This is my mother's most recent photo, taken in 2004 not very long before she died.|
Her fascination with flight is illustrated as behind her is a photo of a plane in flight and two plastic models of planes. On one I can make out the brand TWA, and I believe the one in the photo is of that type. (Or does that more accurately refer to the airline and not the type of plane?)
Anyway, she has a bright and alert expression, and that is a joy. She had full mental capacity until the day of her passing and she didn't suffer long.
The following is another rememberance which illustrates my mother's love of air planes:
A Recollection of my Mother
From my journal, March 7, 1999
We spent part of our weekend recreation doing something we'd not likely do on our own initiative. My Mother, who is nuts about planes, had learned of an antique plane show right here in Casa Grande. She begged me to go and take pictures. So this morning, after Laura and Julia finished the last of their forty bowshooting targets, we rushed over to the airport, before the storm came.
The propeller of this midget plane was perhaps only one yard (one meter) wide.
The thing she most wanted me to see was a yellow piper cub.
My Mother even sent a letter with a tiny picture of one that she'd clipped out of a magazine. This plane, built from 1939-1947, was piloted by a cousin only three months younger than she was. He hoped to win a $10,000 prize during a midget plane race, which he'd use for further airline pilot training.
But he crashed when both wings of his tiny craft collapsed as he rounded a pylon during the race. Pulled lifeless from the wreckage, he'd only just turned twenty-one one month earlier.
(from my Mother's letter ):
"I drove my first car, a thirteen year old 1937 Ford Convertible Coupe (which would be worth a bunch now - only 375 made)
by myself without a driver's license yet, for his funeral and burial. I felt so bad about him getting killed. His coffin was closed at the funeral with just his picture on top. At the cemetary during the burial his flying buddies flew the missing V pattern overhead, a V with a spot left open for their fallen friend, which still chokes me up when I think about it. So you can see why yellow Cubs, airplanes and V's mean a lot to me.
Benny and I went to Forest Home Cemetary in Forest Park (near Chicago)) in 1996 to find his grave and take pictures of the gravesite. It all came back to me like it was August 1950 again."