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Somebody you don’t know, but you should – Part 2

JULIAN P. GRAHAM/COURTESY PEBBLE BEACH COMPANY LAGORIO ARCHIVES

Somebody you don’t know, but you should – Part 2 – Marion Hollins was an incredible athlete and visionary.  I would call her the Brian Jones of sports.  (Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones played any and every instrument he ever picked up proficiently)  Marion was a master golfer who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in 1921.

Marion was considered the finest equestrian person of her day.  She also was an accomplished tennis player, marksman, swimmer and even a car racer.  No matter what sport she played she instantly became a dominating force.  What makes this more impressive is that she attained such greatness in the male dominated world of the 1920’s.

I think most of us are familiar with the cypress tree at Cypress Point on the Monterey Peninsula in California.  This is the home of the well-known Pebble Beach Golf Course.  The World Golf Hall of Fame architect, Alister MacKenzie designed the course.  But what is not commonly said is that Marion Hollins worked side by side with Alister to assist with design and approve Pebble Beach, Augusta and Pasatiempo.  What is amazing is that Marion Hollin’s name is not mentioned.

What’s even more amazing is at the time, Augusta’s Chairman, Clifford Roberts made it known to MacKenzie that Ms. Hollins was not welcome at Augusta.  To which MacKenzie replied:

She has been associated with me in three golf courses and not only are her own ideas valuable, but she is thoroughly conversant in regard to the character of work I like.  I want her views and her personal impressions in regard to the way the work is being carried out.  I do not know of any man who has sounder ideas.

Marion Hollins. From the George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Marion Hollins. From the George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Alister MacKenzie came to develop the Pebble Beach Golf Course at the invitation of Marion Hollins.  The story behind the story is S.F.B. Morse was developing the Monterey Peninsula and asked Marion, who was now his athletic director, to help him develop a golf course.  Marion brought Alister MacKenzie in to design that course.  Together they worked side by side to develop one of the greatest golf courses ever played.  Today it ranks No. 2 on GOLF Magazines Top 100 in the United States and the World list.

In my opinion it was on the infamous 16th hole that Marion solidified her place in golf history.  MacKenzie did not want to place the 16th hole at that location.  He thought it was not possible to drive a ball to a green that far across the ocean.  So Marion said, “Let’s see.”  She dropped a ball, teed up and drove it over 219 yards across the Pacific Ocean to a spot where the 16th hole now resides.  MacKenzie smiled and said, “OK, we’ll put it there.”

Somebody you don’t know, but you should – Marion’s accomplishments are vast and far reaching.  She was a champion in the world of golf as well as other sports.  She was trailblazer and the only known woman golf course developer who helped create three world class golf courses.  She was an amazing person and…

Somebody you don’t know, but you should – Long Live the Forgotten! ~ Sebastian St. George

 

Check out the previous Blogs in this New Series!


Somebody you don’t know, but you should – The Blog Series


Somebody you don’t know, but you should – The story of Harriet Quimby

 

 

Somebody you don’t know, but you should – The Blog Series

Harriet Quimby with her Bleriot

Somebody you don’t know, but you should – The Blog Series – Since Somebody you don’t know, but you should – The story of Harriet Quimby was a tremendous success I decided this should become a blog series.  If you have not had the chance or this is first introduction, please go back and read The story of Harriet Quimby.  She was an utterly amazing woman and trailblazer.

Honestly, there should be a motion picture made about her life story.  Harriet Quimby was the first woman to get a pilot’s license in the U.S.  She also was the first woman to fly the English Channel alone.  If any movie studios or production companies are interested, please contact me on my contact page.  I have been developing this for a while.  I feel there are a tremendous amount of women who receive no recognition at all.  Their contributions are immeasurable!  People may forget… but history never does.  And guess what… I’ll find you and do my best to keep you alive!

One of my favorite things to do is research.  It’s one of my preoccupations to dig into archives and discover long lost information or historical data on fascinating people or subject matters.  I could go on for hours about this.  I love People that history has long forgotten.  But, the question is, history hasn’t forgotten them, we have!  These gems are like buried treasure that teach me so much about life, art and the pursuit of happiness.  They are priceless gems to enjoy.  I hope you love these blogs as much as I love researching and writing them!

These Forgotten have LONG fallen off the radar!  Put it to you this way, you wouldn’t even find these people misplaced in the cut-out bin filed under X or Z next to Abe Vigoda Live at the Hollywood Bowl.  Side note:  I love Abe Vigoda BTW – he is great!

Abe Vigoda as Fish on Barney Miller

I also wanted to take the time to thank everyone for all the great tweets, comments, emails, responses and support!  I love to hear from you!  Also if there is anyone you would like to me to consider to research and blog about for this blog series I am open to your suggestions.

Somebody you don’t know, but you should – The Blog Series will begin this week.  Thank you again for your support!

Somebody you don’t know, but you should –

Long Live the Forgotten!

~ Sebastian St. George

Somebody you don’t know, but you should

Somebody you don’t know but you should – The story of Harriet Quimby is an amazing story of one of the most courageous people I have ever known.  Harriet defines the word pioneer.  Harriet exemplifies courage in the face of uncertainty and the fear of unknowningness.  But honestly, what I find most impressive about her is that she was a woman who did the impossible in a time in which women didn’t do these things.

Harriet Quimby was a trailblazer in aviation and a trailblazer in Women’s Rights.  More importantly, she was woman of tremendous strength and courage.  Again, honestly, I’m very impressed with her and I can’t say this enough.  She is someone that is a treasure to me and a pleasure for me to share with you.  Let me begin.

We all remember Ameila Earhart and her courageous efforts that she made in flight.  Long before Amelia, there was a courageous woman by the name of Harriet Quimby.

Harriet Quimby was the first woman in this country to get a pilot’s license.  She is also the first woman to fly across the English Channel alone.  What is even more amazing is this happened in 1912!

Harriet was a beautiful and vivacious woman in her 30s.  She was a drama critique for a New York Magazine called, “Leslie’s Weekly.”  She met a pilot by the name of John Moisant who also owned a flying school.  Her words to this glamorous flyer were: “Teach me to fly.”  Mosiant’s reply was: “Anytime.”  Unfortunately Mosiant was killed in a tragic plane crash, but Harriet had befriended Matilde Mosiant, John Mosiant’s sister.  They became fast friends.  Matilde, by the way, was the second woman to earn a pilot’s license in the U.S.A.

Harriet spent four months and thirty-three lessons at the Moisant School.  She studied in a Bleriot monoplane.  This plane was designed by Louie Bleriot, who was the first pilot to fly across the English Channel in 1909.

Harriet would fly the reverse route in the same type of plane in 1912.  She would fly alone.  I know this might sound pedestrian to you.  Let’s consider this, Harriet flew without instruments, the only instrument she had was a hand-held compass she had in her lap.  She also took off in fog, flew much of the flight in fog and had no radio communication.  Talk about taking off into total uncertainty.  Actually, it sounds quite insane!  Especially in 1912!

Somebody you don’t know but you should – Harriet Quimby was successful against all odds in her endeavor.  Her success would be heralded throughout the U.S.A and Europe.  Along with her triumphs as an aviation “Femme Fatale” was her flying suit: a plum colored “satin backed by wool” with a monk’s cowl “that kept her hair in place and her ears warm” with “almond shaped goggles” – years ahead of their time.  This was her trailblazing and fashionable flying outfit.

There was one person who thought that Harriet could not accomplish the Channel flight.  He was certain, but he saw her off by giving her a hot water bottle to keep her warm.  He even offered to fly the Channel wearing her plum flying suit.  She laughed him off, ofcourse.

Sadly, Harriet had a tragic accident at an airshow in New York shortly after her Channel flight.  She and her co-pilot were pitched from her Bleriot during a dive.  This plane had a history of this.  At this time there were no harnesses in the plane to secure the pilot’s safely and so prevent this.  Today’s pilots owe a tremendous debt of respect and admiration to these early aviation pioneers.  Without their sacrifices and courageous willingness to adventure into flying’s vast uncertainty we would not have the safety that we all share today.

Harriet Quimby contributed significantly to this progress, so much so that a U.S. Postal Stamp was issued in her honor and memory.  The Stamp was issued in 1991 in Plymouth, Michigan.

In 2009 The Los Angeles Times ran a short piece on a French pilot, Edmond Salis, and his attempt to recreate the first flight of Louie Bleriot across the English Channel.  Sadly, Harriet was not mentioned at all.

Somebody you don’t know but you should – Harriet Quimby is a remarkable and inspiring American woman who helped paved the way for American aviation and Women’s Rights.  She is definitely someone you should know.

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