LETTERS  PCR #330      (July 17--23, 2006)

  • Reader's memories of Mackey International Airlines (and Will Moriaty's response)
  • Reader remembers Fred Lasswell (Snuffy Smith artist)
  • Reader remembers "Creature Castle"
  • Graveyard of General Lee cars?

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    William Moriaty,
    Thank you for providing your history of Mackey International Airlines (Likely referring to La Fla, PCR #216 --N). To many of your readers I’m sure it’s an interesting tale but to me, a former employee of the airline, it’s also a brief trip down Memory Lane. Thanks for the memories!

    There are a few points I’d like to add to your already-excellent review. I’m not that familiar with the Mackey Airlines which preceded the Mackey International Airlines I worked for, but I believe it would be interesting to note that Mackey Airlines flew routes to Havana, Cuba before direct flights to that country were suspended in 1960.

    Also, I don’t recall Mackey Int’l Airlines ever flying CV-580s. Maybe they utilized that type after my employment (I worked there from October 1973 through June 1978) but within those years, the airline offered CV-440 and from about 1975 onward, DC-6B aircraft, as well. We also had a B-99 occasionally used for revenue service, particularly to/from Bimini. It was an interesting airline to work for as every route we flew was international; we had no domestic traffic rights. And since we were a Part-121 “commuter” virtually every aircraft we flew exceeded the maximum permitted passenger count (which I think was 19?) for a commuter aircraft. Therefore, our 44-passenger Convairs required special exemption from the CAB. Also, it was in the mid-70s when MI computerized their reservation system, moving from the old “Res Card” system to Delta’s “Deltamatic” system…an interesting transition, to say the least. Oh, the stories I remember! I’m in the process of putting together some of those events and I’d be happy to share them with you should you be interested.

    During those years the airline flew not just to the Bahamas, but to the Turks & Caicos Islands (Grand Turk and Providenciales). As Station Manager at the airline’s headquarter city and maintenance base at Ft. Lauderdale, I remember the words posted on the wall behind our ticket counter: “Mackey International Airlines flies to more places in the Bahamas and British West Indies from more places in the United States than any other airline in the world.” Quite a mouthful!

    Maybe I missed it on your site or from your links, but there was also another commuter airline operating from FLL: Shawnee Airlines. They operated several DC-3s and I remember Mackey employees feeling so superior to Shawnee because we flew “new” (c. 1955) “pressurized and radar-equipped” Convairs versus their ancient (c. 1940) tail-draggers. There’s so much more airline/airport history out there…do you remember the old Pilot House restaurant at the airport?

    Enough of this!

    My best to you,
    Bruce Scottow
    7 Blue Seas Vacations


    Dear Mr. Scottow:
    Thank you for writing and for reading our on-line magazine!

    Mackey International acquired two Convair 580's in 1979 after it merged with Charter Airlines.

    I am much more familiar with Miami International Airport (having had a half-brother stationed there with National Airlines) circa 60's through '80's than Ft. Lauderdale's, so I am not personally familiar with the Pilot House (though I was awed by the Flight 19 Memorial on the west side of the FLL grounds).

    My parents flew Mackey Airlines from Tampa to Cuba almost on a weekly basis in the 50's. I was concieved in the Isle of Pines in 1954, probably as a result of a Mackey Airlines "weekend"!

    On the subject of Shawnee Airlines, you need to check out the web site by David Henderson dedicated to that great little airline at http://www.geocities.com/pinkdc3/shawnee/shawnee.html

    In addition, David has a great book dedicated solely to the commuter airlines of Florida called "Sunshine Skies, Historic Commuter Airlines of Florida and Georgia" which you can read more about by linking to http://www.sunshineskies.com/

    Again thanks for writing and you're more than welcome to share with our readers or with Mr. Henderson any memories of the Florida phenomenon known as Mackey International!

    William Moriaty
    "La Floridiana"


    A couple of years ago I tried to send you an email that apparently never reached you. I had Googled Fred Lasswell and found your tribute to him in your archives. (Indeed there is! Waaay back in a 2001 issue! --N)

    Anyhow, I was just wandering about aimlessly on the Web (couldn't even call it surfing) and was looking at some old Smokey Stover cartoons, when I remembered Fred Lasswell again, and looked for your web site. Which I found. Anyhoo, I recall that you sort of idolized Fred Lasswell, so I thought I'd attempt to share this with you again.

    My parents knew Fred Lasswell in the Marine Corps back in WWII. They were both on the Leatherneck staff in 1944 and 1945. I have an old family album with several nice snapshots of Fred, clowning around in uniform on a park bench in Washington. If you're interested I could scan them and send them to you. I believe my uncle has an original Lasswell cover art piece. It from Nov or Dec 1945 and shows Pvt Hashmark looking very uncomfortable in his ill-fitting old civilian togs.

    So, I hope you get this and I hope to hear from you some time.

    Dan Hermann,
    Brooklyn, NY

    Dear Dan,
    Hello and thanks so much for writing! I'm glad to be able to establish contact with you now, but have no idea what happened to your email from a couple years ago (AOL may have eaten my reply, it was known to happen occasionally). I will apologize anyway in case your message somehow otherwise slipped through the cracks!

    I would be HONORED to receive (and publish, if that's OK, you'll be credited) any pictures of Fred Lasswell you can scan for me!! The art piece would be a prize to share as well. Your stories of Fred and your parents from WWII are remarkable, that's really something.

    I first met Fred at his Tampa office about 36 years ago (whew!) when my mother brought me up there to introduce me as some kinda art prodigy. Fred was very genial and friendly and funny! I still have very positive memories of the encounter.

    In the '80s, Fred's son Danny and I worked together for a short time, and we'd run into each other every once in a while afterwards. But I lost track of Danny years ago, unfortunately.

    Anyway, I hope this message reaches you, and is not eaten like last time!! Again, apologies about that.

    Thanks again for writing and I look forward to seeing some of your pictures.

    Yours in fandom,
    Nolan B. Canova


    I read your article just now about you trying to locate TV 20's Creature Castle (Re: Likely Letters #220 and a mention in PCR #316 --N). I'm looking for it as well. Have you had any luck in finding it on any home video format? If so, I'd love to get it from you. Please let me know one way or the other!!!!

    Thanks for your time!
    Shawn [no last name]

    Thanks for writing. I haven't heard of any progress being made on the Creature Castle front, so I'd have to say no, unfortunately. If anything ever does break, you'll read it in Crazed Fanboy, of course!

    Yours in fandom,
    Nolan B. Canova


    I know there's a graveyard down South that holds a lot of the General Lee's [from TV's The Dukes of Hazzard], but I don't know where it is. Do you?

    Jenn [no last name]

    Nope! I'm afraid you have me there. Readers? --Nolan

    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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