Dear Amelia Earhart

August 1986


Dear Ms. Earhart,

It’s really going to happen. I’m going away for college.

Our white Cutlass Supreme is packed to the hilt, and my entire family is out on the driveway, including my grandparents from England. It’s a beautiful morning, luckily, because my parents are determined to take photos to document this epic moment. But for me it still feels like any other day, except for the fact that just about every item I own is packed in the Cutlass. Everyone took a turn taking a picture with me. Mom and me. Dad and me. Mom, dad and me. (My brother is absent like usual; he claims to be a vampire and wouldn’t show up on film anyway.) A couple of snapshots with my friend from down the street and then, finally, pictures with my grandparents. My grandfather hugged me so tight and said how proud he was of me for just graduating high school––he only made it to the fifth grade before he had to leave school and go to work to help support his brothers and sisters. He said he had no idea where I found the courage to go away from home and attempt this lofty adventure. My grandma smiled and wished me luck, but as she kissed my cheek, she whispered in my ear that it wasn’t really appropriate for girls to leave their families without a proposal for marriage. She asked what man wants a wife who is traveling about and never around to take care of him and his children. Her words choked me up a little, since I was raised in a family with mixed messages. Some saying girls and boys are equal and the other side entrenched in old world values. Her words struck a nerve because deep down I wasn’t sure all this women can do anything business is true. All the adult women I know are married with children. Is grandma right? Am I destined to never marry and be childless? (I really like children; I’ve babysat for as long as I can remember.) Did you have a family, Ms. Earhart? If so, how did you find a husband who could manage while you were flying your trips? Another dilemma for another day, I guess. For now, I’m about to jump out of my skin with excitement. In seventeen hours and eleven minutes, I’ll have my feet buried in sand and my eyes turned to the sky, and be first in line to fly airplanes.

Daytona or Bust.


A future fly girl







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