Alphen aan den Rijn Wednesday March 6 2013
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The last words about the PLENARY, specially for the younger people.
Like me you might not know too much about the winner of the Majewska award but, ” between us girls” we always find extra news, to honnor a lady deserving such an award, in the correct way. Not by only mentioning her name.
Thanks to Frauke, this time Elber, from the USA and WSPA [Women Soaring Pilots Asoociation] editor from the Magazine “Hangar Soaring”, I can share with you a picture and a story which Frauke had in her file. She met Maria at the WWGC in Klix in 2005 and this story most probably was published in the news letter that year. Here is the nice story about Maria with a picture from her send by Frauke.
Courtesy Frauke Elber
Maria Bolla a legend in International Women Soaring,
—“Born in 1945 in Hungary, Maria Bolla can look back to many years of successful soaring which continues
with her participation at the 3rd Women World Gliding Championship 2005 in Klix, Germany.
An instructor for more than 30 years, Maria has logged 5200 hours in sailplanes. She is holding 14 Hungarian records and she participated in many nationals and international competitions, winning many of them. In 1983 she was second in the European Women Championships flying in the Standard Class. She instructed many beginners but also taught the art of advanced soaring, aerobatics, cross country, instrument flying, cloud flying and soaring cross country.
Maria doesn’t hesitate when asked for her biggest challenge and achievement in soaring.
It was a high altitude flight that earned her the third diamond. This achievement gave her the distinction of being the first Hungarian woman completing the Diamond badge. The flight took place in 1974. In previous flights she had reached 3000 m in wave which she considered easy. Therefore she was determined to reach that altitude in pure thermal flight also.
The chance came on a hot and balmy summer day with strongly developing clouds, which later overdeveloped and produced thunderstorms. Maria observed the formation of a Cumulus Congestus from the ground and carefully planned, before take-off, which course she had to fly to safely exit the billowing cloud to get sight of the ground
Entering the cloud did not pose any problem and she quickly reached 3000 and 4000 meter. The turbulence increased with altitude: 25m/sec climb one moment and 5 m/sink the next, a real roller coaster ride. Ice was forming on the leading edges of the wing but she continued her climb while the towering cloud grew bigger and bigger.
It suddenly dawned on her that this was her chance for a 5000 m altitude gain and therefore the completion of her Diamond badge. She left the cloud when her altimeter read 5200m and started her descent. Curious and impatient to find out if she had a good barograph trace she yanked the barograph out from behind her and happily realized that she had a good trace. Relieved she continued her descent and landed overjoyed back at the airport.
Years later on a trip through Hungary Gill van den Broeck from Belgium, a journalist, professional translator, a well-known figure in the international soaring scene and a jury member at the present World Championship, met a
professional pilot near Lake Balaton. Talking about flying Gill mentioned that she „only“ was a glider pilot. The pilot vehemently rejected the attribute „only“. He had received his instrument training from an expert woman glider pilot. Without a name mentioned Gill immediately knew that this female instructor was no other than MARIA BOLLA.—”
By the way Frauke’s Magazine issue of February 2013 is on line; Enjoy!http://www.womensoaring.org/hsarchive/02_13.pdf
Spring finally has arrived in Holland with up to 15.2 dgr. at the Bilt the Dutch place to measure the temperature and straight away the hottest day in history , ever on March 5 and full sun and blue skies. It was even 18 dgr. C. in the southern part of Holland.
I did a bit in my garden yesterday and have been sitting in the sun for a while , yes with 30 plus on.
It was not yet sunny or warm however last Sunday, but,…. several clubs here started their season. One little “man” had the day of his live flying with Robin [son of one of my friends “Smitje”]
Also the GEZC had their first day of flying , surely they try to be the “best” airfield on the OLC again, this season. Pictures as shared on FB by Michiel and Hobbit.
A happy day up to 700 m. and still very warm -clothed members from the GEZC flying from Terlet [Arnhem] but here in their club house.
The first weekend in March started with 285 flights added to the OLC. Not a lot from European flatland, as it is still more or less “hanging around”, BUT the beginning is there, as you can see also by flights from Leverkussen in Germany; nearly 250 km. in an ASG 29/18m.!
Talking about Hungary, I had to smile looking at the aborted flight from an Hungaryan pilot flying in an ASW 15, ” Wrong declaration, but good first flight.” Better now than on a fantastic mid -summer -day , is n’t it?
Last Monday morning, no panique but a bit unusual; 2 planes had to come back after their start from Schiphol Airport. I thought straight away of the delegates but luckily as far as I knew all of them had left already .
One was Delta Airlines on its way to Mumbai with as I heard an engine problem and one from KLM on its way to Milan, with as I read smoke in the cockpit. Both planes landed without futher problems but kept rescue teams on high alert.
Believe it or not a bit later an Easyjet got into problems as well due to a birdstrike in the left engine. They also landed without a problem. A bit of a hectic day there at Schiphol!
156 km./h is what I noticed on the OLC for a flight from Tassilo Bode from Tswalo Game Reese in South Africa ; he calls it a “Paradise for gliding” .Checking the area I found their site;
—“Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu takes conservation as its absolute priority; our vision is simply ‘to restore the Kalahari to itself’. No more than thirty guests at a time can discover the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.—”
To be invited there and even more to fly over it must be MAGIC!!!!
In the bus from Papendal to Malden via Nijmegen, Dutch Frouwke told us where the “BRIDGE TOO FAR” was, while passing the Rhine. USA Frauke has a nice story about that time as well and I share it with you. Enjoy it, and THANKS Frauke for sharing it with us.
Trip into the Past by Frauke Elber
October 1988. A railway station somewhere in Holland. I am waiting for a train that is going to bring me back into the past, back to my early childhood, the years 1943/44.
Holland, late in1943, was still under German occupation and relatively peaceful. Therefore the German government decided to give mothers and children from the very heavily bombed cities of the Ruhr Valley, where most of Germany’s coal and steel industry was concentrated, a break and send them for a 6 week reprieve to a Dutch resort area just across the border. Summer resort hotels were used for that purpose. My mother and grandmother were in charge of one of these places. While my mother went back and forth every 6 weeks to accompany one group back and bring a new one to Holland, I stayed put in Holland.
At the second half of 1944 the war theater in Europe had drastically changed in favor of the allies. The invasion had taken place and the allied forces were on the march to the Rhine River, the artery of Germany. I did not know anything about this. For me, a three year old, it was a beautiful time and many memories were imbedded into my
It wasn’t until 1970 when, together with my husband, I saw the film “A Bridge Too Far”, a war film about the battle of Arnhem, that my memory was jolted. My reaction to the film was: “That bridge isn’t right. I remember that bridge. I walked across it with my mother.” What was so memorable to my small child brain was the big steel arch that spanned the bridge like a coat hanger. Out of my perspective everything was big and far. But this film awoke my curiosity: how much of my memory was true? How much was fantasy?
Waiting now at the railway station watching the yellow, streamlined, electrical trains arriving and departing the station the clock started turning back. Suddenly, 44 years earlier, I saw myself at another Dutch station and the same yellow, streamlined, electrical trains passed through. Germany’s trains were still operated with steam locomotives. Watching a youngster waiting for a train, eating a cone of soft ice cream, I could almost taste it. It was in Holland, many years back, that I first tasted soft ice cream while Germany was in a survival mode and treats like this were unheard of.
My train reached Nijmegen. But how to get from here to Berg en Dal? I was told to take bus line 5. I found the bus and secured a window seat. I had no idea how long it would take to reach my destination, I didn’t remember the town or its surroundings. All that was left in my memory was a single house: “House Erica”, a summer resort hotel that was converted to house weary mothers and their children. “House Erica”, a building with large glass windows surrounded by big, shade dispensing trees, an outdoor shelter with lounge chairs, where, when the weather cooperated we children had to take our afternoon nap; a playground with apparatus mostly made for the pleasure and amusement of adults including a multi-story, wooden slide that had to be covered with a tarp during the winter, and a big maze with three distorting mirrors in its center. I still could hear the laughter of the adults when they had conquered the maze, reached the center for the first time and saw themselves in the distorting mirrors. We children were small enough to take a short cut to the center by crawling through the hedges.
The inside of the house consisted of a very big room that served as dining hall and play room, and the big kitchen downstairs beside some other non-descript rooms. Upstairs were several bed rooms, one being furnished with many cribs for the children. I don’t remember where the mothers slept.
I don’t remember what time of the year we arrived. I remember some winter scenes and one scene in particular when one of the German officials, clad in uniform and riding a horse, tried, what we children did: sliding under the tarp that covered the wooden slide. He, with a mighty gird got stuck and the tarp had to be taken off to get him out. I remembered some summer activities: fun at the play ground, naps under the outdoor shelter, walks in the nearby heather where the ferns were taller then we children. How many of these memories would I find again?
I got off the bus at “Hotel Erica”. A short walk through the woods and I stood in front of a big, Best Western hotel with several annexes. Nothing looked familiar. There was no play ground, no maze, no outdoor shelter, only a parking lot and a lush grassy area with tables set for outdoor dining. My spirits sank and a big disappointment settled in, when all at a sudden out of the cluster of buildings appeared the original “House Erica”. There it was, almost like I remembered it and the scenes of the past started rolling by again: the owner family, van Vliet was its name, an elderly mother, a girl, Juliana, a few years older than I and a boy my age whose name I had forgotten. The big room on the ground level, wild chases with the boy and the other children through the downstairs rooms, the big, wooden swinging door to the kitchen, forbidden territory for us children. Our bedroom on the second floor, a bright, airy room with a sunroom, sparsely furnished with a wardrobe, a double bed, a washbasin a dresser and a crib. I was allowed to share the room with my mother and grandmother while all the other children shared the common bedroom next door. Only once did I have to sleep in that room after painting the walls in our room with a mixture of brown, facial powder and water during my afternoon nap. All these memories suddenly returned.
Who were the present owners? Should I go in and ask the receptionist? Or should I take the next bus back to the railway station? The urge to follow the track of my past succeeded. I was told by the young receptionist that the van Vliet family owned the hotel.
Could I please talk to any member of the family? “I am Mr. van Vliet” an older, balding gentleman behind the reception desk intervened. “Can I help you?” My name is Frauke Elber, what’s your first name? How old are you? Do you have an older sister by the name of Diana? I have lived here 45 years ago. It’s my first visit back….I brought some pictures” I blurted out. His name was Wim and he was 49 years old. Yes he had an older sister, Diana and his mother was still living in Berg en Dal. The lady of the house, Wim’s wife, joined us.
I told her my story and memories. Yes, it is all true. She showed me the house: the big room, now a fancy restaurant. The kitchen was still the same as 45 years earlier with its big, wooden swinging door, so was the wide staircase that lead to the upstairs rooms. I walked straight to the door of “our room”, room number 4. We entered the room. The room had drastically changed. The sunroom had fallen victim to all the modern building additions. Instead of a single wash basin it had an attached, modern bathroom, Wallpaper and furniture gave the room the look of solid elegance. A short tour through the modern part of the hotel and then a trip down into the basement, where to my surprise, behind a closed door of a recreational room I found the three mirrors from the maze. I got goose bumps and emotions started to overcome me.
In the meantime the older Mrs. van Vliet, the one who was the proprietress of the house when we lived there, had arrived at the hotel. I recognized her at once and she too pointed to my mother and grandmother in the pictures I had brought. And despite the language barrier –Mrs. Van Vliet spoke Flemish- we quickly found ourselves in a lively conservation for the rest of the afternoon.
Mrs. Van Vliet filled in some pieces of the puzzle. I remembered that we had left Holland very suddenly on army trucks. I remember the green trees on both sides of the road forming a canopy. From history books and the film “A Bridge too Far” I had learned about the hard fought battles that took place around Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden. Now I learned that we escaped these battles only by hours back in September 1944. “House Erica” suffered greatly during these battles. Pictures of that time showed a gutted interior and damage from tank tracks and artillery shells outdoors. But I also learned that the memory of “my” bridge, the “Bridge too Far” was correct.
Back on the train later in the afternoon, I felt like awakening from a long dream. But the little statue of a jumping rabbit, the mascot of Hotel Erica, a farewell gift from the van Vliet family, was proof that that day had really happened.
A few years later on a train to Switzerland, I shared the compartment with two Dutch women. When I told them my story they informed me that the old Mrs. van Vliet had passed away. One woman’s husband was a cook in “Hotel Erica”
Frauke, here together with Mike Green at the Reno Convention in 2012.
Picture via Frauke courtesy Maria Szemplinska
Enough news again.Back in the weekend, both with my own blog and the CAFE blog with some of the items in the latest Gliding International which just arrived with the most beautiful picture on the cover from Sebastian Kawa , from ,…who else……Maria Szemplinska and a story about Ann Welch [written by Fred Weinholz] the first vice president in IGC and the 2d lady as vice president in the IGC bureau now, Marina.
To finish a nice picture from my favourite river the Murray.
As shared by Francoise Curtis,[ via Dundee ]who misses Tocumwal; The IS 28 over the mighty Murray on March 2.