Making Dreams Soar with Joanie Galliard

Making Dreams Soar with Joanie Galliard

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World Traveler | Ambitious Dreamer | Giving Spirit

Joanie Galliard (1933-2015), was a resident of Creekside Oaks, Folsom, CA

Q: Where you born and raised?
A:… I was born and raised in West Englewood, New Jersey

Q: What was your childhood like?
A: It was great, I was the youngest and the only girl; I had two older brothers. My dad worked in New York City, and for 30 years commuted in every day. He was in machinery; he helped develop and sell office machinery. And my mom took care of us kids.

Q: Tell about your experience with American Airlines.
A: All my life I wanted to be a stewardess. The more I was around flying, the more I just loved it. When I was 15, I started writing letters to American Airlines; I lived in New Jersey and the home office was in New York City. By the time I went to their office when I was 18, they knew who I was — I’d been writing to them since I was 15. So I walked in and they knew who I was. The man whose job it was to hire the stewardesses came out to meet me, and he was carrying all my letters! But they said, “Oh, Joanie, you’re too young now, you have to be 21.” And he said, “If we hire you, will the letters stop?” I didn’t quite know what to say … “Yes?” The man offered me a job on the spot, working for them in personnel. So ironically, I was interviewing the girls who wanted to be stewardesses. So I was a secretary for three years, and then I turned 21 and I finally got to fly. I was based in Dallas then. It was every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be.

Q: What did you like about being a flight attendant?
A: I loved airplanes and I loved people and it all went together very well.

Q: How did you meet your husband?
A: We lived in the same apartment complex in Dallas, I was based there, and he was in the Army. My husband’s name was Frank. He went to West Point and we met on the tennis courts. It was the first marriage for both of us. We got married in 1967.

Q: What did you like about him?
A: My feeling is that the good Lord was looking out for us. We were both very fond of athletics, so we swam played golf, tennis, everything we did seemed to connect. We ended up moving to the Bay area. He died in 2011. I sold the house a year ago and came to Creekside. It’s six blocks from where one of my daughters lives.

Q: Did you have children?
A: We had two girls; it took eight years for me to get pregnant. They are doing fine.

Q: Any grandchildren?
A: We have all girl grandchildren.

Q: Was there a time in your life that you saw as difficult?
A: Well, we were married eight years before we were able to have our first child. I felt like the guy upstairs was calling the shots.

Q: If there was a lesson you could give to your children and grandchildren, what would it be?
A: To enjoy every minute, and try and look at the bright side of life. They are all happy-go-lucky and willing to share and travel. They seem to have listened to me.

Q: What has been your happiest moment?
A: I don’t have a happiest — they all are happy moments. I have enjoyed life so much. I had wonderful parents and friends and children. Everything has been so good. The good Lord has been good to me.

Q: What’s the best part about getting older?
A: I like the people here and they are a lot of fun. My goal is to enjoy my life.

Q: And what would you say is the hardest part?
A: None, really. I’ve enjoyed it. Things have been going so well for me; I feel I’ve been blessed by all the things I’ve seen and done after flying for so long. At that time you couldn’t be married [and work as a flight attendant], so I worked in personnel after I married Frank and I interviewed other people who wanted to fly. I just loved it all the way. If you have the right spirit to go looking for the best in everybody, you find good people. I was voted class clown in school, so I guess I’ve always looked at life that way.

Sadly, Joanie passed away in October after sharing her story with These Eyes Have Seen. Our condolences to her family and we thank you for allowing us to share her heart-warming words.

To read more stories like Joanie’s, visit www.TheseEyesHaveSeen.com, or check back for our weekly resident interviews in the Sunshine Stories Blog.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

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