FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

 

With graduation season upon us I thought I would share with you one of my favorite writer’s commencement address.  Anna Quindlen writes with heart and this address is a perfect example of her character and personality.

 

Anna Quindlen’s Commencement Address at Villanova

The following is from Pulitzer Prize winning author Anna Quindlen’s commencement address to Villanova University, Friday 23 June 2000:

It’s a great honor for me to be the third member of my family to receive an honorary doctorate from this great university. It’s an honor to follow my great-uncle Jim, who was a gifted physician, and my Uncle Jack, who is a remarkable businessman. Both of them could have told you something important about their professions, about medicine or commerce.

I have no specialized field of interest or expertise, which puts me at a disadvantage, talking to you today. I’m a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.

Don’t ever forget what a friend once wrote Senator Paul Tsongas when the senator decided not to run for reelection because he’d been diagnosed with cancer: “No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time in the office.” Don’t ever forget the words my father sent me on a postcard last year: “If you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.” Or what John Lennon wrote before he was gunned down in the driveway of the Dakota: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

You walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your minds, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen, I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

I would be rotten, or at best mediocre at my job, if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

So here is what I wanted to tell you today:

Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous.

Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night.

And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Once in a while take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister.

All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives: our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of the azaleas, the sheen of the limestone on Fifth Avenue, the color of our kid’s eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of live. I learned to live many years ago.

Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be the hardest lesson of all. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back because I believed in it completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this:

Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby’s ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness because if you do you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.

Well, you can learn all those things, out there, if you get a life, a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too, a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Here you could learn in the classroom. There the classroom is everywhere. The exam comes at the very end. No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office. I found one of my best teachers on the boardwalk at Coney Island maybe 15 years ago. It was December, and I was doing a story about how the homeless survive in the winter months.

He and I sat on the edge of the wooden supports, dangling our feet over the side, and he told me about his schedule; panhandling the boulevard when the summer crowds were gone, sleeping in a church when the temperature went below freezing, hiding from the police amidst the Tilt a Whirl and the Cyclone and some of the other seasonal rides. But he told me that most of the time he stayed on the boardwalk, facing the water, just the way we were sitting now even when it got cold and he had to wear his newspapers after he read them.

And I asked him why. Why didn’t he go to one of the shelters? Why didn’t he check himself into the hospital for detox? And he just stared out at the ocean and said, “Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view.”

And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. And that’s the last thing I have to tell you today, words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. You’ll never be disappointed.

ANNA QUINDLEN YOU ROCK!

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FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018


“We can have feminist icons, but the real heroines are just quietly doing what is needed.”  Osyth

I love to cook and I am an avid reader of various cooking sites.  One of this sites is Cooking which is the New York Times site.  For me reading about the James Beard Awards is mandatory.  I was richly rewarded by this article written about this year’s award winner for Best Pastry Chef.  And to “sweeten” the pot, I am also attaching her award winning recipe.  Enjoy!

An Alabama Chef and Her Beloved Desserts Hit the Big Time

Dolester Miles, who was named Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in May, has worked for more than 30 years at the Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Ala.Bob Miller for The New York Times

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Dolester Miles bought a pair of black slacks and a sequined blouse to wear to the James Beard Foundation awards ceremony in Chicago this month. She wanted to look nice, even though she didn’t think she was going to be chosen pastry chef of the year.

She was up against some heavy hitters. There was Margarita Manzke, whose desserts at the bistro République were declared “terrific” by Jonathan Gold in The Los Angeles Times, and Meg Galus of Boka in Chicago, whose recipes made use of toasted milk and the funk of fermented black lime.

Why in the world would the 600 or so Beard Foundation voters pick a self-taught, 61-year-old cook from a small steel-making town who has spent the past 30 years making Southern-influenced desserts for the same Alabama restaurant?

Ms. Miles, who prefers you just call her Dol, had been nominated twice before, so she was used to losing. So was Frank Stitt, who had hired her 36 years ago to make salads at the Highlands Bar & Grill. For the 10th time, his place was up for restaurant of the year.

Instead of planning acceptance speeches, the team from Alabama used the trip as a nice break. The night of the awards, Ms. Miles put on her new outfit, slipped on a favorite pair of earrings (she has a thing for earrings) and took a seat in the Lyric Opera House. When her category came up, she was as calm as a cat. “I’m waiting for them to call out one of the other names,” she recalled during an interview here in Birmingham.

Instead, she heard hers. “At first I couldn’t move. I was just in disbelief,” she said. She made it to the stage somehow, barely holding back tears. She thanked the Beard voters. She thanked Frank Stitt and his wife, Pardis, and her pastry crew back home, adding, “That’s all I got to say.” She was done in less than 30 seconds.

The win, along with the Highlands’ victory as restaurant of the year, was part of a sweeping adjustment to the Beard Foundation lens. More women and minorities won this year than ever before, and many of them weren’t from the kinds of restaurants that get a lot of media attention.

Many diners have come to know Ms. Miles by way of her pecan coconut cake, which has a rich filling made from sweetened condensed milk, egg and coconut. She makes it and all the desserts for Frank Stitt’s three Birmingham restaurants in the kitchen of Bottega, his Italian place.Bob Miller for The New York Times

The radical shift was rooted in a cultural moment. The restaurant business is reckoning with issues of gender and race in unprecedented ways. To be sure, there has been plenty of debate over whether this year’s awards were an anomaly driven by social pressure or the start of an enduring shift in what the James Beard officials — and perhaps diners — consider the elements of a great restaurant.

Still, amid all the hand-wringing over politics and privilege, it was Ms. Miles’s win that somehow captured hearts. In her own small way, she was like Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, at the royal wedding: a secondary character in a larger, predominantly white narrative who emerged as an African-American beacon.

“Her honor acknowledges and celebrates generations of restaurant and home cooks whose recipes got lost in the their employers’ brands,” said Toni Tipton-Martin, a food journalist whose 2015 book, “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African-American Cookbooks,” explored the history of black cooks in America.

Bill Addison is the national restaurant critic for the website Eater and the chairman of the Beard Foundation’s restaurant-award committee, which develops the list of nominees but doesn’t know the winners until the ceremony. That night in Chicago, he said, he cried “big, salty tears” when he heard Ms. Miles’s name.

Mr. Addison was moved because his committee’s effort to put forth a more diverse slate of candidates had paid off, and also because he, himself a former pastry chef, loves Ms. Miles’s peach cobbler with a passion that borders on fanaticism.

“You don’t understand,” he said. “It’s the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had. All of her cobblers are great, but the peach is the one that makes my soul burst into four-part harmony.”

John T. Edge, the food writer and historian who directs the Southern Foodways Alliance, has long been a devoted fan, too. Like many, he came to know Ms. Miles by way of her coconut pecan cake, a rich cousin of a traditional Southern coconut cake, dressed up in Chantilly cream frosting.

Ms. Miles prefers the tang of citrus desserts like this lemon meringue tart, a recipe she learned from her aunt.Bob Miller for The New York Times

Although she now is making 60 a week — double what she made before the award — it is by no means her favorite dessert. She prefers something with the tang of citrus, like her lemon meringue tart. But she doesn’t eat many sweets. She was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago, and does her best to consume them judiciously.

Mr. Edge holds Ms. Miles in high regard for her ability to be thoroughly modern with some desserts but also to reach back into African-American baking traditions and bring forth impeccable renditions of classic Southern cakes and pies. “She has to meet the standards of a diner’s grandmother,” he said. “But Dol also meets the expectation of the fine-dining customer. That straddle is hard to manage.”

Ms. Miles was taught to bake by her mother, Cora Mae Miles, who died five years ago, and her aunt, Queen Ester Harris, 85, who spent a career cooking at the high school cafeteria in Bessemer, a small town about 15 miles southwest of Birmingham whose nearby iron and steel plants once pulled many African-American families into the middle class.

Mrs. Harris is the kind of woman who might make nine cakes at a time and deliver them to people in nursing homes. It was a good birthday if you got one of her cakes.

Her brown sugar poundcake was a favorite when Ms. Miles was growing up. Unlike a cadre of Southern women who find power in refusing to share a recipe, Mrs. Harris was always generous with her knowledge.

“I didn’t mind showing nobody how to cook anything,” she said in a phone interview. “It was a joy.”

Ms. Miles, the youngest of five children and always a hard worker, was an eager student. “Everything that tastes good, she was interested in it,” Mrs. Harris said. (Ms. Miles recalls it more as an interest in getting to the spatula and the beaters before her cousins.)

Family being family, Ms. Miles did not escape some teasing when word of the award made it to Bessemer.

Frank and Pardis Stitt traveled with Ms. Miles to Chicago to attend the James Beard awards. The couple’s Highlands Bar & Grill was named Outstanding Restaurant.Bob Miller for The New York Times

“I said, ‘I’d accept it if you said you were the best in Birmingham, but not America,’” her aunt said. A cousin took it one step further: She looked online and saw how much Ms. Miles’s desserts sold for at the restaurants.

“She said she is going over to eat one of them $9 slices of cake because she wanted to know what does a $9 slice of cake taste like,” Mrs. Harris added.

Ms. Miles didn’t plan on a cooking career. After high school, she headed to college to study computer science, but came home to have a baby. (Her daughter, LaToya Phillips, now grown and with two children of her own, traveled to Chicago to support her mother at the awards ceremony.)

One day in 1982, Ms. Miles heard about a new restaurant that a young chef named Frank Stitt was opening in Birmingham’s progressive Southside neighborhood.

Mr. Stitt had left the South to pursue an education that took him to Tufts University, the University of California, Berkeley, and eventually France, working as the food writer Richard Olney’s assistant. Mr. Stitt, who is white, came home and started something that would change the face of Birmingham.

“Frank was a son of the gentry and a son of the country and a socially aware Southerner who left the South and returned with a new perspective,” Mr. Edge said. “When he began that restaurant, he invested in African-Americans in and around Birmingham, and those investments from long ago are now yielding some national recognition.”

All Ms. Miles knew was that something big was happening and she wanted to be a part of it from the moment she met him. “If you talk to him you’re like, oh my God, you’ve got to go work for him, you’ve got to get in on that,” she said. “He’s so excited even by a little piece of garlic or a piece of ginger.”

She started as the pantry chef. She and Mr. Stitt still laugh about the early days, when he would send her to the store for leeks and she had no idea what she was looking for, or how he urged her to taste arugula and watercress.

“I am like, ‘This looks like some weeds or something,’” she said. “He’d turn his back and I’d throw it in the trash and he’d ask how was that and I’d say, ‘Oh that was great.’ But now I love that kind of stuff.”

He soon recognized her talent with butter and sugar. Over the years, she has learned to interpret Mr. Stitt’s unwavering devotion to seasonality and his vision for the kinds of desserts he wants at each of his restaurants: a provincial French approach at his Chez Fonfon, Italian sweets at Bottega and elevated Southern offerings for the Highlands Bar & Grill.

As a result, she can toggle from chocolate pots de crème to polenta poundcake tiramisù to blueberry cobbler with ease.

Some of it is just managing Mr. Stitt, who on a recent Monday came into the pastry kitchen with a page torn out of a hospitality magazine showing off a dessert inspired by Italy’s Friuli region. He liked the way it had been plated, in a dramatic horizontal stripe peppered with pistachios and kumquat slices.

“Maybe we could do that with strawberries,” she said.

“Or peaches,” he countered.

She comes up with her own ideas, too. She reads cookbooks, and found inspiration in the royal wedding. She got up at 6 a.m. to watch the whole thing, and made special note of the wedding cake — a spongecake stunner with elderflower syrup and a curd filling made from Amalfi Coast lemons.

“I might have to try something like that,” she said.

But don’t expect her to make a big deal about her work. Ms. Miles is so shy that she acquiesced to her first interview only two years ago, after the magazine Southern Living persisted. But she is easing into her newfound celebrity.

“She’s just blossoming,” said Ms. Stitt, who manages the front of the house in the Stitt empire.

Dessert orders are way up at the restaurants, as are reservations, she said. A couple drove all the way from Minneapolis the other night just to eat at the Highlands because of the Beard win.

But the surge of interest in a steady, understated Southern restaurant with a French sensibility may be broader than one award. At a time when stark political divisions are driving headlines, a place like the Highlands and the solid appeal of Ms. Miles’ desserts have a new luster.

“There been kind of a reckoning, especially after this election, of all of us recognizing our own privilege and what led us here, but also a recognition of the importance of the intimacy of shared meals,” said Ava Lowery, who teaches film at the University of Mississippi and who made a short documentary about Ms. Miles for the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Food, she said, can be a subversive vehicle for social change.

Mr. Stitt suspects the newfound appreciation for his restaurants is part of what he calls “a renewed hunger for character.”

“I would like to think that what we’re about is integrity and respect and quality and pursuit of beauty in our work and for our guests,” he said.

But a person can overthink these things. Sometimes, dessert is just dessert and a job well done is its own reward, Ms. Miles said.

“Just do hard work and keep reading books and keep learning,” she said. “That’s what I do every day because that’s my philosophy.”

Coconut Pecan Cake Recipe

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper, then dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Finely grind the coconut in a food processor, then transfer to a bowl. Add pecans to the food processor, along with 2 tablespoons sugar, and finely grind them.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in coconut and pecans.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, cream of coconut and the remaining sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as necessary, then beat in coconut extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the coconut milk, starting and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter between the pans and smooth the top of each with a spatula. Bake until cakes are golden and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake, invert onto rack, and remove the parchment. Let cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling: Place egg yolks in a small heatproof bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, combine condensed milk, butter and cream of coconut and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until hot, about 4 minutes. Whisk 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg yolks. Transfer egg mixture to the saucepan of milk and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until mixture has the consistency of pudding, about 4 minutes. Do not let the custard get too thick. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the shredded coconut. Let cool completely.
  7. Make the simple syrup: In a saucepan, heat sugar and 1/2 cup water, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
  8. Assemble the layer cake in a pan: Cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one layer in the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan, moisten the top with 2 to 3 tablespoons simple syrup and spread 1/2 cup of the coconut filling in a thin, even layer with an offset spatula. Repeat to make 2 more layers of cake and filling, then place the last layer on top. Refrigerate cake for about 1 hour. To unmold, run a spatula around the edges, invert a cake plate over the top, and flip the cake over onto the plate.
  9. Make the icing: Whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and coconut extract until stiff peaks form. Spread on the top and sides of the cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

DOLESTER MILES YOU ROCK!
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FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018 – A BAND OF SISTERS

We are celebrating Memorial Day this weekend.  It is a day set aside to celebrate the men and women in the armed forces who so bravely worked and gave their lives to protect our democracy.  The following is an article from Military.Com about some famous women Veterans.

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In honor of Women’s History Month, Military.com highlights these seven female veterans who played large roles in the history of the U.S. armed forces, and beyond. Ranging from the Civil War to the present day, and covering all the services, these women broke barriers, made a difference, and are now role models for all future generations.

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Bea Arthur

Best known for her roles on the popular television shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls,” the late Bea Arthur was also once a truck driver in the Marine Corps. She was one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve and aside from driving military trucks, she was also a typist. Arthur enlisted at the age of 21 in early 1943 under her original name, Bernice Frankel. Appraisals from her her enlistment interviews described her conversation as “argumentative” and her attitude and manner as “over aggressive” — fitting, given the cantankerous characters she would play later in life. In a handwritten note, the Marine interviewer remarked, “Officious–but probably a good worker — if she has her own way!”

Arthur was stationed at Marine Corps and Navy air stations in Virginia and North Carolina during her career, and was promoted from corporal to sergeant to staff sergeant. She was honorably discharged in September 1945, married a fellow Marine (Private Robert Aurthur) shortly afterwards, and changed her name to Bea Arthur before enrolling in the Dramatic Workshop of the New School in New York in 1947. After a successful Broadway career that included a Tony award, Arthur made a splash as “Cousin Maude” in the classic TV series “All in the Family” in the early ’70s, and went on to star in her own sit-com, and cement her celebrity fame in the long-running “Golden Girls.”

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Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody

The first woman to serve as a four-star general in both the Army and the U.S. armed forces, Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody joined the Army in 1974, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Women’s Army Corps in 1975. Her first assignment was as supply platoon leader, 226th Maintenance Company (Forward, Direct Support), 100th Supply and Services Battalion (Direct Support), Fort Sill, Okla. Her biggest impact was as commander of the Army Materiel Command, or AMC, one of the largest commands in the Army, employing more than 69,000 employees across all 50 states and 145 countries.

“It was Ann’s most recent role, as commander of the AMC, in which she unified global logistics in a way [that has never] been done,” said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno . “She capitalized AMC’s fundamental logistics functions to maximize the efficiency and services they provided of supply, maintenance, contact support, research and development, base and installation support, and deployment and distribution. She connected AMC not only to the Army, but ensured the joint force was always ready and supplied as well.” “From the very first day that I put my uniform on, right up until this morning, I know there is nothing I would have rather done with my life,” she said. “Thank you for helping me make this journey possible.”

At her retirement ceremony in 2012, Dunwoody said, “Over the last 38 years I have had the opportunity to witness women Soldiers jump out of airplanes, hike 10 miles, lead men and women, even under the toughest circumstances,” she said. “And over the last 11 years I’ve had the honor to serve with many of the 250,000 women who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan on battlefields where there are no clear lines, battlefields where every man and woman had to be a rifleman first. And today, women are in combat, that is just a reality. Thousands of women have been decorated for valor and 146 have given their lives. Today, what was once a band of brothers has truly become a band of brothers and sisters.”

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Grace Murray Hopper

Known as “Amazing Grace,” Commodore Hopper’s importance in U.S. naval history is apparent everywhere you turn: a destroyer was named after her (USS Hopper, DDG-70), as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer. As founder of the COBOL programming language, a precursor to many of the software code approaches of today, her work is legendary among computer scientists and mathematicians.

In 1943, during World War II, she joined the United States Naval Reserves. She was assigned to the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project. There she became the third programmer of the world’s first large-scale computer called the Mark I. When she saw it, all she could think about was taking it apart and figuring it out. “That was an impressive beast. She was fifty-one feet long, eight feet high, and five feet deep,” said Hopper. She mastered the Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III. While trying to repair the Mark I she discovered a moth caught in a relay. She taped the moth in the log book and from that coined the phrase “a bug in the computer”. During her career she she mastered the UNIVAC I, the first large-scale electronic computer, and created a program that translated symbolic math codes into machine language. This breakthrough allowed programmers to store codes on magnetic tape and re-call them when they were needed — essentially the first compiler.

In 1966, Hopper retired from the Naval Reserves as a Commander, but was called back to active duty one year later at the Navy’s request, to help standardize its computer programs and their languages. She was promoted to Captain in 1973 by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., Chief of Naval Operations. And in 1977, she was appointed special advisor to Commander, Naval Data Automation Command (NAVDAC), where she stayed until she retired. In 1983, a bill was introduced by Rep. Philip Crane (D-Ill.) who said, “It is time the Navy recognized the outstanding contributions made by this officer recalled from retirement over a decade and a half ago and promote her to the rank of Commodore.” Rep. Crane became interested in Hopper after seeing her March 1983 60 Minutes interview. He’d never met Hopper, but after speaking with several people, was convinced she was due the added status of being a flag officer. The bill was approved by the House, and at the age of 76, she was promoted to Commodore by special Presidential appointment. Her rank was elevated to rear admiral in November 1985, making her one of few women admirals in the history of the United States Navy.

By the time of her death in 1992, Hopper was renowned as a mentor and a giant in her field, with honoree doctorates from over 30 universities. She was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Eileen Collins

As a young child, Eileen Collins loved to sit with her dad in the family car and watch airplanes take off and land. The roar of the powerful engines and the grace of the aircraft as they seemed to float in the air always held excitement and enchantment for the young daughter of Irish immigrants. That love of flying would lead the Air Force colonel to be honored as the first woman to command a space shuttle mission, STS-93, in July of 1999, and place the NASA astronaut into the history books.

Colonel Collins joined the Air Force in 1979 and served as a T-38 flight instructor until 1982. From 1983 to 1985 she was a C-141 Starlifter aircraft commander and instructor pilot. She was assistant professor of mathematics and T-41 instructor pilot at the Air Force Academy from 1986 to 1989 and graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School in 1990. While attending the Test Pilot School, Collins was selected by NASA for the astronaut program and became an astronaut in July 1991. In 1995 Col. Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and in 1999 she was the first woman shuttle commander. She has over 5,000 hours in 30 different types of aircraft and has spent over 537 hours in space.

“I was very excited and happy,” said Collins, who applied for both a pilot and mission specialist slot with NASA. “But even though I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life, it really didn’t sink in until I graduated. I knew that there had never been a woman shuttle pilot before. Now, I’d be the first.”

After four successful shuttle missions, Collins retired in 2006. “I do miss being in space,” she said, “but I flew four times, and all four missions were very busy because you’re constantly working and under stress. You have a mission; your boss is the people of the country and you don’t want to disappoint the people. Usually toward the end of the mission, you can let your hair down a little bit because the primary mission’s done and everything is put away. That was when you could put your face against the glass, stretch out your arms, and you don’t even see the ship around you, just the Earth below, and you feel like you’re flying over the planet.”

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Harriet Tubman

One of the most celebrated heroines in American history, Harriet Tubman is best known for ushering slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad in the 1850s. But not everyone knows that Tubman, who escaped slavery in 1849, set up a vast espionage ring for the Union during the Civil War. She served as a cook, a nurse, and even a spy for the Union during the Civil War, and also was the first woman in American history to lead a military expedition.

In one of her most dramatic and dangerous roles, Tubman helped Colonel James Montgomery plan a raid to free slaves from plantations along the Combahee River in South Carolina. Early on the morning of June 1, 1863, three gunboats carrying several hundred male soldiers along with Harriet Tubman set out on their mission. Tubman had gathered key information from her scouts about the Confederates’ positions, and knew where they were hiding along the shore. She also found out they had placed torpedoes — barrels filled with gunpowder — in the water. Ultimately, her group freed about 750 slaves — men, women, children, and babies — and did not lose one soldier in the attack. Reporting on the raid to Secretary of War Stanton, Brigadier General Rufus Saxton said, “This is the only military command in American history wherein a woman, black or white, led the raid, and under whose inspiration. it was originated and conducted.” Sadly, Tubman was paid only $200 during her three years of service and was denied a pension for her spy work.

AVNURS, pho 1 Elsie Ott, who made the first air evacuation (?), was also the first to receive the Air Medal. Shown in photo receiving the award from Brig Gen Fred W. Borum, who made the presentation at Bowman Field, KY, in 1943 (?). Credit Photo to the National Museum of the USAF

Elsie S. Ott

During World War II, the U.S. Army Air Corps pioneered military medical care through the development of air evacuations of wounded personnel. Contributing to this was 2nd Lt. Elsie S. Ott, a flight nurse on the first intercontinental air evacuation flight that demonstrated the potential of air evacuation. Born in 1913 in Smithtown, N.Y, Ott attended Lenox Hill Hospital School of Nursing in New York City after completing high school. After several positions in area hospitals, Ott joined the Army Nurse Corps in September 1941. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant soon after and had assignments to Louisiana and Virginia before being sent to Karachi, India. It was during this assignment that she would participate in the first air evacuation. Originating from Karachi, India, patients were evacuated to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Ott was assigned to the flight with only 24 hours’ notice. Prior to this she had no flying experience and had never flown before. She gathered blankets, sheets and pillows for the trip, but the only medical equipment available to her was nothing more than a first aid kit. No medical professional screened the patients who were to fly with Ott, and she and a sergeant with a medical background were the only people on board to care for patients. The plane left Karachi with five wounded personnel Jan. 17, 1943. Of those five, two were paralyzed from the waist down, one suffered from tuberculosis, another with glaucoma and the fifth was suffering manic-depressive psychosis. After stops along the way for refueling, the plane reached its destination nearly a week after beginning — normally a three month trip by ship.

Ott knew that her report on the trip would be crucial for further planning, and she immediately sat down to make notes for future flights. Among the suggestions she listed were the need for oxygen, more wound dressing supplies, extra coffee and blankets. She also noted that wearing a skirt was impractical for this kind of duty. Two months later, Ott received the first U.S. Air Medal, the first given to a woman in the U.S. Army, for her role in the evacuation flight. She would later be promoted to captain before being discharged in 1946. Nearly 20 years later in 1965, Ott was selected to christen a new type of air ambulance: the C-9 Nightingale.

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Sarah Emma Edmonds

Union soldiers during the Civil War knew a comrade known as Franklin Flint Thompson, but in reality Thomspon was really a woman — Sarah Emma Edmonds — and one of the few females known to have served during the Civil War. Edmonds was born in Canada in 1841, but desperate to escape an abusive father and forced marriage, moved to Flint, Michigan in 1856, where she discovered that life was easier when she dressed as a man. Compelled to join the military out of sense of duty, she enlisted in the 2nd Michigan Infantry as a male field nurse.

As “Franklin Flint Thompson” Edmonds participated in several battles the took place during the Maryland Campaign of 1862, which included Second Battles of Manassas and Antietam. As a field nurse she would be dealing with mass casualties, especailly at Antietam which is known as one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. She is also said to have served as a Union spy and infiltrated the Confederate army several times, although there is no official record of it. One of her alleged aliases was as a Southern sympathizer named Charles Mayberry. Another was as a black man named Cuff, for which she disguised herself using wigs and silver nitrate to dye her skin. And yet another was as Bridget O’Shea, an Irish peddler selling soap and apples.

Malaria eventually forced Edmonds to give up her military career, since she knew she would be discovered if she went to a military hospital and her being listed as a deserter upon leaving made it impossible for her to return after she recovered. Nevertheless, she still continued serving her new country, again as a nurse, though now as a female one at a hospital for soldiers in Washington, D.C.

In 1865, Edmonds published her experiences in the bestselling Nurse and Spy in the Union Army, and went on to marry and have children. But her heroic contributions to the Civil War were not forgotten and she was awarded an honorable discharge from the military, a government pension, and admittance to the Grand Army of the Republic as its only female member.

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THANK YOU LADIES FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY.  YOU ROCK!

Thank you for taking the time to read about these remarkable women and if you have a story you would like to share about a woman veteran, please feel free to leave your link in the comments section.

bernadette

 

 

 

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FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

 

I was paging through a fashion magazine this week and happened to glance at a young woman standing in tree pose.  It was an advertisement for yoga attire but it told a snippet of the story of the young woman.  It told how she had been in a coma for three years and was considered to be in a vegetative state.  I immediately looked up Victoria’s story because having had a child who was diagnosed as vegetative, I am drawn to these success stories.  Victoria’s story is one of amazing determination by her and her family.  Here is her story in her own words.

One small step: My 10-year journey from a wheelchair to walking

Victoria Arlen
Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesParalympian swimmer Victoria Arlen attends The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

I was told it couldn’t be done. My dream was impossible. But on March 3, 2016, after spending 10 years in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down, I took my first steps without assistance. That was no easy task.

But first, let me take a step back.

When I was 11, I got sick. My back and side ached, so doctors took out my appendix. Then my legs began giving out. My foot dragged. Within two weeks, I lost all feeling and function in my legs. Next, my hands stopped working. I couldn’t control my arms, couldn’t swallow properly or find the right words when I wanted to speak. It was as if someone was slowly shutting down the switches on the circuit board that controlled my body and brain. I was slowly slipping away from my family.

Then everything went dark.

Two years later, I woke up inside a body that could not move. I was locked in. I could hear the conversations going on around me, but I had no way of alerting anyone that I was aware they were there.

It took three years for doctors to diagnose me with two equally rare conditions: Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, autoimmune disorders that caused swelling in my brain and spinal cord. I’ve since learned that, had my doctors diagnosed me correctly in 2006, a steroid injection could have prevented all of this. But at the time of my diagnosis, they offered my family little hope. They told them I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life. I heard those conversations.

But my parents believed in me. They set up a hospital room in our house in New Hampshire, and took care of me. My three brothers — I’m a triplet and we have an older brother — talked to me and kept me in the know about what was going on outside of my room. They empowered me to fight and get stronger. They didn’t know I could hear them, but I could.

Then, in December 2009, I made eye contact with my mom. Slowly over the next year, I began coming back to life. Raw sounds became words, became sentences. A twitch of my index finger became the wave of my hand. The ability to swallow pudding eventually led to me mowing on a steak. I learned the name Justin Bieber, held my first cell phone and learned what it meant to “poke” someone on Facebook. But despite daily progress, one thing never returned: my legs. I was told the swelling had caused permanent damage to my spinal cord and I would be paralyzed from my belly button down for the rest of my life. Every specialist told me the same thing: “You need to get used to being in a wheelchair.”

I’d already overcome the impossible. I’d woken up and re-learned to live. My idea of what is possible had changed. When my doctors said I would never walk, I didn’t believe them. I knew I wasn’t meant to spend my life in a chair.

Although I believed I would walk again, I knew it would be a long, difficult road littered with challenges I couldn’t foresee. I remember coming home from high school one day crushed because kids were bullying me because of my chair. I had been so happy to return to school and after that day, I didn’t want to go back. As my crying subsided, my parents promised they would do whatever it took to help me to walk again. They kept that promise. They never lost hope.

At some points, hope was the only thing I had. When I began my journey toward walking again, I clung to hope like a life raft. There is a Helen Keller quote that I saved in a journal I’ve kept along this journey. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” I had hope; I was still working on confidence.

Growing up, I was a water baby. We lived near a lake, had a pool in our backyard and as soon as I was old enough, I joined a swim team. By 10, I was winning local events. As I began to heal from my illness, I came to the sad realization that I would never swim again. I didn’t think I could swim without my legs. But my brothers disagreed, so in 2010 they threw me into our pool. I was terrified. But it was a turning point in my life. It was the “jump” I needed to get back to my life. When I was swimming, I was free from the chair. And to my surprise, I was still good. In the water, I found freedom — and my confidence.

In 2012, at 17, I made the USA Paralympic swim team and competed at the London Games. I brought home three silver medals and a gold in the 100-meter freestyle. I set a world record in the 100-meter free. When I returned home, I was met with quite a bit of fanfare. All of a sudden, my chair and I were thrust into the spotlight. I was invited to speaking engagements and appearances. People recognized me at the grocery store. I began telling my story to television reporters and newspaper writers, becoming a beacon of hope to so many around the world. But I never lost my hope and vision for getting out of that chair.

As I pushed toward my goal of walking, I found the hope I needed at Project Walk, a paralysis recovery center based in San Diego. Through the Dardzinski Method, an activity-based therapy, Project Walk has helped many people dealing with paralysis to regain function and even walk. My mother and I temporarily relocated to San Diego and lived with family so I could train every day. We realized this was the place that could help me, but we didn’t want to live hundreds of miles away from my brothers and dad. So, keeping their promise, my family decided to open the first Project Walk franchise on the East Coast. This way, I could train every day and achieve my goal, while others in my hometown could regain the hope they needed, as well. In 2013, my mother had asked one of my specialists what the possibility was of me ever walking again. He told her, “I wouldn’t mortgage the house.” Well, my parents mortgaged our house and in 2015, they opened Project Walk Boston.

It became my refuge. Despite agonizing frustration, I put in everything I had every day, spending thousands of hours working and fighting for one flicker of a sign that my legs were still alive. For the longest time, I didn’t see even a twitch of movement below my level of injury.

Then, on Nov. 11, 2015, I took a small step. I was strapped into a harness above a treadmill and two trainers worked to move my legs. It had been six years since I “woke up” and my legs had shown no life. Most doctors say if there is no improvement after two years, there will be no improvement. Still, I showed up every day, for up to six hours a day, and worked. That day, one of my trainers noticed a flicker, a small movement from within my right leg. It wasn’t much, but it was all the hope I needed. I harnessed that flicker and fanned the flame. Slowly, I began regaining movement in my legs. As they became stronger, I began sitting less and walking with the aid of forearm crutches and leg braces more frequently.

Five months later, on March 3, 2016, I let go of the crutches and put one foot in front of the other. I haven’t stopped since. I sometimes feel like the Will Ferrell character Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights. Without my chair, “I don’t know what to do with my hands.”

That’s not to say every day is perfect. Walking is still challenging and I still have significant impairment. I wear leg braces, follow a training program for two-to-three hours per day and on the days when my legs feel more paralyzed, I have my chair or crutches on standby. But my struggle is now less visible. Only my trainers, those closest to me and I know the extent of the damage and the effort it takes for me to continue to progress each day. Only they see the thousands of hours of training, 15 different pairs of leg braces, three wheelchairs and all the blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes my recovery and the regimen I have to keep feels like a second job. But it’s all worth it. It’s been 10 years since I was able to look someone in the eye instead of staring at everyone’s butts all day.

Without the chair, there is no obvious evidence of my journey, no wheelchair or pink crutches to explain the past 10 years. They were such a reminder of what had happened to me that with them; I never felt I could truly move on or be free. But standing was scary, too. I was incredibly nervous about announcing this news. I was unsure how people would react to me. But then I realized this is my journey and nobody else’s and maybe it can give hope to people who need it most.

For the past two months, I’ve been finding my new identity and reflecting on a turbulent 10-year journey. I’m 21. I’m in the public eye. My identity to many is that of a girl in a wheelchair, a Paralympic gold medalist, a television personality for ESPN and a survivor. Standing upright felt like drastically changing my hair and then worrying what everyone else would think. I wondered if I would be accepted without my chair. But I needed to be comfortable and at peace with my new identity before I could ask the same from others.

So far, the reaction has been incredible, so many tears and hugs and so much support. It’s been fun surprising my family and friends and giving them a proper hug. I didn’t do this on my own, and I am grateful for everyone who has helped me to this point. Each day, I become more comfortable with my new reality. I thought taking those steps on March 3 would be my finish line. But really, they were only the beginning.

One month after taking my first steps, I posed for a new ESPN portrait without my wheelchair.

VICTORIA ARLEN YOU ROCK!

If you have a story about an inspiring woman, please feel free to leave a link to it in the comments section.

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A #Mother’sDay (Cautionary) Fairy Tale #Humor PLUS contest~FREE autographed paperbacks!

Another one of my favorite writers who always tells the truth with humor. Enjoy!

Barb Taub

For more humor, kids, pets, death, and other (mostly) funny stuff, please check out my new book! [click on image for previews, reviews, and buy links from Amazon]

CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY WITH A FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY of Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies.

Winners of three autographed paperback copies will be randomly drawn from those commenting on this post within the next week.

Happy Mother’s Day!


A Mother’s Day (CAUTIONARY) Fairy Tale

Once upon a time (and we’re talking LONG time), there was a poor Mom named CinderBarb, who married her academic-gypsy prince and moved to Illinois, where CinderBarb began to look for a castle. She soon found that in central Illinois, castle basements came in two forms—finished (floors) and unfinished (not so much). Unfinished basements had exposed plumbing and wiring, dirt (or, in some newer castles, cement) floors, and regular floods. Finished basements had…

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Conversation with…My Book…resisting physical changes in older age

Cathi, writes about a lot of issues of aging in a hilarious but inciteful manner. She reminds me of Erma Bombeck. I am sure if you purchase this book you will throughly enjoy her unique stories.

OVER THE HILL on the YELLOW BRICK ROAD

Traveling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I’ve had conversations with lots of weird people and things while passing through the Neighborhood of the Empty Nesters, the Avenue of Ages and Stages, climbing over Makover Mountain, visiting the Career Change Cafe, and looking back on my life in Reflecting Ridge. So…I put all those conversations together in a book, along with a story that ties everything together. Here it is! The only problem is, my book is being a hypochondriac.  While I was setting up links to Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, my book screamed at me: 

over_the_hill

BOOK: Ah!!!! Don’t make me travel across the internet!

Why not?

BOOK: Because I’m filled with conversations about growing older. I feel really fragile and responsible. If something happens to me on the way to Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, I’ll never forgive myself.

What can happen?

BOOK: If someone clicks on me, it could…

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SUPERMOMS – FOSTER MOMS

I am reposting this writing this morning because it will soon be Mother’s Day and I want to celebrate again the Foster Moms, Adoptive Moms and all the Moms of the world today.

 

A few years ago, Mother’s Day found me temporarily raising my one year old granddaughter.  My friends and family were very quick to tell me what a wonderful person I was to take on this responsibility.  But aside from the very real physical hardship of raising a one year old (try getting up off the floor at 65), I really felt nothing but love and a kind of awe that I had been given this opportunity to mother another member of my family.  But as any Grandmother can attest, you fall in love with your grandchildren as easily as you fell in love with your own children.  So, really I was living a lie.  I wasn’t this super wonderful person taking on this responsibility – I was just a grandmother loving a granddaughter.

My granddaughter has been adopted bymy son and daughter-in-law.  And I want to dedicate this blog to my daughter-in-law and all the other mothers in the world who love with their whole hearts a child who has come to them another way.

These women are true heroes.  They open their hearts and give much needed love and guidance to a child who they did not carry under their hearts.  These wonderful women don’t shrink from giving this love and taking on all the hard work of raising a child while living with the possibility that the child may end up being taken away from them.  To paraphrase Brian Andreas – they wake up every morning and love the child all over again.  And getting up every morning and loving all over again is really the definitive explanation of what a mother does.  She slays the dragon of the everyday hard work of raising a child and wakes up every morning and loves the child all over again.

Happy Mother’s day to you beautiful heroes.  Like spring, you give the gift of renewed hope and beauty to this world.

Sending my love to all mothers,

Bernadette

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WISHING YOU A MAGICAL MONTH OF MAY

Stopping by your inbox today to wish you some magic and mad romantic moments      during this wonderful month of May.

 


IT’S MAY

HOORAY

THE WONDERFUL MONTH OF MAY

WHEN THOUGHTS 

OF ROMANCE

BECOME THE

PRECECEDENCE

OF EVERY LIVING SPECIES.

 

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

“We can have feminist icons, but the real heroines are just quietly doing what is needed.”  Osyth

I live in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania metropolitan area and was horrified and relieved to see the successful emergency landing of a Southwest plane last week at our airport.  As I listened to the pilot being interviewed, I heard a female voice.  Two things struck me, one – no one seemed to make a big deal out of the fact that this was a woman pilot.  Hooray for that I thought.  And second, who was this remarkable woman that fate chose to be at the helm of that plane.  So, here is Tammie’s story and it is all the more remarkable because, as usual, she had to overcome great obstacles because of her gender to become and pilot and save 149 lives.

Tammie Jo Shults, Who Safely Landed the Deadly Southwest Flight, Has Been Breaking Glass Ceilings for Years

When an engine exploded on Southwest flight 1380 Wednesday, pilot Tammie Jo Shults calmly alerted air traffic control and prepared for an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

“We are single engine,” Shults, a former U.S. Navy pilot, said, according to a recording of the correspondence. “Part of it’s missing,” she added. “They said there’s a hole and someone went out.”

Shults later landed the Boeing 737-700 jet with one engine and a shattered passenger window, with 144 passengers and five crew members on board. A horrific scene unfolded inside the cabin when the engine explosion blew open a passenger window, partially sucking out the passenger sitting next to it. That passenger later died in a hospital, according to a Philadelphia-based NBC affiliate, and seven others were injured during the ordeal.

As the crisis unfolded in her aircraft’s cabin, Shults alerted air traffic control about the “injured passengers” and requested medical professionals to be ready when the plane touched the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, is currently investigating the event. Shaken passengers later praised Shults as a “hero” for her poise under pressure and her ability to prevent more deaths or injuries.

“This is a true American hero,” passenger Diana McBride Self wrote in a post on Facebook. “A huge thank you for her knowledge, guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation. God bless her and all the crew.” Self said Shults “personally” spoke to passengers after they landed.

“She has nerves of steel. That lady, I applaud her,” passenger Alfred Tumlinson told the Associated Press. “I’m going to send her a Christmas card — I’m going to tell you that — with a gift certificate for getting me on the ground. She was awesome.”

In a statement late Tuesday, Shults and Southwest Airlines First Officer Darren Ellisor, one of the other crew members on board flight 1380, said they were “simply doing our jobs.”

“On behalf of the entire Crew, we appreciate the outpouring of support from the public and our coworkers as we all reflect on one family’s profound loss,” the two said in a statement.

When reached by phone Wednesday morning, Shults’ husband, Dean Shults, said they were both unable to comment.

Shults is one of a small percentage of female pilots in the commercial airline industry. Just 6.33% of commercial pilots are women, according to 2016 data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). And starting at a young age, Shults faced adversity throughout her career as she navigated the male-dominated field.

Here’s what to know about the barrier-breaking pilot.

She was one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots

Courtesy of Linda Maloney

Before she became a Southwest pilot, Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy. Shults initially had limited options in the Navy due to combat exclusion laws that prevented women from flying combat aircraft. But when the law was repealed in 1993, she became one of the first women to fly the Navy’s combat jets.

She then learned to fly the F/A-18 Hornet — a newer Navy fighter jet at the time, she wrote in a passage for the book Military Fly Moms, which features insights from female pilots. But she still had to do so in a support role. “Women were new to the Hornet community, and already there were signs of growing pains,” she wrote. She struggled with her training unit, she said, due to their lack of “open-mindedness about flying with women.” But that mentality was hardly anything new for female pilots at the time.

“Not only is Tammie Jo a great pilot but she is a person of character and integrity,” said Linda Maloney, who flew with her in the 1990s in the Navy and who wrote Military Fly Moms, told MONEY.

“She is one of the best … personable, warm, caring and just an amazing person,” Maloney added.

She faced adversity as a female pilot from the get-go

By even expressing interest in aviation, Shults was met with adversity. As a senior in high school in New Mexico in 1979, she attended a lecture from a retired colonel on aviation as part of a vocational day program, she wrote in Military Fly Moms.

“He started the class by asking me, the only girl in attendance, if I was lost,” she wrote. “I mustered up the courage to assure him I was not and that I was interested in flying. He allowed me to stay but assured me there were no professional women pilots.”

From there, she struggled to understand her desire to fly, as the field wasn’t very accepting of women. She had limited opportunities for most of her career in the Navy before the combat exclusion law was repealed, and she still lands in the minority as part of a small percentage of female pilots for commercial airlines.

“Tammie Jo’s professionalism and skill doesn’t surprise me at all,” Kathryn McCullough, a retired Northwest Airlines captain and member of the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, told MONEY in an e-mail. “That is what baffles me … Why don’t more airlines want women pilots? We are calm, capable and more than qualified.”

The Air Force didn’t want her

Indeed, when starting her career, the Air Force “wasn’t interested in talking to” her, she wrote in Military Fly Moms. “But they wanted to know if my brother wanted to fly,” she noted.

The Navy “was a little more charitable,” she said, and allowed her to fill out an application for aviation officer candidate school. It wasn’t until a year after she took her Navy aviation exam did she find a recruiter to process her application. “Within two months, I was getting my hair buzzed off and doing pushups in aviation officer candidate school in Pensacola, Florida,” she wrote.

Other women inspired her to pursue her goals

While attending MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas, Shults found new inspiration to become a pilot. She met a woman who received her Air Force wings, therefore having the ability to operate an Air Force aircraft. “I set to work trying to break into the club,” Shults wrote.

In the Navy, Shults worked for Commander Rosemary Mariner, the first female commander of the Point Magu, California-based VAQ-34, a tactical electronic warfare squadron of the U.S. Navy that is no longer active.

“Commander Mariner opened my eyes to the incredible influence of leadership,” Shults wrote. “She was a shining example of how to lead.”

 

TAMMIE JO SHULTS YOU ROCK!

The information in this post came from a n article written by Marty Martinez for Money Magazine.

 

If you have a story about an inspiring woman, please feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments section.