NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

CNHI Special Projects

September 6, 2011

Computer glitch kept flight attendant off 9/11 plane

Stewardess: 'God has plans for me'

(Continued)

SALEM, N.H. —

“Both of them kept saying ‘I just don’t feel like flying tomorrow.’ Both were trying to get off of it,” Currao said. “I was trying to trade to be on that flight. But they were trying to drop theirs."

Currao said “The Fly Gals” club was started after she attended the funeral of flight attendant Karen Martin, 40, of Danvers, Mass., killed on Flight 11. She said the purpose was to maintain a sense of normalcy in the lives of other flight attendants —“to grasp onto something stable when you’re feeling emotionally unstable … sharing our raw anguish and raw emotions — things that we understood, but that the outside world would have a problem understanding. We met out of a sense of unity and a desire to hold onto something sacred together. We get together once a month.”

Family and friends have always been important to Currao, though she wondered whether she would ever settle down. “I was always a free spirit and ultra-independent. I really didn’t need anybody. I was very nomadic and loved it,” she said.

But 9/11 made her more reflective, she said, “reorganized my way of thinking. I realized I did have it in me to get married and have children, and perhaps part of me always wanted that.”

She got engaged in April 2002, and the former Cheryl Thurrott married Giovanni Currao, now 56, an Italian immigrant, a year later. She retired from American Airlines in 2007 for health reasons. Today, she and her husband are co-owners of a hair salon and spa. They have two daughters, Alexa, 7, and Kara, 2.

Some other things changed, too. Her mother, Beverly Thurrott, now 66, is in remission from her cancer, and Cheryl volunteers for groups that help the poor and unfortunate.

Currao said she will pray for the victims of 9/11 and their families on the 10th anniversary of the attack.

“It makes you realize, what you have today in the here and now, you have to be thankful for and appreciate,” said Currao. “You can never assume tomorrow that you are going to awaken. If you have dreams, you need to pursue them. If you love somebody, you need to tell them."

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Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

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