Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Amelia Earhart

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in the library. While I enjoyed reading all kinds of books, I especially liked reading biographies. And one of my favorite subjects was Amelia Earhart.
...now and then women should do for themselves what men have already done - occasionally what men have not done--thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action. Some such consideration was a contributing reason for my wanting to do what I so much wanted to do.
I was fascinated at her bravery, her determination, her verve. At the time, I didn't like to spend the night away from home, so her ability to fly solo off into the nearly-unknown made me a bit weak in the knees. And the thought of her crashing onto a remote island (or worse, into the ocean), was almost too much for me to bear thinking about.
One of my favorite phobias is that girls, especially those whose tastes aren't routine, often don't get a fair break... It has come down through the generations, an inheritance of age-old customs which produced the corollary that women are bred to timidity.
As I grew older, and learned even more about her life, I was even more impressed. And inspired. She was a true trailblazer. I like to imagine what kind of spirit was required to break so many records and turn social convention on its head like she did, repeatedly. She knew she was making a path for other women to follow in. How did that affect her? She was born before World War I. Before the Wright brothers had completed their first flight. Before women could vote. What an exciting time that must have been!
My ambition is to have this wonderful gift produce practical results for the future of commercial flying and for the women who may want to fly tomorrow's planes. 

I can't help but wonder what would she have gone on to do with her life, had she been successful on her last voyage. Would she have truly retired into private life? Would she have continued to be an advocate for women in flight? Would she have come up with a brilliant new passion to follow?

We'll never know for sure, of course. But it's comforting to me to know that these many years later, she is still an evocative figure.

Happy Birthday Amelia Earhart!


  1. Google honoring Amelia Earhart an American aviation pioneer on her 115th Birthday with special doodle.

    1. I saw that last night when I was working on this. It made me very very happy!