“PRODUCER-creator Jack Orman takes you back to a time when air travel was an adventure. Flight destinations were exotic ports of call and your food, blanket and pillow were gratis. Welcome to the world of Pan Am … it’s 1963 and a new generation is leading the way to the future…”
This is a promotion piece for the new series “PanAm,” which bowed Sunday night on ABC. I hope you didn’t miss it, or if you did, you can catch up with this phenomenon about what the high life was like back in the sixties, when everything seemed possible.
One imagines that this idea of the now defunct but still glamorous Pan Am was long a’borning in many creative minds. But there is no question that the raging success of the nostalgic “Mad Men” has benefited this idea of — not when knighthood was in flower — but when air travel was alluring beyond belief.
When I first began touting “Mad Men” back in early 2007, there was doubt that “nostalgia” programming could pay off. Now, “Pan Am” has happened and it has Thomas Schlamme as an executive producer. (Mr. S. is wed to my longtime actress friend Christine Lahti, so we already know this multi-award-winner is a genius.)
“Pan Am” is the greatest fun with its girdle-wearing beautiful girls — because in the sixties, Women’s Liberation was brewing, and everybody working for airlines had to be physically gorgeous. (Check out actresses Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie, and Karine Vanasse offering you all that good food, exotic drinks and high-flying service as this series takes off with exotic accurate details and a lot of deft suspense.)
“Pan Am” brings back checkered taxi cabs … layovers in famous cities like Tahiti, Fiji and Auckland, New Zealand … stewardesses with Geneva Convention cards that gave access to discount retail and restaurant services in the world’s greatest cities … James Bond claiming Pan Am as his favorite airline … Japanese-speaking flight attendants only in Hawaii … round-the-world flights for consumers … flights that broke every record … some first classes with double-decker sittings rooms and private staterooms … The Beatles on their first flight to the U.S.
The official lipstick of Pan Am was Revlon’s Persian Melon. And I am still wearing this shade (#702) and accepting compliments on it, even in beleaguered 2011.
But was I smart enough or good-looking enough to become a Pan Am flight attendant and marry a wealthy business man? No, I was trying to make it in journalism and TV production. Let’s hear it for the women of “Pan Am.” At the very least they were the harbingers of true glamour and lots of fun. And you can nitpick all you like, but there is a world of authenticity in this TV series.
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I hope all the people who think they were not invited to the annual September “Fete de Swifty” event (it brought a lot of us together in a tent on East 73rd Street to raise dough for The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York”) realize that they were not dis-invited, but that the Fete did not take place! (So many, too many people I meet ask me in a pained voice why they were not invited).
“Wiser heads” in the Mayor’s office made the decision and I have never known why such was decided. It deprived the Fund — and the subsequent helping of battered women and children — of from $750,000 to almost a million bucks each year.
We raised this money for at least eight years, with the help of Nicole Kidman, Mariska Hargitay, Joe Torre and so many others.
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COMING TO a bookstore near you are three women who married over the age of 35, all pros and really good friends. So, I’d advise you to get Love for Grownups by Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl and Tish Rabe. It’s a relationship guide for growing mature females, published by Harlequin’s non-fiction division.
These three have interviewed women all over on everything from furniture to finance, and then some.
You can get these ladies from Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon.
There has been a terrific boost in Kirkus and the Library Review. Harlequin once only published romance novels, but decided to woo these ladies for hot, candid, brilliant advice to the married-who-waited-a-bit.
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If you care about saving New York parks, monuments, churches, famous buildings, historic lovely places and you don’t want to be surrounded by unending ugly modernity, I do hope you will think about coming to the “Living Landmarks” gala of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, happening at The Plaza Hotel on Nov. 2. This year Angela Lansbury, Lewis B. Cullman, David Dinkins, Danny Meyer and Louise Kerz Hirschfeld will be inducted.
Last year, dancing around onstage, I fell backwards ass-over-tea kettle on a sound speaker. It didn’t hurt anything but my dignity, which was already suspect. But I have to think of something to do this year with the help of Peter Duchin’s orchestra that will be half that spectacular.
Call 212-995-5260 for tickets. If the Conservancy is charging too much, bargain with them!