The Jerrie Mock Story
"No one would ever have believed that Jerrie Mock had a big day
ahead of her. The thirty-eight-year-old woman straightened the house,
packed a suitcase, and ran some errands...The next day she would leave
to fly around the world. In 1964, there were very few female pilots,
and even fewer who dared to fly alone for such a distance. As Jerrie
Mock planned her flight, she discovered that, if she succeeded, she
would be the first woman to circle the globe, solo."
If the topic of pioneering aviatrices (woman pilots) comes up,
most of us think of Amelia Earhart. Very few of us remember Jerrie
Mock. Actually very few of us have heard about Jerrie Mock. Sadly
most of us don't know what we're missing. I was among this number
until, browsing the Orono Public Library new books, I picked up Nancy
Roe Pimm's The Jerrie Mock Story: The First Woman To Fly Solo Around
The World and read the above paragraph.
We're talking about the woman who achieved the challenge Amelia
Earhart disappeared and presumably died trying to complete.
I was sure this book would contain a lot of spell binding
adventure. In this regard I was more than satisfied. Mock had to
make a lot of life or death decisions under less than ideal
circumstances. When her plane's wings became coated in heavy ice, the
added weight threatened to pull her small plane into the ocean. At
one point a burning smell came from behind its gas tank. A sudden
bright light had the potential meaning of someone trying to shoot her
Beyond the adventure story, though, there is a lot of depth.
Recall this was 1964--a time idealized by old black and white shows
like Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver. Mock was not a man
with a wife to handle all life's mundane aspects or a career woman who
had chosen not to go the be fruitful and multiply route. She was a
woman who temporarily left and returned to a husband and three
children. Her thoughts about both her adventures and the more
traditional aspects of her life are well worth reading. She is
candid. As much as she loves her husband, she understandably gets
ticked off when he long distance micro manages her itinerary.
This book has the power not only to entertain and enlighten, but
to inspire. In the final chapter we read that, "Jerrie Mock, just an
ordinary person, leads us to believe that when you set your mind to
it, with hard work and determination, anything is possible..."
So don't stop believing!
On a personal note, while I'm not planning anything remotely
dangerous, I'm choosing to go out on a limb in regard to my future. I
can take some bland and meaningless job where I'd be isolated from any
chance of real friendships or pursue my dream masters program as a
means of turning my passion into vocation. I think you can guess
which option I'm leaning toward.
A great big shout out goes out to moms who follow their dreams instead
of letting society's expectations trap them.
Sent from my iPod