Sunday, April 1, 2012
B Is For Pancho Barnes
Pancho was wild and crazy, loved to smoke, drink and had her own way of looking at the world. In 1931 she moved to Hollywood where she worked as a stunt pilot on such films as Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels. She formed the Associated Motion Picture Pilots, a union of stunt pilots who promoted flying safety and a standardized pay scale for aerial work.
In 1935 she left Hollywood and moved out to 180 acres in the Mojave desert. Here she established the first test pilots union and created the Happy Bottom Riding Club, a dude ranch/hang out for pilots. Her close friends and members of the club included some of the giants of aviation history like General Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager and Buzz Aldrin. Because her land was in such close proximity to Edwards Air Force Base, Pancho was also known as the "Mother of Edwards AFB."
What a fascinating woman, huh?
Edith Wharton was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize. She was awarded in 1921 for her work, The Age of Innocence.
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