Thursday, January 5, 2017

Susan Oliver and Serendipity

A couple of weeks ago, I had bought 3 Powder Puff Derby programs from eBay - the 22nd, 24th and 26th editions of the race.

Susan Oliver participated in the 24th edition, in 1970.

I hadn't looked at those programs after I bought them - it's enough that I had them!

But then I thought..Susan Oliver was in the 1970 race, now I have that program, I'll just take a look.

And believe it or not, her photo in the program was autographed!

I hoped that these three programs came from an actual participant in the races (or her estate), and I looked through my Powder Puff Derby Record, which gives the names and years flown for every pilot. 

While there were several women who had flown in 1968 and 1970, they'd all gone on to fly more than just in 1972. 

So it's impossible for me to deduce that these three came from an actual pilot, and not form someone who just attended the race takeoffs or finishes, and got Susan Oliver's autograph.

Still, talk about serendipity, since I've been reading Susan Oliver's aviation memoir for the last week, and here I buy 3 Powder Puff Derby programs at a bargain price ($21 for all three, plus postage).   (Try to buy her book Odyssey: A Daring Transatlantic Journey and the cheapest you can get it for is $100 - for an ex-library copy! - and one with her autograph in it is $500 (albeit perhaps because it is autographed to and thus owned by Rod McKuen the poet.)

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