So I’ve got to be honest with you … The initial reason I picked this film was because James Franco is in it.

There, I said it.

As discussed during the usual first day of class introductory formalities, I am an immense fangirl and have quite the long list of cute celebrity crushes and favorite fictional characters. By the time I’ve finished watching most movies, I’m ready to simultaneously jump into the world they’ve created and experience it for myself, and discuss it way more in depth than the average viewer is probably meant to (my friends who’ve watched Tangled or Inside Out with me can testify to this).

A class where I got to watch movies in order to make the grade seemed a no-brainer to take my first semester senior year. But after watching Flyboys for the first time, I realized picking it for my final project was even more of one! Simply put, flyboys are in my blood.

My paternal grandfather was an aircraft maintenance supervisor for American Airlines and a U.S. Army Air Corps Veteran of WWII. His two oldest sons, including my father, followed in their father’s dream and became commercial airline pilots. How intriguing that these three amazing men shared in the same dream, just like the boys of the Lafayette Escadrille shared in theirs.

Dad's on the left.
Dad’s on the left.

And my mom is doing what she’s always done best in being an immense source of girl power and example of womanhood; she’s also representing our family in the airline industry! Her love for travel led her to initially become a ticket agent for another commercial airline at our local airport hub. Now, she has taken on managerial and administrative roles and uses her passion for communication, customer service, and the company to run team building events at its headquarters.

My dad had the opportunity for many years to explore the beauty of North America from a view that not many people get to experience for as often and as long as he did. He now is experiencing that view from the clouds full time following his passing in 2012.

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First airplane ride …

 

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… and one of the last.

It had been during the time I’ve had at Mary Washington that I’ve gained the courage to continue my journey, spread my wings, fly to new heights, and soar after my dreams. What I originally thought would be just another tedious project has become a way for me to remember my dad, understand some of the history behind where his dream to be an aviator may have came from, and allow him to be a part of my senior year almost as fully as if he were here to experience it with me.

So now that you know some of my personal story that has come to lie behind this project, I hope you enjoy finding out the true story of the Lafayette Escadrille, and how it was portrayed in the movie Flyboys.

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Sincerely, your resident Flygirl.

 

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