Tuesday, October 27, 2009

so sayeth Amelia

Here are two quotes from Amelia.

"Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others."

"[Women] must pay for everything.... They do get more glory than men for comparable feats. But, also, women get more notoriety when they crash."

This morning I spent my time reading acrimonious discussions, their focus what happened to Amelia? Was she captured by the Japanese and freed, living out the rest of her life under an assumed name? Did she crash at sea and die on impact? Did she and Fred make land and starve to death waiting for rescue? Did her plane go down in Papua New Guinea, the wreckage hidden by the jungle all these years? These and other theories have their proponents. All are concerned with what went so wrong and where the wreckage got to. It was timing that made her famous. And her partnership with Putnam helped make her notoriety last. Certainly Amelia wasn't the best female pilot around, or even the first to do much of what she did. Bessie Coleman faced many more obstacles, years earlier. Bessie was the first African American to become a licensed pilot and the first American to hold an international pilot's license. She died when her plane went into a stall, a mechanic had left a wrench inside the engine.

If the mystery of Amelia's disappearance is solved, will she fade from public consciousness? Is this the only reason we care about her, the not knowing? I certainly hope there's more to it than this . . .there is for me. We all die. It's how we live that matters.

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