Grandma Myrtle the Aviatrix
This is Myrtle Sylvia Phenice Bucklin. Aviatrix supreme. Flying ace of the Phenice flock. Not really. I just like this whimsical looking photo of my mom’s mom. I always thought my Grandma Bucklin had a humorous streak and this photo proves it. Not that she didn’t have a stern streak, also. Many of her former students have attested to that claim. But this photo of her is a favorite of mine because of a few things.
It reminds me of the days when I was really young. We would drive out to the country and visit my grandparents (and sometimes our cousins) in Hathaway, Louisiana. That area is prairie land and has been since my ancestors homesteaded there in the latter part of the 19th century. It’s very flat with not many trees around. You could see the line of rain coming from out in the distance. The haze of the sky in this picture reminds me of that.
Some of my earliest memories of going to their house out in the country has to do with airplanes. My Uncle Austin has always had a fascination with airplanes. His room had model airplanes hanging from strings. I don’t know if he was there at the time or if he had moved away and was traveling the globe, but I definitely remember his room. And I’m sure that’s where the plane in this photo came from. I would assume that the goggles came from there as well. Uncle Austin now lives in the War Vets home in Jennings and there are airplanes hanging from the ceiling of the hallway to his room. It so reminds me of my memory of his room back then.
But the best part of this photo is the whimsical smile on Grandma’s face. With a tilt of her head and her sassy stance, it makes for a charming photo. I’m not really sure what she is doing with the plane. I can just imagine her shouting “Prepare for takeoff!” followed by her hearty laugh. She’d give that plane a good heave into the sky. Then a prairie wind would carry it away as we’d sit by and admire it flying and looping through the air.
After a moment of being mesmerized by the spectacle, we’d ask Grandma how she did that. But she wouldn’t be anywhere we could see. How could that be? We could still hear her laugh echoing through the sky! But then we’d realize that it wasn’t an echo, it was Grandma flying around in that plane and laughing. As she’d fly over us, she’d smile down at us and shout, “Let your imaginations soar!” She’d disappear in the distance with her laughter drifting back down to us.