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By Florentin Smarandache

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She wanted more. At dinner that evening, she informed her parents that she wanted to learn to fly. Flying, she said, was a lot more interesting and worthwhile than going to school. This statement did not sit well with her mother, according to Nancy’s daughters, but her father saved the day. Why should one preclude the other? he wisely asked. Why couldn’t she learn to fly and go to school? ” Nancy and her father struck a bargain. He would allow the flying lessons she so desperately wanted, but she must return to boarding school in September.

An article in the April 5, 1932, Poughkeepsie newspaper says that Miller cut his motor, prepared to give it the gun before landing, but the motor failed to respond and they hit a tree about fifteen feet below the tops of the branches. The plane tipped backward and fell about thirty feet, crashing upside down across the stone wall at the edge of the field. The motor was torn loose from the craft and landed in the field east of the Vassar Road. ” Miller’s head struck the instrument panel. 14 In truth, Nancy later told her daughters, he was badly cut about the face and lost his left eye.

Neither she nor her companion, Joseph H. Choate, 3rd, Harvard freshman, was injured. The pair had taken off from East Boston airport with Miss Harkness as pilot. 12 During 1930–1931, Nancy’s senior year at Milton, her English teacher wrote the following observations on her report card. ” The comment for the second period was: “Her work is showing increasingly a deeper, more mature interest and grasp. ” Flight now dominated everything she wrote. “Her work is very good. ” The teacher’s comments following the third marking period show the budding iconoclast at work.

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