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Pilot of Yesteryear: "Prop Wash: For The Love Of Flying"

by John M. White |

Writing a blog is an interesting experience.  It is somewhat akin to creating a paper airplane, launching it into the air and never knowing where it landed.  Each day I try to write something about my passion, aviation, and the goings on in the aviation community.

The only problem is you don't really know if anyone is reading what you write.  Well, yesterday I received an interesting letter from a book publisher in California asking me to review a book written by a new author about aviation.

I have not yet received my copy of the book, but I have some information about the author and a short synopsis of the book itself.  Tomorrow I will write a little about the book, but one of the interesting parts is some details about the author herself.

Betty Kaseman had a difficult, to say the least, childhood.  When she was only 18 months old she wandered into a burning orchard and burned one knee and her left hand.  Later she lost fingers at the first knuckle.  She spent a significant amount of time in a Shriner's hospital where she began to learn to read and write while she recovered.

When she was at the tender age of 7 she lost her mother to TB, while her father worked out of town and had to leave Betty, her sister and brother with the people he boarded with.  When her father joined the Navy SeeBees as WWII approached arrangements were made for the children to live with an aunt in Fresno, CA.

Apparently they lived on a farm, did not associate with other children, and lived a hard life.  In 1945 her father remarried and the family was finally reunited to live in Santa Rosa, CA.  Betty then went on to earn a degree in Occupational Therapy at San Jose University, and over the next 43 years worked in a private hospital and eventually the VA Hospitals in Tacoma and San Diego.

In 1968 Betty earned her Private Pilot's license and became Polly Potter Ross's co-pilot on medical flights to a clinic in Baja California, Mexico.  They took doctors, medical supplies, food and clothing to the poverty stricken area.

Both women worked at the VA clinic and became very close friends.  Betty's sister was intrigued by Polly Potter Ross's life, but before she could complete the biography died in an automobile accident.  Betty has now completed the biography, and the book is called "Prop Wash: For The Love of Flying".

I am looking forward to reviewing this book and will keep you all appraised when I finish the book.

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


"High Flight"

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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