Plane Liberace

Liberace, Pensacola Airport, Circa 1960s FRANK HARDY PHOTO

Liberace, Pensacola Airport, Circa 1950s


Nothing was “plain” about Liberace!

Today we have the honor of an article written about Liberace along with archived airplane photos from Frank Hardy, our guest author, and owner of the blog titled Frank Hardy Made My Photographs Two: CLICK HERE*

Frank has some great airport and airplane history through his father’s black and white photos.  Please make an effort to stop by his website and say “hi.” AirportsMadeSimple would like to shout out a hearty “THANK YOU!!!” to Frank for putting this together. Cheers, D

Liberace with young lady FRANK HARDY PHOTO

Liberace with young lady, Circa 1950s

Hi! My name is Frank Hardy, and I hope you enjoy my father’s archived photos of Liberace taken at the Pensacola International Airport (formerly Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport).

Everyone’s heard of Liberace, the great musician.  One thing you may not know is that he regularly flew to Pensacola, Florida to purchase Louis XIV-style furniture from a lady named Ada Wilson.

Typically, during the 1950s and 1960s, the most frequent airlines at Pensacola International Airport were Eastern Air Lines and National Airlines. (Do you know the types of airplanes shown in these pictures?)

My father loved photography, and he also loved music.  I remember the background stories for these pictures like it was yesterday.

For instance, once, in the 1930s, my father watched Liberace play at a hotel in Chicago (the legendary Palmer House). You see, my father’s brother was getting married, and the night Liberace played in that hotel lobby was the same night of my brother’s rehearsal dinner in that hotel! Perfect timing. Liberace gave a stellar performance like only Liberace could–on the cusp of his superstardom.  It was a night my father never forgot.

Twenty years later, my father photographed Liberace at the Pensacola International Airport, and struck up a conversation with him about those early days in Chicago at the Palmer House. Liberace was thrilled! They spoke for over an hour about his music career, and how those early days really helped his career take off. 

Liberace and stewardess in background, Circa 1960s

Liberace and stewardess in background, Circa late 1950s-early 1960s

I hope you enjoy these photos.
Liberace was not a man to be forgotten.
And neither was my father.


Frank Hardy bio pic

About Frank Hardy:

Frank’s a second generation professional photographer living in Milton, Florida (across the bay from Pensacola).  He attended the University of West Florida and graduated on March 17, 1977–moving immediately into professional photography on March 18, 1977.

A quote: “I thought I would give it five years or so and then move onto something else, but 37 years later I’m still working in the business of photography…I went digital in 2002,  and I’ve really enjoyed working with the transition of the entire digital process.  I consider myself a portrait photographer (since I feel I’m a people person), but I’ve photographed anything and everything.”

Drop him a note at his website: CLICK HERE!

He’d love to hear from you.

*All photos and text written in this post are the intellectual property of Frank Hardy. Please contact him for further information by clicking HERE.

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Airline Ticket Taxes: Where’s Your Money Going?

Cash, 2014
Above picture credit: Photo taken at home of author.
I’m proud to be paying taxes in the United States.
The only thing is—I could be just as proud for half the money.
–Arthur Godfrey
When you buy an airline ticket, you pay surcharges (for fuel, etc…), fees (baggage fees, extra bag and heavy weighted bag fees, even ticket fees), but not much is said about the taxes you pay. 
Maybe we’re just used to it? 
In the United States, the published selling price and the actual selling price of an airline ticket are two very different things (The published selling price is the base fare + taxes = actual selling price.).
This is nothing new, but do you know where your money is going?

Airline ticket taxes passed along to you:

U.S. Transportation Taxes: At the time of this posting, this tax is a certain percentage of the base fares within the United States – typically about 7.5%. In 2014, the tax under § 4261(b)(1) on the amount paid for each domestic segment of taxable air transportation is $4.00, and the tax under § 4261(c)(1) on any amount paid (whether within or without the United States) for any international air transportation.

If the transportation begins or ends in the United States, generally it’s $17.50. Under § 4261(c)(3), however, a lower amount applies under § 4261(c)(1) to a domestic  segment beginning or ending in Alaska or Hawaii, and the tax applies only to departures. For calendar year 2014, the rate is approximately $8.70.

Passenger Facility Charges (“PFCs“): These charges are an additional tax the federal government allows a certain airport to charge passengers so that the airport can subsidize airport expansions and update airport facilities. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Segment Taxes: A segment tax is a federal tax that applies for a departure from the airport at the beginning of a flight segment. These taxes don’t apply to selected rural airports. The amount charged is approximately $3.40 and up.

U.S. Security Service Fees:  This fee was imposed on airline passengers in response to 9/11 to support higher security throughout airports, and support the TSA.  This fee used to be $2.50 per trip; however, recent articles have suggested that the government (with both Republican and Democratic support), will likely increase this fee to $5.60 per trip.

CLICK HERE for an interesting article from Bloomberg.


Happy Flying!

Secret Foodie Hot Spot: Guernsey, Channel Islands

St. Peter Port Harbour Photo courtesy of

St. Peter Port Harbour
Image courtesy of

All images courtesy of VisitGuernsey. Please visit their website at

“Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.” – George Carlin *****************


I didn’t know much about Guernsey until I read more about it and spoke with the Guest Author of this post.  To get there, CLICK HERE for information on flying to Guernsey. Here’s a quick overview of the area, according to Wikipedia:

Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey (French: Bailliage de Guernesey), is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. As a bailiwick, Guernsey embraces not only all ten parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Alderney and Sark – each with its own parliament – and the smaller islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou.

Although its defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom, the Bailiwick is not part of the United Kingdom but rather a possession of the British Crown. It lies within the Common Travel Area of the British Isles and is not a member of the European Union, but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods. Together, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands.”

ENJOY!    -D


The island of Guernsey can be found under an hour’s flight away from London’s Gatwick Airport; however, it might as well be the other side of the world. Never mind the 27 different beaches, the luxury four and five star hotels, or the relaxed pace of life–the topic I want to discuss today is Guernsey’s wonderfully fresh seafood.

If you were to sail out due west from Guernsey you wouldn’t reach land until Newfoundland, Canada over 2,300 miles away, so, as an island surrounded by water you would be correct in thinking Guernsey deals in its fair share of seafood!

Locally caught fish include: bass, bream, brill, haddock, halibut, mackerel, monkfish, mullet, plaice, pollock, salmon, sole, tuna, turbot, and whiting. On top of this there’s also an abundance of shellfish including clams, king prawns, mussels, ormers, prawns, and scallops. Of course there are then the obligatory varieties of crab and lobster for which the island is so well loved.

However it’s not just being able to catch the produce locally that makes Guernsey so special; the island’s chefs still have to play their part superbly.

So what sort of dishes could you expect to find on a seafood menu in Guernsey? In the interest of fairness I felt I should head out for my evening meal to make sure for myself. I headed to Le Nautique, one of Guernsey’s premier seafood restaurants found in the island’s capital.

I was not let down. Delicious!

Seafood Photo courtesy of

Image courtesy of

For my first course I had a delicious terrine of scallops, prawns and smoked salmon, accompanied by a refreshing herb yogurt dressing. The refreshing tang and coolness of the dressing played off wonderfully against the smoky, yet light, tastes of the seafood terrine. This was of course complemented with a crisp bottle of Sancerre in order to set my palette alight with the mingling flavours of white wine and seafood.

For my main course I moved onto a grilled fillet of Guernsey brill topped with a ragout of scampi, scallops and prawns in a light beurre blanc. Personally, I feel you will do very well to find better seafood anywhere at the same sort of price range; my main course cost me £16.50 and it was £6.50 for my starter. I agree that there are cheaper meals readily available, but consider the considerably larger price you would be paying for this in a big city restaurant, this is just another benefit of having our produce so closely available to us in Guernsey.

It doesn’t just start and end at Le Nautique though. There are approximately 20 island restaurants specializing in seafood, and pretty much every restaurant on the island offers some sort of seafood menu.

The Southern Cliffs Photo courtesy of

The Southern Cliffs
Image courtesy of

Just like the sea air is in our lungs and the salt water is in our blood, life on Guernsey also means the sea’s bountiful foods are on our plates, and that is something we are indeed grateful for.


profilepic (2) Bio Jamie Hunts copyrightedABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jamie loves living in Guernsey and loves even more the idea of spreading the message about his wonderful island home.  Check out Visit Guernsey and Guernsey Images to learn more about a holiday to Guernsey.


Unless otherwise noted in this post, the text in this article is the intellectual property of Jamie Hunts.

John Wayne’s Wings of Eagles


John Wayne Autograph Frank Hardy copyright

“Tomorrow hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday. “
–John Wayne

Photo: Pensacola Airport, 1950s
By: Frank Hardy Photo

Nothing says “American icon” more than actor, director, and producer John Wayne. His personal style, rugged bravado, and quiet strength made him loved by millions of people across the world.

Today’s article is by Frank Hardy.
Frank’s the author of the website: FrankHardyMadeMyPhotographsTwo.

 This is a tribute to John Wayne, along with some interesting history surrounding his fellow actors in the movie “The Wings of Eagles,” Dan Dailey and Maureen O’Hara, famous in their own right.

Enjoy! Deb

By Author and Photographer Frank Hardy

Back in the 1950s, John Wayne filmed a movie at the Pensacola Naval Air Station (also called “NAS Pensacola”) called “The Wings of Eagles.”  Only the first 10 or 15 minutes of the movie were actually filmed at NAS, but it was an opportunity for my father to get some photos of John Wayne and his fellow actors. Unfortunately, the movie itself didn’t do too well at the box office, but the history surrounding the film, along with the richness of character of the actors, was something my father found fascinating.

Dailey and OHara Frank Hardy Copyright

Dan Dailey and Maureen O’Hara
Co-stars with Wayne in “Wings of Eagles”
Flying Southern Airways, Pensacola, 1950s
Photo: Frank Hardy Photo

Many of you might be too young to know Dan Dailey and Maureen O’Hara, so here’s a brief history of their captivating lives:

Dan Dailey:

  • Served in the United States Army during World War II as an Army officer
  • A frequent and favorite co-star of Betty Grable
  • Recorded four songs with the famous Andrews Sisters
  • Portrayed “Jughead” Carson in the movie Wings of Eagles with John Wayne
  • He was the first person to receive a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Musical or Comedy for his performance as the Governor in the TV sitcom “The Governor and J.J.” (1970s)
  • His sister was actress Irene Dailey, who starred in Another World

Maureen O’Hara:

  • Initially enrolled in business school to become a proficient bookkeeper and typist, which skills transferred into becoming John Ford‘s transcriber. (John Ford was a good friend of John Wayne.)
  • With her red hair and Irish roots, she was a bit of a spitfire, and spoke her truth, commenting once after a wild makeover for a movie set “If this is the movies, I want nothing to do with them!”
  • Her first major film was Jamaica Inn (1939) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • She had a wonderful soprano voice, and did guest appearances with Perry Como, Andy Williams, Betty Grable, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
  • Her third husband, Charles F. Blair, Jr. was a pioneer of transatlantic aviation, a former Brigadier General of the U.S. Air Force, and a former Chief Pilot at Pan Am.
  • When asked about John Wayne, she said:I was tough. I was tall. I was strong. I didn’t take any nonsense from anybody. He was tough, he was tall, he was strong and he didn’t take any nonsense from anybody. As a man and a human being, I adored him.”

John Wayne leaving plane Frank Hardy Copyright

“I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted,
and I won’t be laid a hand on.
I don’t do these things to other people,
and I require the same from them.”
– John Wayne quote from The Shootist (1976)

Photo: Frank Hardy Photo, Pensacola Airport, 1950s

Sometimes, the story behind the story of a movie, film, or work of art is actually more interesting than the production itself. My father thought so, and he always tried to capture the element of humanity that we, as non-celebrities, may forget about.

We’re all human, we all deserve to be treated with respect.

John Wayne was the epitome of a man who portrayed that type of individual.

All the best, Frank Hardy

Frank Hardy Behind Camera _ 5x5 _ RTP _BW _ SFW


Frank’s a second generation professional photographer living in Milton, Florida (across the bay from Pensacola).  He attended the University of West Florida and graduated on March 17, 1977–moving immediately into professional photography on March 18, 1977.

A quote: “I thought I would give it five years or so and then move onto something else, but 37 years later I’m still working in the business of photography…I went digital in 2002,  and I’ve really enjoyed working with the transition of the entire digital process.  I consider myself a portrait photographer (since I feel I’m a people person), but I’ve photographed anything and everything.”

Drop him a note at his website: CLICK HERE!

He’d love to hear from you.

[NOTE: All photos and text written in this post are the intellectual property of Frank Hardy. Please contact him for further information by clicking HERE.]

Featured Image -- 21752

Spontaneous Flight Around Vancouver


Love the angle of these shots! Check out Edgar’s website. – Deb

Originally posted on Edgar Bullon:

Compared to many other previous weekends of activities and trips. This weekend was very uneventful. The weather in Vancouver was rainy and didn’t allow me to go skydiving this weekend as was planned. So I have stayed indoors and in the gym the past couple of days. Yesterday the sky cleared up and I have decided to go on a spontaneous flight to build some flying hours. Altho my mind was on “vacation” yesterday, I forgot to bring various things like headsets to go flying, and I really didn’t feel like doing any thinking at all while I was flying. Not a great combination when going on a flight lol. But everything went fine. Here’s a few pics from last evenings flight:

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This Service Dog Flies


Ssgt. Leslie Wohlfeld is an expert at traveling with her Service Dog, Lizzy.

First, I must thank her for her years of service in our US Military–Leslie’s a Veteran of Desert Shield/Storm and a Combat Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom with duty in Afghanistan from 2003 – 2004.

Lizzy is an expert, too–at being a great Service Dog! Besides helping her mom out, she’s been to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a Miami Dolphins game, rode on an Amtrak train, and she’s also been to an Orlando Solar Bears hockey game! 

Stop by and say hi to Leslie and Lizzy at their website: CLICK HERE.  They are both warm and engaging, and I hope you learn something new!  Cheers, D

Lizzy in waiting area of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show==on duty!

Lizzy in waiting area of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show==on duty!

D:  Hi, Leslie! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I think it’ll help to educate the general public and those who aren’t around Service Dogs that much.

Leslie: Yes, I hope so! Thank you for having me on your blog.

D: Typically, airlines suggest you arrive for a flight at least 2 hours before a domestic flight is scheduled to leave, and 3-4 hours for an international flight.  Do you have to arrive sooner to the airport than the average traveler?

Leslie: I personally arrive about 2 hours before my flight. This gives us plenty of time to go through security and any business/bathroom breaks prior to boarding. I introduce myself and my Service Dog at the boarding gate and to the flight crew.

D:  What is your biggest obstacle when you arrive at the airport?

Leslie: Locating a business/bathroom relief area, and also having the staff/airport employees, and passengers wanting to pet/touch my Service Dog. 

Lizzy with an Amtrak employee.

Lizzy with an Amtrak employee.

D: How do you currently handle the issue of Lizzy going to the bathroom at an airport?

Leslie: I ensure Lizzy gets plenty of breaks prior to going through security. I also limit the amount of water she gets. Since we’ve been traveling for over 2 years by airplane, it was recommended not to feed her since we did not know if she would get sick on the airplane. Keeping that in mind, once we land at the destination, I give her plenty of water, and feed her–her missed meal. I find by traveling first thing in the morning, it makes the traveling easier for both of us.

D: Have you flown through an airport that had Service Animal relief areas? If so, what did you like/dislike? Which airport?

Leslie: Yes, we have flown through airports with dog relief areas. Generally they are clean, some with or without clean-up bags. Most are conveniently located at the baggage claim area. [NOTE: ALL AREAS ARE OUTSIDE THE SECURED AREA, SO YOU MUST GO THROUGH TSA SECURITY AGAIN.] 

She's my friend and there's nothing like those doggie kisses!

She’s my friend and there’s nothing like those doggie kisses!

Some of the airports we have flown through that have a designated dog relief area:


D: Most folks recommend you contact the airline prior to your flight. At what point in the reservation process do you need to do this? (Meaning, how many days prior?)

Leslie: US AIRWAYS has a box you complete for special accommodations–this will appear on the reservation. When I call, the airline representative will be aware of our (future) boarding.  Once I book my reservation online, I call the airlines immediately for seating and ensure Lizzy is indicated on the ticket as my Service Dog. JetBlue is also a great airline that we use.

Lizzy at a Dolphins game!

Lizzy at a Dolphins game!

D:  Have you ever worried that you might miss your flight because you needed to make sure Lizzy had gone to the bathroom?

Leslie: Yes, twice.  Once, we checked in at the ticket/baggage counter, proceeded to the TSA security, went through the screening, arrived at the gate, only to realize I forgot to take her for her business/bathroom break! We traversed the airport, headed to the dog relief area, and Lizzy did her business. Then, we started the TSA security process check all over again. 

Second, during a layover, I need to take her out (it was at CLT), and there weren’t many options to exit/enter for TSA security with regards to convenience to the gate and TSA security. 

Both times, we barely made our flight. 

Dolphins game! Woo hoo!

Dolphins game! Woo hoo!

D: Do you have alternative ways to help her when at the airport if there are no Service Animal relief areas? Some people might be worried about a cleanliness issue.

Leslie: This simply doesn’t happen! Due to our two week training program (prior to us graduating as a Service Dog Team), we were trained to bring clean up bags, water, and food with us during our field trips.  Lizzy was NOT trained to go on doggie pads nor the bathroom floor, so she simply won’t go. We go out of TSA security for her bathroom breaks, and proceed back through TSA security again.

D:  Are the employees at the airport helpful in assisting you?

Leslie:  Yes, most of the time. They will verbally direct us to the Service Animal relief areas. In the past, several airline employees have also assisted me in printing out the boarding pass[es], TSA staff on occasion will assist with carrying the bins to a bench, too.

Orlando hockey!

Orlando hockey!

D:  Do passengers help you or hinder you?

Leslie:  Most of the time, they are helpful. Several have, on occasion, assisted me with my overhead bag. One passenger gave up her extra space/paid seat for Lizzy and I. That was very nice!

D:  How do the flight attendants assist you?

Leslie: Typically, the flight attendants ask if Lizzy needs anything–water or ice–which Lizzy rarely takes. It’s as if she knows not to drink anything, because in 3-4 hours, it’ll be time for another business/bathroom break.

Hmmm...these are looking awfully good...

Hmmm…these are looking awfully good… must focus…I’ve got a job to do…

D:  Do you have any thoughts, suggestions, helpful information to share with the general public that will help us make your trip easier?

Leslie: Respect the sign on her harness, “DO NOT PET.” Do NOT approach a working Service Dog, as this only distracts them from their mission: to ensure the physical and/or mental safety of their handler.

D:  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for airlines to make your life easier?

Leslie:  Yes – during the online reservation process, include a drop down or a fill-in box to indicate you are traveling with a Service Dog.

Typical "gear" Lizzy wears

Typical “gear” Lizzy wears

D:  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions to make to DOT to make your flying easier?

Leslie:  Ensure all TSA staff and employees are knowledgeable in the laws regarding Service Dogs-they need to know what the exact procedures are regarding screening. For example, they should know that according to their website, we can go to the head of the line because of the extra time to process through the screening.

D:  Any other thoughts?

Leslie: When going through security, make sure the harness stays on the dog.  Usually, I place Lizzy in a “sit, down, stay” position, and I walk about 3 feet through the metal detector.  Lizzy stays in place right before the metal detector. Then, the TSA officer will pat her down (she likes this part!), check under her harness, swab the handle and off we go!

Naptime - one tired doggie and a friend

Naptime – one tired doggie and a friend

D: Thank you for your time, Leslie.   Safe travels to you and Lizzy!

Leslie: Thanks! And thank you again for letting me share my story.


sam_4820-e1373587051307lesliewohlfeld copyrighted ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi! My name is Leslie Wohlfeld, and I am a Veteran of Desert Shield/Storm and Combat Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom with duty in Afghanistan from 2003 – 2004.  During my retirement from the US Army, after 26 years of serving our country, my case manager recommended I get a Service Dog.

The case manager tells me the Service Dog can help me, because of my lower extremity injuries and PTSD. She can also help me pick up dropped objects, help me with mobility, and be there when I have nightmares.

Meet Lizzy, my service dog from ECAD’s: Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities.

Please join us in our adventures and journeys together as a Team on my website at COMBAT YID AND HER SERVICE DOG.

Lifetime member of: AMVETS, DAV, IAVA, JWV, VFW, WWP

–All photos and text written in this post are the intellectual property of Leslie Wohlford. If you are in need of further information, please contact her through her website: CLICK HERE.