A candle and a flight, linked by WWII aircraft…who knew?

I visited a friend’s stand at a farmers market the other week and started smelling some soy candles, hoping to find something subtle enough to purchase.

The artisan approached me. What do I like? Do you have any sage?

She could get some and also Summer Tomato, which was another request.

I laughed because both would appeal to me. I arranged to come back and she offered to custom pour one for me.

We chatted. She asked what I did for a living and was impressed when I told her I inspected aircraft engines.

She told me about some photos she obtained showing women working on aircraft from World War II.

I put a plug in for my online publication “Today’s Rosies”


A week later, as I was driving to pick up the candle, my friend called asking if I wanted to take a flight to Block Island.


I had to pick up the candle first I explained.

No problem, he would meet me at the farmers market.

Not only did she have the candle, she had photos. The very ones she had told me about, picturing women at the Deming Army Air Base in New Mexico sometime between 1942-46, from what I could figure.

Women working on aircraft in New Mexico in the 1940’s.

I had goosebumps.

These women are the pioneers in a field that is still under-represented by females.

The story gets better.


I meet my friend and we motor to the airstrip and we walk out to meet the plane.

I thought certainly that is a museum piece, but no, it was the fixed wing propeller we were planning to fly to Block Island.

I thought it needed a paint job.

“The engine is new,” my friend said.

You can see why I might have concerns…with the Navion Ryan from World War II-era.

Before I could ask more questions, they were climbing up on the wing and pulling back the canopy.

My friend offered his hand, and I handed him my bag and climbed up.


The Goodspeed Opera House and the East Haddam swing bridge on the Connecticut River as seen from the air.
I was puzzled by this sign, but it did not take me long to realize the pilot had a strange sense of humor.

I sat in the co-pilot seat and the pilot offered me a chance at taking the yoke. It was lovely and gentle.

As we approached Block Island, he asked, “Should I take over now?”

“ABSOLUTELY!” I replied. Flying is easy. Landing and take-offs are not!

Both the take-off and landing were smooth. I thanked the pilot and still do!


How bizarre.

One minute I am looking at a photo, the next I am sitting in an aircraft that could have been the one in the photo!

I do not believe in coincidence.

I do believe in gifts.

Saying “YES!” takes me places I could never imagine.

By Catstrav

Reindeer handler. NDT tech. Mother of four. Aspiring astronaut.


  1. Cat, do you ever say no??!!!! God bless your courage and enthusiasm. Such an example to so many, young and older.

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