Fran Bahr; Gladys Buroker Wind In My Face

ISBN 13: 9780965867504

Wind In My Face

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9780965867504: Wind In My Face
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Gladys Buroker's autobiography begins with the story of her childhood love of flight and her adverse relationship with her father. Once removed from that environment, her sense of adventure led her on a motorcycle tour of the 48 States, and Mexico, followed by parachute jumping and wing-walking with a barnstorming group. Passing seven exams to become a Certified Ground School Instructor placed her in a position to teach ground school at an all male academy, St. Martin's College, in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. When World War II broke out, Gladys and her husband moved their flight operations to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho where they managed the first municipally owned airport in the United States. During the war, Gladys taught Army and Navy cadets in all phases of their training, including aerobatic maneuvers.

At the close of the war, she took a welcome respite, moving to a farm on Wolf Lodge Creek. Here she pursued her love of the outdoors with farming, hunting, fishing, and was an active 4-H leader.

Gladys challenged herself by embarking on a second career as a Licensed Practical Nurse in her mid-50's. She was also actively involved in the development of the Henley Aerodrome at Athol, Idaho where her new aviation feats included gliding and hot air ballooning.

Wind In My Face tells of a young woman who followed her dreams. She fell in love with her flight instructor, married and raised a family. Who says you can't have it all? This human drama is captivating and inspirational!

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About the Author:

During her remarkable career as an aviator, Gladys Buroker touched the future of many people, young and old. She has been recognized with numerous awards as a pioneer aviator. The most prestigious include the Boeing Museum of Flight Pathfinder Award and the State of Idaho Aviation Hall of Fame. Fran Bahr, writer and instructor at North Idaho College, collaborated with Gladys over three years to make this book happen.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From Chapter 3: At 3,000 feet Jim told me when he wiggled the stick to climb onto the wing and jump at his command. I felt the signal. Pulling myself up onto the seat, I strained to back out, one foot at a time. The gear felt so bulky I was worried. What if I missed the reinforcement and stepped through the wing?

As I stood upright, a seventy knot wind slammed into my side, freezing my cheeks and stiffening my knuckle-grip on the cockpit frame. "Can I reach the ripcord?" I asked myself, wanting to touch its reassuring length. Tearing my right hand loose, I grabbed. To my horror, I couldn't reach it! I grabbed again and again. With each attempt, I could feel the plane climb more steeply and glimpse the bleachers filled with upturned faces.

"Climb back in the cockpit" I told myself, "before you get killed!" But the hell-bent-for fire part of me took over. "Don't be a coward," I thought. "How could you face those people down there?"

From Chapter 5: "Gladys," Madeline whispered when we pulled in. "Look at that!"

I couldn't respond. Boiling water burst from the pool in a gushing column and then slowly receded in a cloud of steam. I'd never seen anything like it. Compared to the coast's monotonous rain and choking vegetation, the brute power of Old Faithful was astounding. The enormity of the Wyoming landscape unfolding before my eyes, mirrored an equally large landscape opening inside of me. The possibilities of life seem limitless.

The next leg of our journey brought frightening weather. Our first day out of Salt Lake, we encountered a blinding dust storm similar to the Dust Bowl storms I'd read about in the newspaper. Our bodies and clothes saturated with dirt, we finally holed up in Rawlins, Wyoming to wait out the storm.

Once the dust settled, we hit the road again, only to run into a swarm of grasshoppers pelting our faces and helmets like hailstones. Cars had pulverized the insects, greasing the highway and making travel deadly. Barely out of that mess, we spotted an electric storm headed our way. With lightening ripping the dark sky, I opened-up the Harley for Omaha.

From Chapter 19: One night a group of military officers, camping at nearby Farragut State Park, spied the balloon and drove in for a ride. In lively spirits from drinking a few beers, they were primed for a few good laughs. Each time I landed a pair, I warned them to stay in the basket. After several successful rounds, pandemonium struck. On landing, one young man, preoccupied with shouting to his buddies on the ground, apparently missed my warning. To my surprise, he climbed over the side and jumped the last two or three feet.

The balloon shot up with such force, it snapped the tether like a string. "No!" I shouted, hanging on. Not many things are more dangerous than free-flying in the dark. The officer still aboard sobered up fast. While the balloon drifted north toward blackness, I quickly opened the side vent, hoping that would let us down before we left the airport.

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Fran Bahr; Gladys Buroker
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