The dreams of two women, one of whom was a real-life “Rosie the Riveter” during WWII, came true earlier this month when their wish to meet the Blue Angels was granted.
Ida Settle, 78, and her half-sister Isabelle have shared a love of airplanes, often spending time together at airshows.
Ida told theGrio she became interested in aviation at the age of 9 or 10. “My dad used to drive me to the airport and around Lake Springfield. I saw airplanes take off and watched military jets take off from the airport.”
She always dreamed of being a pilot and even applied to a local flying school, but at the time women were not accepted.
Isabelle, 96, worked for the Douglas Aircraft Company in Chicago during WWII. Standing just 4’10” tall, Isabelle was assigned to rivet the wings and tight spaces around C-54 Skymasters, a transport plane.
The ladies’ dreams came true on August 14 when they attended the Chicago Air Show and had the opportunity to spend time with the Blue Angels. The wish was granted by Wish of a Lifetime (WOL), a non-profit organization that grants wishes to seniors, in partnership with Brookdale Senior Living, where Ida lives.
“Indescribable – to meet the highly accomplished people who smiled and communicated with two old country girls,” Ida said of meeting the Blue Angels. “It was a very spiritual experience. We see it in their flying maneuvers. If we had met them in a dark room, you would have seen us glow. It has sparked a re-acquaintance with our friends and relatives of aviation. It has created a serendipitous experience in our lives.”
The 78-year-old said she was “like a scrambled eggs of feelings and emotions.”
“I got to go inside the Boeing executive jet,” said Ida. “It was the coolest thing ever.”
(Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals. )