Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Morning Reflections - Sydney, The Bearded Dragon, R.I.P.

I don't know how you can forget to post a thing like this, but I did. I wrote it as soon as I found out that Sydney had died this past January. All I can say is that I must have had a serious and long-lasting Senior Moment. Believe me, I will never forget Sydney, I just forgot that I hadn't posted this, my tribute to Sydney, the Bearded Dragon. 

Once upon a long time ago now, I fell in love with a scaly little critter named Sydney. I met him at the Donkey Rescue in 2007 or 2008. Rachael had rescued him and he was to live with her for the rest of his very, very long life. Last week, Sydney passed away. Rachael told me and I teared up. You see, Sydney was a very special little animal and I learned from him that all animals have personalities, feelings, preferences, and those we introduce into our homes deserve our care for the rest of their lives, barring circumstances beyond our control. 

Rachael named her educational program after Sydney and he taught countless children and adults about respecting and caring for their pets. I can't explain it, but I loved Sydney so much that even though I had not seen him for about nine years, I cried when I heard of his passing. 

I'm holding Sydney and Rachael is holding Adelaide. Winter 2008-09.


Dear Sydney, you were so special and I will always love you and I will never forget you. You lived a long life, you were an ambassador, you helped to educate countless adults and children. You were the best. Rest in peace, sweet Sydney. Your auntie Inger


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Brave Bessie Coleman - Do You Know Who She Was?

I first posted Bessie Coleman's remarkable story during Black History month, 2012.

We all know about the Tuskeegee airmen and their amazing record of service during World War II, but did you know that the world's first black aviator was a woman? Her name was Bessie Coleman 1892-1926. Bessie grew up in Texas, one of thirteen children to a Native American father and an African American mother. She was a highly motivated young woman, who, when she decided she wanted to fly, found that all aviation schools in the U.S. were closed to her because of her race, gender, or both. 

On the advice of Chicago Defender publisher Robert Abbott, Bessie Coleman went to Europe, where she was trained by both French and German aviators. She earned her pilot's license in 1921 and got her international pilot's license a year later. After she returned to the United States, she became an exhibition pilot. She was an inspiration to countless young people in her career as a barnstormer and speaker on aviation. She appeared in air shows across the country and became known as Brave Bessie.

Bessie wanted to open an aviation school for black youth, but before she could reach her goal, she was killed in an accident in Jacksonville, Florida. The controls of her airplane jammed and she was thrown from the cockpit as the plane spun to the ground. It's estimated that 10,000 people attended her memorial service in Chicago. Bessie Coleman's career may have been brief, but she was an inspiration to many in the early days of aviation.


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