Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Vera Dawn Walker
Called the "Tiny Texan" because she was only 4'11" and weighed 97 pounds, Vera Dawn Walker was so short, she had to sit on pillows so she could reach the rudder pedals on the airplanes she loved to fly in the late 1920's. And when flying alone didn't provide enough excitement, Walker just climbed out onto the wings and walked up and down while the plane was in the air!
Fascinated by birds swooping from tree to tree when she was a child, Walker grew up longing to do what they were doing. So, when a reporter asked her as an adult, "Why do you fly?" she shot back simply, "I want to!"
When she contracted tuberculosis after a flight to Guatemala in 1931, instead of retiring to a sanitorium to recuperate, Walker pitched a tent south of Tucson, Arizona, and spent four years placer mining. Nothing like a nice pile of gold nuggets to make an in-your-face woman forget her blues.