Spotlight on… Harry Frahm


Children growing up and young adults coming of age as WWII ended were experiencing a world of emerging technology and expanding horizons, from air travel to television and more. During these exciting times, one such young man, Harry Frahm, began his 33 year career (in 1955) first at the ticket counter and then as a flight attendant with Pan American Airlines. What a great way to experience the world, flying across oceans and continents, and meeting people from all walks of life.

It seems that Harry is a person who “makes things happen.” In 1952 Harry married his childhood sweetheart, the lovely Liz, who passed away just 3 months shy of their 60th wedding anniversary several years ago. In 1955 he began working for Pan Am selling tickets for flights in downtown Hamburg, Germany. When he was assigned to screen candidates for stewardess interviews, Harry scheduled himself into one of the time slots.

At that time, the job called for only women to be interviewed, but he broke through the barrier with some smooth logic in a great interview. Two weeks later he was hired as a Steward and later promoted to Purser. Harry flew out of Hamburg for two years, moving across the water to New York in 1957. In 1967 Harry’s wife visited Miami on a layover and called him in New York very excited about how great it was in Miami. He joined her for a week of vacation and they decided then and there to move to Miami. They eventually settled in Sunny Isles Beach in the 1970s, where he still resides.

Harry’s retirement from Pan Am did not slow him down, he is a whirlwind of activity. He still is the one that “makes things happen.” Recently, as Vice President for Pan Am World Wings, Miami Chapter, he has been touring with the authentic old time Pan Am uniforms to various events. He continues to cut a dashing figure in the vintage Pan Am Steward suit.

The organization works with WWII veteran organizations, recently greeting WWII veterans returning from Washington D.C. to Opa Locka Airport. The Pan Am World Wings performs community outreach in many ways including visiting patients in hospitals and working with the FAA, the United States Coast Guard (USCG), aviation professionals and enthusiasts on the annual two-day South Florida Air and Aerospace Expo and Fly-In event at the Opa-Locka Executive Airport. The event offers participants the opportunity to become fully immersed in the aviation experience with hands-on flight learning simulators, discovery flights and interaction with leaders in the South Florida industry and community leaders. Pan Am World Wings members in uniform represent those aviation professionals and have donated flights over Miami for underprivileged children.

Harry’s career and experiences are the subject of his book, Above and Below the Clouds: Observations published in 2011 in the German language and in 2013 in English. He continues to offer to help others and to share his knowledge of aviation history from the flight attendant’s point of view. He is also an active member of the German-American Society of Hollywood, Florida. You may recognize him from the Where in the World column in Community Newspaper. He has been a regular photographic contributor to the SIB Photo Contest (deadline this year October 12). Harry is a Sunny Isles Beach resident with a unique skillset, who is not shy about spreading his knowledge, and is always willing to help others. He is a very generous man, giving time and talent, and inspiring all who come in contact with him.

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