earlier this summer, i was hired by wish of a lifetime to photograph a huge event in a sweet little lady’s life – her first flight lesson at 91 years old! the montgomery airpark in gaithersburg, maryland holds a very special place in my heart. i took flying lessons here when i was 14-16 years old. unfortunately, i didn’t follow through with getting my private pilot’s license, but i have hundreds of wonderful memories at this cute little airport. my dad housed his cessna 172 here, which we took on trips up and down the east coast almost weekly. i also worked as a dispatcher at montgomery aviation for a summer back in college. i feel like part of my dad’s spirit is still around at the airpark. flying was a passion he shared with so many friends, coworkers, and of course his family. his passion may have also been a tiny bit fueled by flying over the gridlock traffic on I-95, hundreds of feet below him. 😉
Mary Becomes “Flying Grandmother”
Mary M. spent most of her childhood and teenage years dreaming about flying. She was the last of her group of friends to get her driver’s license – she was too busy angling for a way to get in the cockpit. She set her sights on joining the military as a service pilot (they were just letting women begin to fly cargo missions at this point in time), but was told she was too young at the time.
Years later, Mary found herself at a dance sponsored by the Army Officer’s League. There she would dance with her late husband Donald for the first time. The dancing continued for 65 years after that. She went on to have two children with Donald who was a commander in the US Navy and also worked for the CIA. The two of them often moved because of Donald’s job. Mary spent most of her time as a freelance writer, Grey Lady (Red Cross Volunteer), and stay-at-home mom. Her dreams of flying never faded, but took a backseat to her family.
Thanks to the fund-raising efforts of TAD Relocation, Mary took to the skies on June 4th to begin her lessons. Accompanied by 3 generations of family, friends, and staff from TAD Relocation, Mary’s first lesson didn’t disappoint. Her instructor Batelle said Mary picked everything up with ease. Mary said the flight exceeded her expectations and she is looking forward to setting up a longer flight her next go-around.