Hello and greetings from the Baldpate Inn Key Room! As I was making my way around the key room this morning, one particular story jumped out to me. The old picture, the key itself, and the story to match made an undeniably remarkable combination that I felt compelled to share with you all.
Take yourselves back to the 40's, 1947 to be exact, when times were different, and the world was starting to change. Now picture a woman, what is she doing? I bet the first thing that came to mind was not flying a plane. We are all aware of one incredible woman, and a household name to this day, Amelia Earhart. Although she defined the odds and became a worldwide figure, this story is not about her. This story is about a young woman named Mary H. Dickey. Even though she was not the first, she was, at one point, the only female that held a pilots license as well as earning the highest CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). But Mary didn't stop there. She not only established her own pilot's school at the New Orleans Airport to teach ex GI's about airplanes, but also graduated in May of 1947 from that very same school. At one point, Mary was able to say she had flown over 3200 hours and taught over 200 Army and Navy pilots. To defy the odds as a woman back in the 40's was one thing, but to be the one teaching the guys a thing or two...was nearly unheard of. It is women like this that started a revolution of sort, doing the things that "women weren't supposed to do", and seeing how far we can go. Mary is a true inspiration to not only her generation, but also the generation of today.
Mary personally donated the key to her twin engine Cessna, N.C. 75210, which she named "I Wake Up Screaming." to The Baldpare Inn, September the 7th, 1947.
There are 30,000 stories here in our key room. Come find the one that inspires you!!
Written by Tivory Luevane
Museum Curator at The Baldpate Inn