with most laptops, tablets, and even your smartphone. 

Additional adapters are available for checkout at the Circulation Desk. 

If you need any help, you can always ask at the Information and Research Assistance Desk. Try it today!



Looking for Quiet Study Space?

24-7_banner2-quiet_1194x328The Richter Library is open 24/7 prior to and during exams, from April 19 to May 4. Additionally, UML provides access to study space during the day and evenings in its libraries across the Coral Gables and Rosenstiel campuses. Visit each library’s page for hours and additional information. During the spring semester, Richter Library is also piloting a new Stress-Less Program, designed to help provide opportunities for creativity and relaxation.

CORAL GABLES CAMPUS

Richter Library
1300 Memorial Drive
Coral Gables FL 33146

  • Main floors and stacks (floors 4-7 and 9) open 24/7 from April 19 – May 4
  • The 3rd Floor Conference Room and Information Literacy Lab from April 19 – May 4, 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all day throughout the weekend
  • Special Collections (8th floor) and Cuban Heritage Collection (2nd floor) on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Paul Buisson Architecture Library
223 Dickinson Drive
Coral Gables FL 33146

Judi Prokop Newman Information Resource Center
School of Business Administration, University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library
5501 San Amaro Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

MARINE/ROSENSTIEL CAMPUS

Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149

We hope that our around-the-clock library access will provide the flexibility in spaces and services you need to conquer exams. Learn more about the Stress-Less Program, created by Library Research Scholar Leah Colucci and presented with the Herbert Wellness Center and UM Professor Scott L. Rogers, Lecturer in Law and Director, Mindfulness in Law Program.



“Stress-Less” at Richter from April 19 to May 4

24-7_stressLess-blogHeader_1230x500_v1“Stress-Less” during long periods of study prior to exams!
The Stress-Less Program offers opportunities for you to relax and reboot your brain, especially during reading days and finals, when Richter Library is open 24/7. The program includes:

Creativity and Game Breaks
BrainSpa, 1st Floor, Richter Library

  • coloring books
  • chalk drawing
  • puzzles

Relaxation Opportunities
Richter Library

  • chair massages (in the breezeway)
    Tuesday, April 26: 9 p.m. – Midnight
    Sunday, May 1: 9 p.m. – Midnight
  • pet therapy (on the 1st floor, under the stairwell)
    Thursday, April 28: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
    Friday, April 29: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
    Monday, May 2: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Quiet Study Space (in libraries on the Coral Gables and RSMAS campuses)

and…surprise snack and coffee breaks!

The Stress-Less Program is a project developed by Leah Colucci ’17, a Library Research Scholar (2015-2016) majoring in Neuroscience and Marine Science, in partnership with the Herbert Wellness Center and UM Professor Scott L. Rogers, Lecturer in Law and Director, Mindfulness in Law Program.



Pop Culture Series: National Library Week

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By Lauren Fralinger, Learning & Research Services

When was the last time you were in the library here at UM? This morning? This afternoon, for a class? Or were you planning to spend a couple hours there tonight, catching up on homework? Perhaps you’re even sitting in one of the University’s libraries now, reading this article from your laptop.

Whatever your major, you’ve likely spent countless hours over the course of your college career in one of the University of Miami’s libraries, checking out books, doing homework and research, or just studying for your classes. From the books they provide to the staff that run them, libraries are a critical part of the academic journey.

This month, from April 10-16, is National Library Week, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate libraries, their staff, and all they do to help their communities learn and grow.

Founded in 1958 with the goal of encouraging people to unplug the radio, turn off the television, and pick up a book, National Library Week hoped to motivate people to make use of the library and all of its resources. In the 1950s, the library’s resources primarily meant books, magazines, and spaces for programs. Though books, magazines, and events are still critical to the services that libraries provide, technology has vitally changed the way we interact with and utilize libraries.

The theme of this year’s National Library Week is “Libraries Transform.” In the more than fifty years since its inception, libraries have undergone massive changes to adapt to new technologies and new needs. Gone are the days when libraries were mere repositories for books; in today’s world, libraries not only host information in books and journals, they are becoming interactive learning spaces that support a wide variety of needs.

Transformation is underway in the libraries here at UM as well. Over the past year librarians and staff at UM Libraries, together with their campus partners, have been planning for the future Learning Commons on the first floor of Richter Library. The Learning Commons will make key educational services centrally and conveniently available to the entire UM community. Students are encouraged to try out the different spaces, services, and technologies in the Visioning Studio for the Future Learning Commons. There are a number of resources now available:

  • The Writing Center and Academic Resource Center are offering services in the library’s new Consultation Hub, providing students with help on every phase of their research, from finding articles to polishing off their papers.
  • If it all becomes a bit too much, and someone needs a break from all the studying, the library is currently building a Brain Spa for students to visit and relax, filling it with puzzles, games, and chalkboard cubes for doodling.
  • More of these kinds of changes are on the way for Fall 2016, as the Math Lab, Academic Technologies and IT plan to move in and provide even more centralized support for students in Richter.

In addition to everything that Richter provides, there are five other libraries at the University of Miami with doors open to any student who wishes to use them. The Judi Prokop Newman Information Resource Center, University of Miami Law Library, Paul Buisson Architecture Library, Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library, and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library are all equipped to support students with world-class resources and specialized assistance for business, law, architecture, music, and marine science students.

The next time you visit one of the University of Miami’s libraries, be sure to talk to librarians and staff. Remember – we’re here to help! We hope to make the library your home away from home.

Want to know more about what’s up at the UM Libraries? Check out the links below!