Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Please Send Me Purple Pansies"

"If I should crack up, please send me purple pansies, as I like them best."

Those were the words of now mostly forgotten pioneer female aviator Ruth Alexander as she was at the Lindbergh Field in San Diego and spoke with reporters during a plane check. She was making a cross-country flight headed for Newark, N. J.

In my great interest in premonitions of impending death, her story is now added to my collection.

Greater interest in another female aviator, Amelia Earhart, whose even greater aerial accomplishments as well as her disappearance in 1937, eclipsed the tragedy of Alexander's last flight.

Now if the above seemingly offhand remark to reporters were all the evidence of premonition there was it could easily be dismissed a poor joke. But there is more.

Newspapers at the time reported she had left notes for her parents as well as her new husband. These clearly indicated a sense of doom.

To her parents she requested a simple funeral should she die. But to her husband she wrote:

Life is strange, honey. If I have preceded you do not grieve for me, but be content as I am content. Finish your work down here and make me proud of you, as I ever will be at your side. And when you come I will welcome you. Always I will love and wait for you. And, sweetheart, keep my pretty wedding ring always with you, Ruth.

The crash which took Alexander's life was horrific, with wreckage scattered hundreds of feet from her mangled body, one of the plane's wings and its motor. The papers reported that several struts and braces were wrapped around the body. The plane's gas tank had apparently exploded causing the crash.

Hope for the best prepare for the worst, I suppose. Sometimes you have feelings you just can't shake. That was the case with Alexander, I believe.

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