First in Flight

Some of you on here might know that I come from an aviation family. My father is a retired US Airways and Continental Airlines pilot, my mother a former TWA Flight Attendant. Both of my grandfathers were TWA pilots and I have uncles at American Airlines and corporate operators.

Yet the first person in my family to ever “slip the surly bonds of Earth” in an airplane was my grandmother, Evelyn Asire (nee Fulmer). It was June 12, 1929, there was a barn stormer in town offering rides in a Ford Tri-Motor to support the local ford dealers in South Bend and Mishawaka, Indiana. Evelyn’s father, Floyd Fulmer, was a car salesman. Floyd won a ticket for an airplane ride as part of a sales competition Instead of taking the ride himself, Floyd rushed home to get eleven year old Evelyn. At 2:15 pm, ninety three years ago, Evelyn became the very first person in my family to leave the ground and experience flight.

My family’s history with aviation would go on to be dominated by the men in it, but it all started with that little girl who, to her final days, loved the thrill of flying and never forgot that first flight in a Ford Tri-Motor.