International Women’s Air and Space Museum

Sam and I went a dinner at the International Women’s Air and Space Museum on Friday night.  This is the second time we have gone to a dinner and speaker there.  Just like the last dinner where the speaker talked about the IX Center and it’s history as a tank and bomber plane plant in WWII, this one was had and entertaining and enthusiastic speaker, good food, and interesting people.

Friday the speaker was there talking about Jerrie Mock.  A little known aviator who was the first women to fly solo around the world.  Yep, not Ameila Earhart.  She famously went missing on her attempt in 1937.  Jerrie completed her attempt in 1964.

The speaker was Wendy Hollinger.  She knew Jerrie, and worked in the last several years to re-release Jerrie’s book Three-Eight Charlie that chronicled that trip around the world.  She eventually got it re-released in time for the 50th anniversary of the flight last year.

It was kind of inspiring to hear how this suburban housewife from Ohio went from having never flown to setting records in just a few years.  She flew in an 11 year-old Cessna 180 and made the trip in 29 days.  The whole time she was out there was another woman (a professional pilot) who took off just days before her in an attempt to set the record as well, but was unable to complete it before Jerrie landed.  Newspapers at the time printed headlines declaring it a race (even though the women themselves didn’t see it as a race).

Shuttle SamBest part of the evening.  I won the raffle for Shuttle Sam. A slinky pet so rare that I couldn’t even find a picture of it on the web.  (That’s not true, I eventually found someone selling one on eBay.)

The woman hosting the event said she never saw someone so excited to win it.  It is true, I was pretty excited.

We sat at a table with a very, well, outgoing woman and her husband.  But that’s what made this great.  Good conversation before and during dinner before the speaker started.  When she found out we lived on the West Side she had all these questions about living here (she lives on the other side of town and was thinking about moving) and even knew a few restaurants that Sam and I had never heard of.  She even told of the Cleveland Flea, which is definitely something Sam and I are going to make it to one of these days.

The International Women’s Air and Space Museum isn’t big.  It’s located in the old Burke Lakefront Airport terminal.  You can tell that they aren’t a well funded huge museum.  But I’ve got to admit that I really like that I live in a city where it is located.  Dinner and speaker events like this are fun outings, and they do a great job putting on the event.