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So Easy Now to Learn"

By Bonnie R. Ginger.

She flies! She flies!
Who flies?
Harriet Quimby.
And Easterners, you are called upon to notice, and Westerners, you don't have to be called, you've noticed already-the first American woman aeronaut is a Westerner!
Three big-moose cheers! Hooray!
Yes, sirree, the first American girl aeronaut to really sure-enough naut is Miss Harriet Quimby of California, which is sure-enough West, do you savvy?and also of New York, where, when she is not nauting, or naut notting, she takes flying shots at the New York drama, as all real dramatic editors are privileged to do.
It is an entirely mistaken idea that upon interviewing an aviator you have first to buy one of those new aeronautical dictionaries and go armed to the teeth with their new-fangled air-words, volplaning terms and figure-eight phrases. Not so. Miss Quimby uses plain, not plane, language. She's straightforward and Western (there it goes again! You see, it's hard to get over that cute little fact about her being a Westerner. Isn't that all right?) Yes, real cross-my-heart Western, albeit she didn't ride into New York  from Frisco on a tan-colored mustang, wearing a sombrero, a khaki knee-dress and a belt full of cartridges, and cracking a quirt at at the crowd in City Hall Park, as did a certain female person a few weeks agao. Miss Quimby isn't a Western at all in the sense of being an escaped Buffalo Bill show-girl. Nor does she snap a quirt, even aeronautically speaking. She nauts just because she thinks it's a good, sensible, delightful, unsensational sport for women, and not a fad or a short-cut to mere notoriety.
Really, Miss Quimby said, there was very little to talk about, she was afraid, it was all so simple, and any one wanting an interview would have to fall back upon gray matter to get any space results. You see, she can speak journalistically. But the very contrary proved to the case.


It would be interesting just merely to describe her, or to try. Is she the type one would expect to see pioneering the skies for her sex? She isn't athletic. She said she didn't even know a Western girl who was really athletic, as Easterners understand the term, and yet it is the Western girl who loves the sports and is always in on everything out-of-doors. Miss Quimby suggests the warm Southern sun. She has the rich, deep hues of a Southern Californian, a low voice and a brilliant smile, and she runs strongly to overhung bonnets and antique ornaments, such as basilisks, amulets, scarabs and the like, so that even in business attire her individuality is very distinctive. She probably wears this sort of thing because she can do it so well, which is a woman's reason, and a very good one. And Miss Quimby also has the woman's reason for flying. Just "because." It's splendid sport, and she thinks it's a sport for women.
"it's amusing," she said, sitting at her littered and busy-day desk, where her work had piled up on her during these last few flying days, "but the men flyers have given out the impression that it's very perilous work, something the ordinary mortal should never dream of attempting. It was when I saw how easily they could circle the Statue of Liberty that I believed I could learn to do that myself.
"Mr. Moisant took me up, figuratively, and I began to learn. It's easy! If your instructor is good, that's the secret. Any one can fly who cares enough for the sport. As for some women, they are as adaptable as men to flying. Some women couldn't learn, of course, just as some men can never learn to drive an auto sanely. But there's no more ability need to fly than to manage an auto."
Miss Quimby drives her own runabout, by the way. And of course, being Western, she rides and drives horses. "I have ridden everything, I believe, except an elephant and a hobby." She says her flying will never be a mere hobby with her.
"I'd never give up my work for it. I care too much for my work. And a business woman can't really want mere notoriety. I wish I could express my views of this sport. It's not a fad, and I didn't want to be the first American woman to fly just to make myself conspicuous. I just wanted to be the first, that's all, and I am honestly and frankly delighted. And I have written so much about other people, you can't guess how I enjoy sitting back and reading about myself for once. I think that's excusable in me.
"I do think flying is a really fine, dignified sport for woman, healthy and stimulating to the mind. I know of nothing more satisfying than to rest the mind. There is a certain freedom from resistance in a monoplane such as you don't get in an auto,

and a half learning, taken consecutively the time of actual flying was less than two hours."
So one must sacrifice a lot of time in pursuit of this fascinating sport, and Miss Quimby is a busy woman. But now that she has learned she thinks she has the blue ribbon brand of recreation. She fancies other women will soon by flying. The great drawback is of course the expense. At present numbers are debarred who would take up flying with delight and confidence. "In my case it was a matter of opportunity, through my friends," she said. She intends to take her sport as others take their bathing or their hunting and fishing-when she can find time for it-and she prefers it to all other recreations. And she could certainly choose from a very long list.
The flying machine and the auto are not her only outlets for mechanical ability. At her desk you see that interesting and ever useful thought humble bit of twentieth century mechanism the typewriter. It 

[["I wish I could express my views of this sport. It's not a fad, and I didn't want to be the first American woman to fly just to make myself conspicuous. I just wanted to be the first, that's all, and I am honestly and frankly delighted. And I have written so much about other people, you can't guess how much I enjoy sitting back and reading about myself for once. I think that's]]

is rather nice to think that a woman so versatile and so typically American-we'll be generous and not confine her to just the West-should be our first woman to fly. And also a woman who does a lot of things well is pretty apt to know what she's about, and I'm willing to take Miss Quimby's word for it that flying's all it's said to be, and all she claims it is for women, if they will only go in for it sensibly and not think it's just another cute fad.
Of course Miss Quimby has ridden bucking broncos out West. Aftef [[sp. After]] that, a monoplane seems only reasonable. Miss Quimby didn't say what she would do if the monoplane bucked. But I don't think it would get away with her. She'd get a nice quiet grip of the bridle, keep its head up and ride it to the hitching post as tame as a lamb. And when she got down it would eat lump sugar out of her hand. I imagine that's her way with a monoplane.

[[illustration of a woman with a typewriter]]

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