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Teresa James on: How She Got Into Flying
Teresa James I had a brother who was interested in flying. He and a couple of other fellows bought an airplane. They decided to go to see my uncle in Detroit. At that time, I didn't know the ins and outs of flying, where you had to fly so far and get out and get gasoline -- which they forgot to do partway through their flight to Detroit. They had a forced landing in Cleveland, and forced landing because the telephone wires stopped them and they creamed the airplane. So my brother was injured.

One day, I think on my fifth or sixth trip, a silver airplane lands and out steps this, we called a date a hunk. And he was the best looking thing I've ever seen. So we struck up a conversation and he wanted to know if he could take me with the other groups of pilots who left every Sunday morning on a basket picnic, where their girlfriends would pack a basket and they would fly someplace in Pennsylvania. And they would land and they would have games. They'd play baseball or whatever while the girls would sit around and chew the fat. And that was my first trip which I was panic stricken. It was a fun time until it was time to fly back to Pittsburgh where my leg was going up and down on the rudder bore from nervousness.

One morning I was supposed to go on a picnic and I got a phone call from Bill saying he couldn't go, he took a flying job in Chicago, on an airline. And of course, I was heartbroken for a couple of days. One of the chaps who had just bought a new airplane came fresh from Parks Air College. He said to me, "Why don't you learn to fly and surprise Bill when he comes back home?" And of course this guy, I know that he wanted to date me, however, I took him up on the flying thing. And my introduction to flying was flying in the front seat of an open cockpit airplane, OX5 Travel Air.

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