Sunday, July 29, 2012

AMELIA, LOST, NEVER FOUND

The 2012 Kansas Notable Books include Amelia Lost: the Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, by Candace Fleming. The review describes it as a book for middle graders, but I'm sure there is something in it for all Kansans.

In alternating chapters, Fleming deftly moves readers back and forth between Amelia's life (from childhood up until her last flight) and the exhaustive search for her and her missing plane. With incredible photos, maps, and handwritten notes from Amelia herself—plus informative sidebars tackling everything from the history of flight to what Amelia liked to eat while flying (tomato soup).

Many years ago, while Amelia Earhart’s childhood home was still in private ownership, I made a trip to Atchison. At the Chamber of Commerce I asked a little old lady how I could get to the Earhart home.

The tiny woman jumped down my throat, and began a harangue about what nerve I had, coming to Atchison and asking a question like that. Chastened by the unexpected reaction, I hastened to the door.

The harrigan followed my every footstep, scolding me all the way. Just as I stepped out onto the sidewalk, the woman grabbed the door, preventing me from shutting it. Her voice dropped almost to a whisper. In a hurried fashion, she gave me very precise directions on how to find the Earhart house. “But it’s in private hands,” she warned me, “and the owners are really tired of people coming around all the time to look at the house where Amelia lived, peeking in the windows day and night, so please don’t step on the property, just stay on the sidewalk where it’s legal.” She gave me a beatific smile and closed the door.

I followed her advice, and stayed on the sidewalk. Those who have been there know the house is on a bluff, high above the Missouri River. From the sidewalk I could look down upon the vegetation that grew on the banks. Birds made long, sweeping flights over the water from tree top to tree top. Standing there, transfixed, it was easy to see how the scene could make anyone wish they could fly.

www.candacefleming.com

1 comment:

  1. Amelia Earhart was an American heroine, a record-breaking aviatrix, and a celebrity world wide.

    Itasca's Associated Press Newsman James Carey 23, was on the search and in his last entry he wrote: "The rest of the search is now history. What was expected to be a 5000-mile trip by the Itasca on a regular United States equatorial island mission with supplies and colonist replacements, turned out to be a 10,000-mile 36-day trip in search of the unfortunate pair of American aviators whose fate, it seems, only the Pacific knows."

    Earhart was not a spy; she was a decoy.

    Taken from, The Hunt For Amelia Earhart
    Douglas Westfall, historic publisher, Specialbooks.com

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