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Fall 2011

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Frontiers of Flight
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Why She Wrote 'Flying Into Yesterday'

On October 1, 2008, Jean-Vi Lenthe was on her way to New York, planning to "feed her muse" so she could write a play about her family, when she met a woman whose comments about women and engineering redirected her eyes (and feet) onto a wholly unexpected new path.
Suddenly Jean-Vi found herself "drafted" into a search for evidence of how (and why) 918 women had been trained -- and utilized -- as aeronautical engineers in World War II and then unceremoniously dumped at the end of the conflict, with all their records mysteriously "lost." It was a story her mother, a high school teacher of English and drama (and one of those engineers) had only mentioned in passing.
In the process of finding the Curtiss-Wright Cadettes, Jean-Vi became good friends with three of her mother's WWII buddies (all in their mid-80s) and rediscovered her own youthful passion for journalism and digging into hidden history. The result is "Flying Into Yesterday" (Wild Hare Press, October 2011), an intriguing tapestry of memoir, history, and investigative journalism.

Jean-Vi Lenthe at Frontiers of Flight Museum
"Pre-Flight" (3/11/09) at Frontiers of Flight Museum/Love Field, Dallas, Texas.

Author Bio

All photos by Barbara Sheppard

A poet and author of numerous plays and stories, Jean-Vi wrote, performed, and produced a 6-CD audiobook with music and sound effects (The ODASea: A Night Sea Journey, Wild Hare Press, 2003) that recasts Homer's Odyssey as an epic journey home from addiction -- with a female crew, female monsters, and a whole new geography.
This dramatic performance has been called a cult classic and hailed by one reviewer as a work that would probably have made even renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell hot and bothered. She also created eight radio shows for an NPR affiliate in Northern California on gay, lesbian, and bisexual authors of the late 19th and early 20th century, including E.M. Forster, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Virginia Woolf.
Jean-Vi lives with her partner of nearly two decades, Barbara Sheppard, in Taos, New Mexico, where she engages in outdoor activities, Buddhist meditation, and French conversation. Her favorite mode of transport is a bright orange Genuine Scooter "Buddy," which she rides through the Sangre De Cristo Mountains whenever there's no traffic and the sky is not pelting her with raindrops the size
of quarters.



The Genesis of Wild Hare Press

Wild Hare Press was created in 2002 to promote "VOICEWorks" of LGBT authors (specifically The ODASea referenced above) and radio shows for NPR. It was going great guns when its owner and originator (who was born in the year of the rabbit, hence the name of the press) had a sudden (one might say "hare-brained) urge to relocate to the mountains of northern New Mexico. She disassembled her recording studio and with heavy heart bid adieu to her co-host on the Outbeat Literary Salon, Jim Pitt. In Taos she became an avid hiker and cloud dancer, and now finds herself spending long hours watching winged things at high altitudes or writing about what aviation is going to look like when women reclaim their right to participate in its design. To see and hear samples of earlier Wild Hare Press creations, click above the agile rabbit poised at the top of the ladder to the right. He'll guide you underground to where the roots of history and mythology intertwine with the compulsions of capitalism.

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