Dc863-on behalf of all of us former"stews" from National, I thank you for the complement.
Bluemeatball-As for the recorded announcements, what do you think that the 757's, 767's, etc. have today? Many, if not most aircraft have recorded announcements. In the past, at least at National, we were staffed with a minimum cabin crew. Most of the time on the 727's we had 3, if we were lucky we got #4 on the 235 type. Not often though, consequently to do a live demo in front and in two places in the back a recording was necessary. As for the service, think of the amount of time you were in the air on those legs. In the back we were still expected to do a full cabin of sodas with just 2 people working. To get that done we had to ice down 110 glasses every time we were on the ground to be able to get that done. We stowed those glasses on trays in any cabinet we could find. That was in the days before the coming of beverage carts. Somehow we got 14-16 glasses on a tray, and you had a choice of coke or 7-up, if you wanted ANYTHING else, you waited until the rest of the cabin got finished and was lucky if you got it then. On top of getting the sodas served, we had to pick up 110 glasses and all of that in just a matter of minutes. Remember, your flight time may show 30 minutes(for example), but take away the taxi times on both ends and the last minute or so before touchdown and you can figure for yourself wasn't much time in the air. Not complaining believe me, I had an absolute ball! The second flight you mentioned by the way, was MOB, MSY, PNS, PFN, TLH, JAX, SAV, ORF, PHF, CHS, DCA, JFK. All of that in one day. That's right, 11 landings. What a life!! Things sure did change when PanAm took over, but I wouldn't change those days for a thing.