It was, she said, “Easier than voting”, which was quite a joke since women did not yet have the right to vote. “Was it worth the effort?”, she would write for Leslies, “Absolutely. I didn’t want to make myself conspicuous, I just wanted to be first, that’s all, and I am honestly and frankly delighted.” Was this who Harriet Quimby really was?
Near the end if their flight for some reason the passenger stood up and leaned forward in his seat (seat belts being frowned upon as too restrictive). The plane hit an air pocket and the passenger was pitched out of the plane.
Harriet was unaware of this, as he had been sitting behind her. But suddenly she found the planes’ center of gravity had been drastically altered. She fought for control, and for a few seconds she almost succeeded. And then the plane pitched forward and she too was thrown out. The horrified crowd watched as the two bodies tumbled into the mudflats of Dorchester Bay, one in a plum colored flying suit. The passenger died of drowning, face down in the mud of Dorchester Bay. But the girl, the slender, tiny girl...
A man ran into the water, pulled her broken body from the mud flats, and ran ashore (above). But it was too late. Harriet had died on impact; 1 July, 1912. The Vin Fiz girl was dead, five months after the plane that had immortalized her image ended its endeavor. But who had she been, really?
We will probably never know. She and her mother had concocted so many stories over so many years that they left the real Harriet in their shadow. And that seems to have been the way that the real Harriet Quimby wanted it.
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