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  • Martha Rasche

Family History Up in the Air

A local woman turned 100 this month and celebrated by taking a plane ride from the county airport. I caught her picture on a TV news promo and recognized her as a resident at the same nursing home where my mom lives.

The plane ride had special significance, as a friend recently had come across pilot documents and flight logs from the 1940s in the woman’s name. What a great find of a family treasure!

The fact that the papers didn’t bear a man’s name but a female’s makes it even more remarkable.

Turns out she flew for the Civil Air Patrol. That came as a surprise to those who know her, including nieces and nephews. Those who knew of the woman’s flying days have passed on. And unfortunately, the woman doesn’t remember many details of her experiences 80 years ago.

Every time I hear a story of such rich family history taking a family by surprise, I wonder what stories in my own family remain undiscovered and which questions still need to be asked.

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