Saturday, February 23, 2008

Karl 'Mr. Republic' Mercer

In our fifth posting of North Central Airlines employee histories and stories, I'm pleased to add Karl 'Mr. Republic' Mercer to our ranks! Karl had viewed the blog before and was very helpful in participating and sharing his stories and history with us!

Karl began his lifelong career with North Central in 1960 as a Passenger Service Agent based in ORD. He later married another NCA employee and moved to GRR for 2 years before again moving, this time to DTW, where he would retire in June of 2003. 43 years service! As Karl states, 'I was the top Senior Passenger Service Agent at DTW...worked and loved those Convairs!' He goes on, 'Almost every passenger was upset when they had to make the walk down the famous Ho Che Minh Trail to get to the G Concourse. After working many of the problems out, it was such a good feeling knowing you had a hand in making NC/RC the great airlines they were.'

I asked Karl if there were any bad memories he had about the airlines to which he replied, '...knowing that after we became NWA, I was only a number and my ideas would fall by the way side.'

On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being excellent, how would he rate his career with NC/RC? 'A 9.'

'In retirement, I try to attend church daily and work out at the YMCA. I also like to spend my IRA money! I also love playing golf and really enjoy not setting my alarm clock for 3:30am!

Also, after retirement, a small group of retirees meet once a month for lunch and we sure can tell stories/memories and it's a great way to stay in touch with those you enjoyed working with. ' Karl attached a few of the luncheon photos for us as well.

'I forgot to mention in one of the photos taken at our luncheons is retired Capt. Warren Branscomb of DTW...his brother Larry also flew for the Duck. Warren was the only pilot who let me ride the jump seat of the Convair while on a scenic flight over DTW. We used to have those Scenic Flights for a group of kids on Saturdays and since I served in the National Guard, and in the riot of DTW, he allowed me in the seat. One particular flight was right after the riot.'

Karl wanted to let everyone know that their DTW luncheons at Haab's are once a month, usually in the middle of the month and that all are welcome! I've been invited as well and it's sure a temptation to hope a flight to hear more stories!!! Thank you Karl 'Mr. Republic''ve sure earned your moniker. :)

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