I just watched a YouTube video of an interview with my Aunt Ruth when she was 101. (She lived to 104.) She was the widow of my mother’s brother, and the matriarch of a large family. (My mother was one of six children.)
Mother and I spent several summers in her home in Buffalo, New York while my father was on the road for work and my brother was away at camp, so I knew her family quite well. I loved spending time with my three male cousins, two, four, and six years younger than me.
In the interview, Aunt Ruth tells us that in 1935 she was a buyer in the coat department of The May Company in Denver where she grew up. When her employer asked for volunteers to look into whether the company’s buyers should fly to New York or continue taking the train, she volunteered.
She described the plane with its bench-like seats arranged along its sides. When they were about to take off, her colleague worried about how close they were to another plane on the runway. Aunt Ruth had to explain that that was the light at the end of their own plane’s wing.
She was beloved by so many and I still miss her.