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Rosalie Maggio

What I Like

  • Marie Marvingt

    Marie Marvingt

    Have you ever heard of Marie Marvingt (1875-1963)? It’s highly unlikely that you have. And yet … and yet …

    In 1980 I came across a brief mention of her, saying that she was "the most incredible woman since Joan of Arc," the most decorated woman in the world. My reaction was: "Pshaw! I’ve been to college, for heaven’s sake. I would have heard of her." Later I found her obituary in the New York Times. As we know, this is a sober publication, not given to fiddling with the truth.

    I began researching her life. Yes, she truly had been an outstanding pilot, balloonist, athlete, inventor, nurse, and much more. She fought in the front lines of World War I disguised as a soldier until she was discovered and sent home. In that war, she also flew, nursed, and invented the ambulance airplane. She was decorated with the Croix de Guerre for bombing a German airbase. She taught scores of young pilots to fly. She was the third woman in the world to obtain her pilot’s license; she set the first international aviation records for women; at one time she held licenses to fly five types of aircraft; she flew a jet-engined helicopter over Paris at the age of 85.

    That’s just some of the story. She was awarded a gold medal from the French Academy of Sports for being excellent "in all sports." All! Swimming, skiing, bicycling, flying, ballooning, mountain climbing, ice skating, canoeing, and more. She outshot an entire army division in riflery. She piloted a balloon across the North Sea — many people had died trying that trick. (You can see her signed & dated bronze wings in the aviators’ chapel of St. Francis in Riverside, California. Amelia Earhart’s signed wings are there too, as are Eddie Rickenbacker’s and other famous flyers.)

    I had lived in Nancy, France, for a year while taking university classes two years after Marie died there. Our paths had never crossed, but she had lived there for 75 years in a city I knew well by then. I went back in 1982 to discover that not only had she been completely forgotten, in Nancy as well as in the rest of France, but she was about to be kicked out of her grave. She had died in such poverty that her gravesite was only rented for 20 years. Having died in 1963, it was time — in 1982 — for her to be removed, her remains put in a box, and her gravesite resold. For more information, see the website:

    Note to Hollywood: In addition to the French-language biography I’ve written about her, I’m working on an English-language bio AND have completed a dramatic and suspenseful 110-page biopic based on her life, "Wings."

  • Facebook


    I cannot imagine life without Facebook. I have dozens of cousins and other relatives, friends in foreign countries, classmates from kindergarten through college, people from previous lives, new friends, and just plain interesting people with whom I could never keep up without Facebook.

    In addition, it’s not like going to college where you learn only the things that actually interest you. In what college could I have found out about dwarf donkeys? Or proudly posted the photo, above center, of sand under high magnification, only to be told by my sister that that’s not sand? I’m approximately half as gullible as I was when I joined Facebook. In the meantime, I get a daily glimpse of the ineffable heterogeneity of this global village — and get to celebrate events of importance to all of us (upper right).

  • Twitter


    I use Twitter to keep up with people who interest me … and to post my own "quotecards" — a quotation + a photo that somehow underscores it (two examples above). Check out @QuoteQueen to find 1000+ tweets with nifty quotations and catchy photos.

  • Pinterest


    Pinterest has so much more to offer than I use — but I’ll learn. I surprised myself by liking it so much. In addition to boards featuring quotations, roses, inkwells, and Marie Marvingt, I’ve started boards on rhinestone jewelry, buttons, Dennis Quaid, china, silver sugar baskets, mustard pots, Sicily, and Paris. (I use my own name on Pinterest.)