A Tale of two WASPs by The Thinking Insomniac

Vernelle Noel, thinking insomniac, writing, non-fiction, Vernelle,

Image Copyright Vernelle Noel

Is the sky really the limit? Your sky, is different from someone else’s sky. No two skies are exactly the same because no two pilots are exactly the same. This is the story of two pilots. For one, the sky was the limit, for the other, the sky was a dream.

Anne Noggle was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1922. After seeing Amelia Earhart at an air show in Chicago, she set the goal for herself to become a pilot. At the age of seventeen, her mother agreed to let her take flying lessons. Four years later at the age of 21, she traveled to Texas to train to become a WASP, one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). WASP was a civilian women’s pilot organization attached to the US Army Air Forces to fly military aircraft during World War II. They had no military standing but trained male pilots in combats missions; transported military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. After the war and the disbanding of WASP in 1944, Anne became a stunt pilot in an aerial circus at 25, and a crop duster at 26. In 1953, at the age of 31, she applied and became a pilot for the US during the Korean War, retiring as a captain in 1959 at the age of 37. These experiences gave Anne confidence and emboldened her to believe that the sky was the limit – literally and figuratively. She could do anything!

While in the Air Force, Anne was stationed in Paris and visited the Louvre, one of the world’s largest art museums. Like she was inspired to fly after seeing Amelia Earhart, she was inspired to be an artist after visiting the Louvre. In 1966, the former pilot enrolled in the University of New Mexico earning her bachelors in fine arts at the age of 44, then her Master’s degree in art at the age of 47 in 1969. She developed her skills as a photographer, and like she was influenced by Amelia, and the Louvre, she was also influenced by female photographers like Julia Margaret Cameron and Diane Arbus. (Julia Margaret Cameron’s niece would become the mother of one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors – Virginia Woolf). Her photographs displayed femininity and sexual energy, and in 1970 at the age of 48, she had her first one-woman show at a gallery in New Mexico. She then produced her most famous series of photographs of herself in 1975 at the age of 53 (she photographed herself after receiving a facelift). When she was 60, she was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and at the age of 69 the former pilot earned an honorary doctorate from her alma mater.

For Anne, the sky was the limit. She lived several lives – military pilot, stunt pilot, crop duster, artist, professor, and recipient of an honorary doctorate. She was born in 1922, joined WASP at 21, retired from flying at 37, flew a total of 6000 hours, then the former pilot went on to live her life as a famous photographer.

At the beginning of this story, I said this was a tale of two WASPs, one for whom the sky was the limit, for the other, a dream. The other WASP was Mildred Hemmons Carter. Born in 1921 (the year before Anne) she earned her pilot license in 1941 at the age of 20. She too applied to join WASP in 1943 but was asked to withdraw her application. Two women, born the same time, both pilots. One able to join WASP, the other not. Why not? Well, Mildred was black. She was THE ONLY black applicant, and because of her race was rejected. She was also rejected from flying with the Tuskegee Airmen – black military pilots – because she was a woman. She faced the double-edged sword of being black and being a woman. (Her husband was Lt. Colonel Herbert Carter the last surviving Tuskegee Airman from Mississippi). Seventy years after earning her pilot license, at the age of 90, Mildred was recognized retroactively as a WASP, and took her final flight. She flew a total of 150 hours.

Anne and her dreams soared in part because she was able to achieve her first dream, which then empowered her to find and achieve other dreams. Mildred on the other hand was never allowed to achieve her first dream. Her dream was rejected. Mildred’s son, Herbert Carter Jr., said his mother often regretted that she came along a little too early and couldn’t achieve her dream of becoming a WASP. A tale of two WASPs. For Anne, the sky was the limit. For Mildred, the sky was but a dream.

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Tentative

In a few days I will be starting a Podcast Fellowship (will share more details later). I will be learning with a great group of people who have great ideas, under the guidance and coaching of one of my favorite writers and teachers. In our online discussion community, someone asked us all to post our blogs – for those of us who blog. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, partly because I post my drawings on Instagram. I do a lot of writing for work, but maybe I will get back to writing about what I draw…or drawing about what I write. I thank the fellowship for reminding me of this again.

From this Fellowship, I hope to share and be generous with others as they have been with me. I also look forward to learning the technical and creative aspects of podcasting so that I can share it with my students and others.

Now, about the drawing above, I called it “Tentative 01”. I love lines in every form and this is one of my drawings. The patterns, geometry, texture, color, physicality, and more. I look forward to continuing to share again.

– Thinking Insomniac

No, I’m not the one flying… I would like to see or sit in a cockpit on day though.

I sketched my Makerbot yesterday.I have used it in several design projects, design experiments, and even 3D printed little toys for my friends’ kids.

Have a good one! 

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Today I was leaving NY again heading back to work. This building under construction is coming along quickly.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I like accidental photos

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Because the buildings, the sky, the reflections, all beautiful.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Lovely skyline, part of which has been taken away by condos. Ughhh..

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Saw this sign at Zapata’s Tacos.

I have a busy day tomorrow… I am thinking of something new to do with my photos. A new topic, subjects,… If you have any suggestions, please suggest away!

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Oh yes! A healthy, filling start to the day.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I was busy indoors all day. Took this photo when I went outside later on for some fresh air.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

It looked like rain, but it blew over

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

After work I went to training. I arrived early.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Training was intense as hell today! There was absolutely no stopping. OMG! I was drenched, and my muscles spent! It was great, but whew! Dang! Exhausting.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I had a hankering for some ice cream, and I think I needed to treat myself to it.

Another productive day in many ways. By tomorrow, if not this weekend, I should be finished with my paper and have it ready to submit! After that, on to the next one.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

You know the usual. Smoothie to go!

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I went to work at a coffee shop this morning. I also met an awesome dog named Charlie. She made my day. So darn cute!

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Today was warm and beautiful

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Doors of the Schwab Auditorium. I love large, detailed doors. In fact, maybe I will sketch and doodle some doors. I find them so regal. I love a well designed entry and facade.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Beautiful!

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Very well designed.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Blue skies

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

There’s a lot of detail to be uncovered in the clouds…

Today was another very productive day. Here’s to tomorrow!

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The obligatory smoothie started my day today. I also added some yogurt to the mix. Today was a very productive day. Finished somethings on my to-do list. Reached the point of review of my paper, and chose to step away from it for a bit.

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At work I was testing and prototyping stuff again. This will continue all summer, since research is always about learning as you go along.

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It was a beautiful day today, so I would go outside for some warmth and fresh air when I felt like it.

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Nice!

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Mmmmm mmm!

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After work, I had training. Today was intense! Sensei did not allow us to catch our breaths! Matwork, randori, throws, situps, judo pushups, one after the next, after the next. Whew! It was great though. No injuries, so all is well.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Today was a busy one. I didn’t even remember or get the time to take photos until late in the day. Whew! On my way home, I was wondering what to eat for dinner. I was feeling for something smothered in something. I was feeling for fries and something comforting smothering it. A memory of fries smothered in gravy came to my mind, I saw it on tv some time, I think on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Triple-D) with Guy Fieri. I decided, this what my dinner shall be. I stopped by the grocery and bought frozen fries, and a can of mushroom soup to make an imitation beef stroganoff.

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I finally got the time to look up when I got home.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Lovely!

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I baked my fries, and cooked my beef stroganoff…

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Talk about it being just what I needed. It hugged me on the way down…

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

After having my very comforting dinner, I made bananas foster for dessert. Butter, sugar, bananas, lemon juice, pinch of salt to taste, and alcohol. I use rum or wine.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Voila! I usually cut my bananas into small slices. Today is the first time I cooked them as two large halves. I prefer cutting it into smaller slices, the caramelized sugar coats the surfaces of the slices more.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I topped it off with caramel condensed milk. Mmmm…

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Here is a photo of my bananas foster (bananas sliced smaller) and yogurt. This photo was taken in Singapore in 2014.

Aaj bahut vyast tha! Today was a busy one. Looking forward to tomorrow.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

This weekend was rainy. It rained all day and all night. Perfect weather for the couch, the television, food, and friends!

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Perfection for indoors.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I met this sweetheart on Sunday. Her name is Autumn and she is a seeing eye dog. A Black Lab. She is soooo strong, so gentle, so attentive. Heaven has to be filled with dogs.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I marinated fish in a Korean BBQ mixture. I did it with chicken and wanted to try it with fish. I marinated them for just under 2 hours, then baked them at 350 until they were cooked. The seasonings really soaked through. Mmmmm! Spicy, tasty, delicious!

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

On Sunday I made somewhat of a frittata. Tomatoes, spinach, sweet peppers, cheese, onions, and cilantro. Then I poured beaten eggs over the vegetables and baked.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Before putting in the oven

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

After it was done

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

I kept working on my paper this weekend too. I love it. I love writing.

vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, photos, photo journal, architecture, food, beauty, photography

Dinner! Rice (which I cooked with flax seeds – I wanted to experiment), veggies, and my Korean BBQ fish.

Someone asked me for the Koren BBQ recipe, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJdU-Y_4cig