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Your Stories: Airport Couple | Community Spirit

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Your Stories: Airport Couple

When you head to McGhee Tyson Airport, chances are you are busy checking your bags and rushing to your gate. But working behind the scenes to make your experience as pleasant as possible is a sweet married couple. They are as passionate about each other as they are their job.

Travelers bustling through a busy airport and in the middle of it all, you will find the Hensleys, a couple who both work at the airport.

One who cleans and shines. Jim Hensley is a custodian. "I just love the work I do. I am a conscientious person and I just being love around people," says Jim.

One who meets and greets. "We give all kinds of information, whatever they need, where they're going, things to do," says Tresa Hensley.

Jim and Tresa have been married 46 years, but they got off to a rocky start.

"I stood her up the first night. That wasn't too good, too smart," says Jim.

"I gave him a second chance and I'm glad I did," says Tresa.

Jim has been in the flight industry for a large part of his life. He started in 1977 working for Howard Hughes.

"It was called Top Banana of the West," says Jim.

He loved his job and had great respect for Hughes.

"He was very soft-spoken, very gentle person and he didn't flaunt his money. He had a lot of money. You wouldn't know it. He walked around in bib overalls," says Jim.

Through the years he stayed with the airline through several buyouts and mergers doing just about every job in the place.

"I did catering. I did de-icing aircraft. I did baggage. I did it all. The only thing I didn't do was in tickets. I didn't do tickets," says Jim.

He even got to meet Former President George Bush Senior when Air Force One landed at his home airport.

"He took me up showed me through the aircraft," says Jim.

After decades, he retired and he and Tresa moved here to East Tennessee.

"I always said when I was a young man, I will move to Tennessee one day," says Jim.

His retirement was short-lived. Just a few months later, McGhee Tyson came calling.

"I don't want to quit. I wanted to retire, but I feel like if I retire I'm just going to sit around and disintegrate . It's better for me to keep on going," says Jim.

And this time, Tresa followed suit.

"I just love it. I love to be with the people. I'm a people person. I just love it. Makes my day," says Jim.

And this duo gets to meet a host of celebrity travelers.

"I met Paris Hilton," says Tresa. "I met Paula Deen, The Beach Boys."

Jim and Tresa Hensley. They love their airport family here in East Tennessee.

"I love working at this airport and the people are wonderful," says Jim.

One of Your Stories. There's no place like this one.




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