This student pilot is a “Shining Star”

I collected my registration materials at the Women in Aviation International conference in Dallas last week and slung my name tag on its lanyard around my neck. Heading back to the elevator, I boarded a car with three other gentlemen.

One of the men noticed my name tag and asked, “Are you with Women of Aviation?” I am. “Are you a pilot?” Yes. “How long have you been flying?” Eleven years, I said, and I fly a Piper Cherokee.

The man’s face lit up. “I’m a student pilot,” he said. “I’ve been at it awhile.” He said something about his music career keeps him busy. When I asked if he had ever read Flight Training, he looked quizzical, so I offered to send him a copy of the magazine. Did he have a business card? He didn’t. Did I have a business card? Yes, I did. I started fumbling in my purse for one while he held the elevator door at my stop.

As I handed him my card, he said, “Maybe you’ve heard of our group. Earth, Wind, and Fire.”

That’s when I said something likeĀ “OhmygoshIloveyourmusicsendmeyouremailandI’llsendyouamagazine!” And the elevator doors closed.

I went online and found out that I had been talking to Verdine White, who, with his brother, Maurice, founded the group about 40 years ago. I wish we’d had more time to talk about flying, and I kind of think Verdine felt that way too. — Jill W. Tallman

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