EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE UPDATE: YES SIR! Mr. President
OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Howie Franklin, one of our Extraordinary People of the Week has just released a new book of his adventures. It’s called “YES SIR! Mr. President”.
Here’s the story we did on him earlier this year…..
Imagine you’re on Air Force One and standing in line at the employee bathroom. Right next to you is a Secretary of State and a few Presidents of the United States.
That is a true story experienced by Howie Franklin, our Extraordinary Person of the Week.
“I have President Carter in the crew bathroom,” Franklin said as he described one of the most memorable moments aboard Air Force One. “President Ford standing in line for the crew bathroom, I mean, this is a moment in history. The next thing you know, here comes Henry Kissinger. So now I have Henry Kissinger, President Ford, President Carter in the bathroom, standing in line for the crew bathroom, not the executive bathroom.”
To say Franklin has some unique stories to tell would be a mile-high understatement.
“Now think of it,” Franklin said, “I’ve got Dr. Kissinger, as I said, President Ford, President Carter in the the bathroom, and next thing you know, here comes Richard Nixon.”
It’s one of many true stories of VIP proportions this former Air Force One flight steward lived.
“That was taken two years after he left office,” Franklin said of a picture of him with President Ronald Reagan.
Reagan is one of five Presidents Franklin worked for. Franklin says President Reagan loved his way with words and was a big fan of his storytelling.
“I came in there (Reagan’s dining room on Air Force One), and he says, ‘Howie, tell him the story about how I got this napkin,'” Franklin recalled.
The napkin was part of Howie’s personal creation. President Ford, President Carter, President Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton all knew Franklin as an Air Force One flight steward, and he was chief steward for President Bush and Clinton.
“With some presidents, we were so successful we couldn’t get them off the airplanes,” Franklin joked.
His job over about 18 years was to keep Air Force One professional but comfortable for the commander-in-chief. It was a job he took very seriously.
“So we run a hotel that travels the world,” he said, “and you’re in a position to always embarrass the country and president on the scene, off the scene, on the job, off the job.”
Now Franklin runs the Cape Fear Regional Jetport at Howie Franklin field in Oak Island, where his amazing career lives on.
“The stories never stop,” joked Kurt Blaha, who works at the jetport. “I’ve been here two years and I haven’t heard the same story twice.”
Franklin replied, “He double checks me! This morning I told him something, he Googled it, said, ‘You know, you are right!'”
Right on, Howie Franklin! Being the go-to guy on Air Force One for five sitting presidents isn’t just a remarkable career, it’s an extraordinary one for an extraordinary guy!
You can check out Howie’s website if you’d like to read more about him.
Check out Howie’s new book, ‘Yes Sir! Mr. President’. You can get a copy by clicking here.
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