s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: A Tribute

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Tribute

(I meant to post this closer to Mother's Day, but didn't get to it until now.)

Ethel C. was born in a small town in Utah in 1889. She was married in Salt Lake City in 1912. By 1930, she had moved to southern California along with her husband and two children. Somewhere along the way, her son decided that he wanted to become a pilot. Not only did she encourage his dreams, she promised him that when he got his pilot's license, she would be his first passenger. As a teenager, he swept out airplane hangars in exchange for flying lessons, earning his license when he was 16. Ethel was his first passenger.

I am amazed that this woman, who was born 14 years before the Wright brothers made their first successful flight, had enough faith in her son to support his ambitions in what must have seemed like a new and dangerous field.

Ethel was my great-grandmother. I was 3 years old when she died and I don't remember her, but I am proud to be descended from such a woman.


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