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The Happy Bottom Riding Club : the life and times of Pancho Barnes (edition 2000)
The Happy Bottom Riding Club: The Life and Times of Pancho Barnes by Lauren Kessler
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 037550124X, Hardcover)A more unlikely minister's wife could hardly be imagined. Yet Florence Lowe Barnes (1901-74) was in fact married to an Episcopalian rector when she began training horses and flying stunt planes for Hollywood studios. As it turned out, however, the hard-drinking, hard-living, primarily male camaraderie she found there suited her far better than the well-mannered lifestyle of her affluent parents and undersexed husband. She acquired her nickname during a roistering 1927 trip to Mexico, and "Pancho" Barnes became legendary as a pioneering female pilot and a world-class party thrower with lovers to spare. (She was no beauty, but many men found Pancho's gusto and humor irresistible.) In the mid-'30s, past her prime as a pilot and looking for a business to support her free-spending ways, she set up as a Mojave Desert rancher near a tiny encampment of the Army Air Corps. Military and test pilots like Chuck Yeager flocked to Pancho's place--whether it was called Rancho Oro Verde, Pancho's Fly-Inn, or the Happy Bottom Riding Club--to savor her openhanded hospitality with food and booze, and to enjoy earthy stories about her past. Readers intrigued by Tom Wolfe's thumbnail sketch of Pancho in The Right Stuff will relish Lauren Kessler's full-length narrative of her adventurous life. --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)
Describes the life of Florence Lowe Barnes, who left her uppercrust family and lifestyle and became Pancho Barnes in the late 1920s, one of the most famous female pilots in history.
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