George Connors



Rags to Riches - In the mid ‘50s, I was working as an adjuster for the Home Insurance Company in downtown Manhattan, when I was drafted into the Army. Upon returning from Germany after two years, I went back to the Home and was promoted to Claims Examiner. However, within nine months, I knew this wasn’t the career I wanted.

I put in an application for the Port Authority and was hired as a “temp” in Maintenance at N.Y. International Airport, commonly referred to as Idlewild and today known as JFK. I was assigned to the Gardening Department and given a green uniform. For the next six months, I dug more holes planting pine trees along the Van Wyck entranceway than foxholes in my years of Army service! I was made a “permanent” and given a “Cadillac” (a garbage pail on wheels with a broom and shovel). I was assigned to keep the floors clean in the old Temporary Terminal Building, which was used by almost all the domestic airlines at the time. In those years, you started at the bottom.

“Good Lord…What was I thinking when I left the insurance company?”
I remember putting on a fake mustache and an Elmer Fudd hat pulled down over my ears so that no one I knew would recognize me. Finally, I got a promotion into the Operations Unit as a Sound Monitor. It seemed that whenever the P.M.S. (Permanent Monitoring System) went down and I had to go mobile in an airport van to a remote site, it was always to Howard Beach (John Gotti territory) on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon! We were pelted with cans and bottles and cursed at: “You’re ruining our lives! We can’t watch soccer or ballgames on TV or have barbecues. Change that runway or else!”
Again, what was I thinking?

Well, the years went on and my career evolved. Many promotions and different jobs, until I finally left JFK in 1970 for LGA. I spent the next 25 years in Operations and the last eight years as Operations’ Chief. During this time, I was fortunately able to meet presidents, movie stars, sports celebrities and a POPE! What a career!

But I saved the best for last.
My future wife was returning home from a vacation in Hilton Head, S.C. and was having a drink in one of the airport lounges, waiting for her family to pick her up. Well, she got picked up…by ME! We were married three months later!

So, thank you LGA, for everything. And thank you “Mother PONYA” for a great and rewarding 37-year career, a terrific retirement and an incredible medical plan.
Best decision I ever made.

Former Chief of Operations (1987-1995) LaGuardia (1970-95)



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