Tag Archives: pancho barnes

a chance meeting

Have you ever thought that one day someone might stop you on the street (or in a store) and ask if you have a website or a blog because they think they recognize you? Yeah, me neither. But it happened. In a local store. And it blew me and Mike away.

We were out grocery shopping when a man stopped Mike and asked if he had a website that had something about Pancho Barnes on it (not exact words… those were lost in all the excitement). I was on the next aisle over so Mike called me over to talk to the man. As he started to introduce himself I knew exactly who he was as soon as he said his first name. Les! The man who had commented on my blog post about Pancho Barnes to let me know that his brother had worked for her! Wow! This was beyond belief! I was amazed! We were all amazed! (Yes, all those exclamation points are necessary.) The day went from an ordinary one to something that could only happen in a movie.

Les has a photographic memory and recognized Mike from the photos I’ve posted on the blog. There were lots of hugs and handshakes all around and exclamations of disbelief that this could happen. It made our day. No, our week. Heck, it made our whole month.

Photos were in order, right there in the middle of Wal-Mart, at this awesome meeting. Good thing I always have my little pocket-sized Canon with me.

We’ll be having lunch someday soon with Les and his brother, Larry, so we can hear (and record) stories about Pancho. We can’t wait! This is SO exciting!

I wonder if something like this has happened to other bloggers.

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pancho barnes’ last home

Boron, California… not exactly the place you’d expect to find the last home of a famous aviatrix, stunt pilot and friend of many of the most famous test pilots in American history, but it was where Pancho Barnes lived out her final days.

The house, at the corner of Anderson Street and Kern Avenue, is in very bad shape nowadays. People in the aviation field have talked about restoring it, but nothing has been done yet.

We didn’t go inside the house this time, but we most likely will in the future. Mike would love to see the inside, although we’ve heard it’s been trashed and is crumbling. It’s a sad ending to the life of a woman who would easily qualify as one of Reader’s Digest’s Most Unforgettable Characters. Mike and I both wish we’d been lucky enough to know her.

If you have the time, read about Pancho Barnes and watch the documentary film about her, The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club. She was a very interesting lady.