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Getting Religion- Part IX Going Home

In the spring of 1964 I took off for Seattle Washington.  I had graduated from college and stewardess school and needed a place to escape to. Virginia in the 60s felt backwards and wrong for me.  The ghosts my family had inherited combined with the not so subtle atmosphere of racial segregation angered me, made me feel constrained and defenseless against a past I didn't want to be part of.  

In addition, there was no place for me in the workforce in Virginia.  My father, determined I not succumb to an alcoholic marriage, insisted I support myself. But being a secretary, a teacher or a nurse had been the only options my mother could see.  And these felt old and stale, too traditional to satisfy my desire for adventure. As an educated woman surrounded by the hopes of a new progressive era, one with style and possibilities, I longed to be modern. I longed to explore beyond the confines of a troubled past and an earlier century.  Most of all, I wanted to fly. 

So in the spring of the year,  I eagerly accepted a flight attendant position on the west coast. My mother was dismayed by my choice, my father horrified at his only daughter leaving home, my brother Russell, having previously left for the jungles of Vietnam, thought it was cool. Now, ten years later,  I was going home. 

To be continued ...

3 Comments to Getting Religion- Part IX Going Home:

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Mara on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 5:41 PM
Beautifully written, Betsy. Your need to fly (literally and figuratively) resonates to any of us then-young women who lived through that time, old enough to know better but not yet to change the status quo (or so we thought). I look forward to reading more of your tale.
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