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Bailey to the Airport - 1960's


Airport security has sure changed air travel. Just ask Helen. I can't see it, but somehow she must have the look of a terrorist. Just doesn't seem logical to me at 105 pounds, five feet tall, and past 80 years of age. Even though she shows the screener her cards telling about her two artificial knees and one hip, they always pull her off for the special treatment with the wand. Of course her ladies size 7 shoes have to be closely inspected also. Just makes me wonder what kind of profile she fits into. So far, they haven't found the stick of dynamite they must think she is carrying.

But "Bailey to the Airport" has little to do with Helen's profile. It has to do with a man named Dick Bailey that came to Austin to check out the University of Texas as a potential place to conduct the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management. It had been held at the University of Houston for a number of years, and they were looking for a new location.

Dick had arrived right after lunch and I picked him up at the airport and took him to my office. This gave me a chance to try to tell him about Austin, and the support we would give the Institute. Also, I suspect that I wanted to show off our new office building with the view of Lady Bird Lake and Downtown Austin.

I warned Dick about George, whose thoughts always ran way ahead of mine. Driving out to UT, I told Dick that in order to keep up with the thought processes of George he had better start listening five minutes before the good Dean started talking.

At UT we were to see Dr. George Koztmetsky, Dean of the School of Business. George was the founder of Teledyne, and a number of other high tech businesses. His success in business allowed him to retire early, and enter the area of his first love, education.

It was an interesting interview, and I enjoyed being a listener. We finished sometime after five, and since Dick's plane didn't leave until about eight, I took him out to dinner. Well, the conversation flowed (we talked and talked) when suddenly we noticed that it was almost time for his plane to leave for Dallas. We rushed to the airport; I noticed a plane sitting near the terminal. I asked Dick if he was flying on Trans Texas Airways (affectionately know as Tree Top Airways). He said yes, so I felt sure that this was his plane. I noticed that the drive behind the little cargo building was open, so I drove around it toward the plane.

The steps were already up and the door closed, but the Captain had his window open. I drove up to the plane and shouted up asking him if he was going to Dallas. He said yes, so I told him I had one of his passengers. The attendant opened the door, let down the steps, and Dick hurried on board. I circled back out of the airport and came home.

Security at airports has changed.

Vic Mathias -- January 23, 2011