menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

STILL Flying High! Spotlight on Mardra Jay aka Auntie Margie

Think about the sweetest person you know. Now quadruple that and add a pound of sugar, spice and everything nice and you still will not come close to our Auntie Margie.

Mardra Jay aka Auntie Margie paid us a visit from Anchorage, Alaska this past week to say hello to Tracie before she headed back across the pond to Germany.

It is challenging to describe in this blog all that Auntie Margie means to our family. She is a pint size 5’2 powerhouse who is fit, spiritual, hysterically funny and fiercely loyal. Her generosity is beyond compare and she is tirelessly energetic in all the causes she silently champions to help those less fortunate.

Auntie Margie is just a do-er, who constantly strives to bring out the best in others. On this trip, she gave me a book entitled What Happy People Know. As I became engulfed in reading it and thought of the struggles that Auntie Margie has overcome, she is living proof of what Happiness is and can be. Tracie and I are so blessed to have this resilient woman in our blood line. One of my fondest memories was sharing my 40th birthday with her for her 60th. We asked (per my loving aunt) that no one bring gifts, because as she aptly said, we have all we need and each day is a gift and that is why we call it the present.

As a former ballerina and the first retired African American flight attendant after 22 years of service for Alaska Airlines, Margie still has the grace as when she was on toe point and the people skills of her years of service. Today as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, we thought it would be be-fitting to share Margie’s story as a trailblazer in the airline industry.

Tracie and I took the opportunity to ask Auntie Margie what being an original menopausebarbee means to her…

I studied ballet for 16 years at Cornish and that is my passion. I think that is why I am so drawn to Pilates, which I now do 3 days a week. At 67, I believe you should embrace your age and be proud about it and that God has blessed you with your health.

In 1964, I was working for the Washington Natural Gas company and affirmative action was busy during this time. At the urging of a friend flying for Northwest, I went to Alaska and was hired. I started flying for Alaska Airlines at age 21 and I was the first African American woman to be hired by Alaska. My first flight was my first time being airborne. My sister, your mother, Theresa, stood crying as the plane took off. A lady comforted her and asked when I would return and Theresa wailed, ‘tonight’.

On June 26, 1986, flight number 82 was my final run. I was astounded as I came off the jet way and all my co-workers lined the stream with the various outfits we had worn for the previous 22 years. Everything from the super mini’s, to the Gay 90’s with the long red velvet skirts, the tall fur Russian hats and the pencil skirts and pill box hats. It was my surprise retirement and all my friends and family were in attendance.

I like people and over the years, I have met some of the most fascinating and interesting individuals. I have always loved the excitement of flying.

On a flight in the early 80’s from Ketichan to Seattle, I met a passenger, named Christopher Jay who became my soul mate. We recently celebrated 3o years of marriage. We have three children who are all prospering and two beautiful grandchildren.

Through the years, I have been blessed to travel to India, Russia, Europe, Asia, The Holy Land and the Middle East. I have come to find
If you view life as if you are looking through the eyes of God, it is hard to have a negative view.
Each morning as I awake, I say this prayer, ‘Help me walk through this day as if I am looking through Your eyes.’

Tracie and I can attest, Auntie Margie walks the talk! She is as one of her favorite sayings… All the things that love can do!

The above photo was this past winter at her home in Anchorage, Alaska. Yes, this mighty warrior has even had to fight off a moose from her front door (but that is for another blog!)

The photo below is circa 1965 and yes Auntie Margie is still Flying High!