Supervising the skies to running a family of nine
By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Mamie Black
The Village at Castle Pines resident Mamie Black spent 20 years as an airline purser, working exclusively on international flights. These days, she shuttles her children around town instead of supervising flight attendants over the ocean.
Black and her husband, Brent, have seven children ranging from age 6 to early 20s, with five still at living at home. With one college graduate, one college student, two in high school and three in elementary school, Black has her hands full. She is understatedly positive and grateful for her years home with her kids. “I was lucky enough to be able to stay home and be there for all the concerts, recitals and new skills learned!”
Additionally, Black enumerated an activity list that any parent might recognize: “hockey, Young Life, basketball, marching band, bible study, Civil Air Patrol, ballet, gymnastics, theater programs, choir, lacrosse (she coached), religious education, tutoring, chauffeuring kids to their jobs, and swim team.” Unsaid are all the other aspects of parenthood: cheerleader, mentor, therapist, triage nurse, coach, cook, disciplinarian, advocate, janitor, confidant and friend.
Growing up on the water on Long Island, Black learned to swim at age two. She lifeguarded, taught swimming lessons and was a springboard diver. While never participating in swim team herself, it has been a good fit for her kids. Black currently volunteers as the parent rep for The Village Stingrays swim team. In this position, she is the president of the swim board. “Our family has loved the community building of our swim team. Stingrays is a fabulous way for neighborhood kids to get to know each other and connect even if they go to different schools.”
Having lived in Douglas County for more than 20 years, the Black family can’t imagine living anywhere else. They settled in the Knightsbridge neighborhood of (then) Castle Pines North in 2008, and when they outgrew that home, they gained more space when they moved to a home located in the Village in 2013. “We love everything about Castle Pines and the Village, the trees, trails, people and community events. We cannot imagine not living here!” exclaimed Black.
Interested in community and church events, the Black family attend both Cherry Hills Community Church and Pax Christi. Black attends a neighborhood Bible study group, book club and Bunco.
Brent is a captain for United Airlines; travel (often last minute with stand-by tickets) is a huge part of life for the Black family. This past year has curbed some of their usual travel, but they still figured out how to visit family all over the country. They also enjoy skiing as a family. They unwind at their home in Westcliffe, Colorado. Westcliffe is a refuge from media and technology, where the family unplugs and plays games together.