Warm thanks to those who helped: To Jeffrey and Judie Klein for their bracing but loving advice on a misty first draft; to Todd Gitlin for unfolding and hanging out my ideas with me; to Anne Machung for her support and wondrous line-by-line work in red ink; and to Ann Swidler who has shown me over the years the joys of an easy weave between personal friendship and intellectual life. To Mike Ro – gin, who over the years has probed my thinking and pointed to ellipses in it, even while mopping up spilt lemonade or tying children’s shoelaces at the zoo. To Neil Smelser, onetime teacher and long-time friend, for an enormously helpful twenty-page commentary on an early draft. To Rusty Si – monds for incisive help, and to Metta Spencer, for her commitment to the ideas and her skill at playing the devil’s advocate. And thanks to Joanne Costello and Jezra Kaen for early research assistance, and to Steve Hetzler and Rachael Volberg for help later on. For careful typing, my thanks to Pat Fabrizio, Francisco Medina, and Sammie Lee.
My brother, Paul Russell, has taught me a great deal about emotion one way and another. I cherish his kindness and deep intellectual engagement. It continually amazes me that two people from the same family, both interested in emotion can have such different things to say about it. Yet, I have learned a great deal from his thinking—some of which is to be found in his papers listed in the Appendix. I’m also grateful to Aaron Cicourel and Lillian Rubin, who pushed for revisions when I thought I was finished but wasn’t. And what can I say about Gene Tanke? His editing was brilliant. My only regret is that we had to exclude that additional appendix he proposed of observations and quotes “that just wouldn’t fit.”
I feel very indebted to the many flight attendants and bill collectors who shared their time, their experience, their meetings, and their homes with me. I want to thank those in charge at Delta Airlines, who allowed me into their world in the faith that I meant well. In particular, I want to thank Mary Ruth Ralph, the head of Delta’s Stewardess Training Center; she may not agree with everything I have written, but this book is written in honor of her and those she trains. My special thanks also to Betsy Graham, for the late-night taping sessions, the network of friends she opened up for me, and the three boxes of notes and mementos, which still grace my closet floor.
I owe most to my husband Adam, who took to peering behind airline ticket counters to see what notices companies posted for their agents, who endlessly listened, and at each draft scoured my prose. Among his comments, my favorite is a picture he drew in the margin of an early draft, beside the phrase “shroud of salient ambiguity.” It showed a ghost (as ambiguity) in a hill of straw (as salience); a tiny figure sailing through this ghost-in-the-hill, labeled “salientee.” The phrase is gone, but the image of the “salientee” sailing across the page, the love and the laughs are with me still. My eleven-year old son David also read most of the typescript and tagged more than one elephantine phrase with the comment, “Sorry, Mom, I don’t speak Martian.” I love them and thank them both very much. And thanks to Gabriel, who can help next time.