A tale of two Amelias: Rose Earhart to talk famous aviatrix’s life and legacy



Not to be confused with Amelia Mary Earhart — iconic aviatrix, air-blazer, and an example for brave and driven young people who wish to be pilots — Amelia Rose Earhart (as her name might imply) has her own set of air-blazing stories to tell, and at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ, she will talk about her own flight around the world.

Amelia Mary Earhart traveled by plane to Chautauqua in 1929, landing on the golf course, lecturing in the Amphitheater, and flying away about four hours after her arrival. No doubt she did some pretty fine thinking while at the controls of a small aircraft, but that thinking met a premature end in 1937 just short of Howland Island in the Pacific, where, on her way around the world, she was heard from for the last time.

In a manner of speaking, where Amelia Mary Earhart disappeared, Amelia Rose Earhart appeared. After flying over Howland Island during her own circle of the world in 2014, Rose Earhart felt her own flight take on a new meaning.

“I thought, ‘This is no longer Amelia’s flight,’ ” she said in an interview with the Oakland Tribune. “This is my flight. We’re carrying it forward from Howland Island, from where she left off, and so from that moment on, it kind of had this new surge of adventure.”

Connection and separation between the two pilots has been complicated. As a young girl, Amelia Rose was known as Amy. Sharing a name with someone so famous had drawbacks.

“My parents took a risk,” she said.

In school, upon meeting her for the first time and learning her name, teachers would eagerly talk about the famous Earhart’s history. Sometimes kids would pick on her.

At the age of 18, Amelia Rose Earhart decided to accept it rather than fight it any longer. Eventually, she took her first flight lesson. She sensed a great adventure.

“I found my greatest passion,” she said.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Earhart has begun the Amelia Foundation, which grants flight scholarships to girls aged 16 to 18. Earhart is writing a book about the planning and execution of her flying experience.

To fly around the world involves many people. It “requires a huge amount of planning — just to get the permits, let alone getting funding and sponsors,” Earhart said. Now Earhart wants to tell a good-news aviation story. She wants to encourage other young women to be pilots. Only about 6 percent of pilots today are women. To be a pilot requires patience, poise, grace and conscientiousness, Earhart said.

“I never want to give up the power that women have,” she said.

And she will never give up her namesake, in her own flying, writing and public service, as she works to keep people aware of and interested in Amelia Mary Earhart.