Sunday, November 22, 2009

They Slipped The Surly Bonds Of Earth

Today, through gauche words that lack the lustre and polish called for, we endeavor through intent, to celebrate history! We pay homage to The Pioneers, The Women, The Wasps, and forever, The Flygirls!

Climb and soar with these Immortals of the Air! Join as we fly into dawns' bomb bursting sky 'neath the sheltered wings of history, and aside, very possibly, the greatest women pilots of all time! Even the most tacit of readers may be moved in their approval and wonder by these brave women who engaged the altitude and far reaches of the skies! Find yourselves perched high atop images painted here, through their history, and yearning to take flight alongside their labor of patriotism, love of America, their consuming passion for flight all intermingled with adventure...

The Flygirls are a classic case and embodiment of remarkable women doing remarkable jobs, in remarkable times, and under remarkable circumstances. Having the appropriate descriptive quotation on hand at this, the exactly right moment, escapes one. To that end, we offer up this powerfully poignant verse as a tribute to them.

High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Published in 1943, this is a transcription of the original manuscript in the Library of Congress
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sun-ward 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 falls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor eer 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.

Sound off, Bring it on Down...Let's do proceed onward, thoughtfully and gingerly to surmise an answer to the questions that follow... Who were these whiz girls flying at 2200 hours, wearing flying jackets, helmets, gloves and goggles? They not only could fly, but indeed they tested flight! Who were they, in approaching the speed of sound more than satisfactorily by all intents and purposes, proving true Sir Isaac Newton's first law of motion which states that objects in motion will continue to move in a straight line at a constant velocity unless acted on by an outside force?

Who were these women, this cadre and cultivation of beautiful dishes, (in keeping with the 1940s ebullience of slang...hubba, hubba!) social grace and talent who remained unparalleled and displayed exemplified prodigious behavior beneath outrageously difficult contempt and misunderstanding? Why did they choose to overcome the biases and challenges of women's ability and yet were able to stand heads above others? Who were they to dismiss the timeworn idea of using women in the military prior to the start of World War II...yet, most certainly serving as pilots and using their skills to that end?

And why did these women do what they did? Because they had to? Because it was long ago by a mis-stroke of destiny implanted in their genes? Were these women, first and foremost, radicals? Or were they great women at great moments emerging upon history with their passion ignited and playing out?

These questions certainly titillate the senses of inquiry and resonate with many!