SONY DSC“What do you want to do when you grow up, Amelia?” Samuel Earhart asked his daughter.

“I want to fly.”

“No, I mean as a career… a job… something you get paid for, honey.”

“Yes Pop, I wanna fly.”

“Women don’t fly, dear. People don’t fly.”

“Some do, son,” Amelia’s grandfather corrected. “There’s a man in Australia, Lawrence Hargrave, who’s been flying a box-kite glider for a few years now. And only last year, no, the year before, 1901, a man… now what was his name… a German… Gustave something, here in the US. Fairfax it was, Connecticut, I remember now, Gustave Whitehead. It made me laugh, his name, because of my white hair. I read somewhere that he’d made a powered flight. But I’m not sure. They say there are some brothers… two, I think, in… Indiana, who are doing the same thing. I think they’re gonna be quite successful. Like you, Amelia. You can do whatever you want to do.”

“Do you really think so, Grandpa?”

“Of course, dear. Put your mind to it and the world is… yours for the taking.”

“Really?” Amelia asked, wide-eyed.

“Sure. Why not?”

“Have you been outside of Kansas, Grandpa?”

“I have, Amelia,” her grandfather said enthusiastically.

“I’ll leave you two to it,” Amelia’s father said, getting out of his chair and leaving the room.

Oblivious, Amelia stared into her grandfather’s eyes. “Tell me where.”

“Ooh, all over, sugar.”

“Where, Grandpa?”

“Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming… even been to California once.”

The smile disappeared from the little girl’s face. “Only America?”

“Oh no,” her grandfather beamed. “I’ve been everywhere.”

Amelia leaned forward and whispered, “You have?”

Her grandfather nodded seriously. “I have Amelia, everywhere.”

Amelia gasped.

The old man tapped his temple. “In here, Amelia, you can go anywhere your imagination will take you. You dream big, Amelia, and there’ll be nothing stopping you.”

Amelia giggled, clapped her hands then leaned forward to kiss her grandfather’s left cheek, making the old man blush.


This story was taken from my Story A Day May 2011 collection. Photograph above courtesy of

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