Thursday, March 27, 2008


Two obituaries, same day, Saturday, March 22, 2008, same page of the New York Times.

1. Mary Meader, 91 Pioneering Aerial Photographer. She and her husband spent their honeymoon in the 1930 on a 35,000 trip taking unprecidented aerial photographs of South America and Africa. Took the first aerial photo of many geographical sites: Nazca lines in Peru, Mt. Kilimanjaro from the air, native villages, and the Pyramids among other subjects. She weighed only 95 pounds and braced the 20-pound camera on the window frame of their plane and secured it with a clothesline. She said she once nearly froze to death. Earned her pilots license while pregnant with her first child. Only one of three people invited to sign the American Geographical Society's Fliers' and Explorer's Globe twice. Had 2 children and with her second husband became major philanthropists giving away millions. In her 70's she continued to go to an elementary school to help children learn to read.

2. Vicki Van Meter, 26. Celebrated for piloting a plane cross-country at 11 and from the United States to Europe at 12 accompanied only by an instructor. Her instructor said she was at the controls the entire time. Later earned a degree in criminal justice from Ediboro University in Pennsylvania and spent two years with the Peace Corps in Moldova. Had recently begun applying to graduate schools and wanted to study psychology. Died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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