Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

Sookie Simmons Poole has pretty much just trudged along cheerfully in life under the shadow of her overbearing mother, Lenore. Lenore has become a bit of an eccentric and has managed to get herself in difficult situations more than once, so in an effort to keep an eye on things Sookie has her mother’s mail delivered to her house.

One day a mysterious letter arrives, it looks very official and Sookie reads it fearing another law suit. Sookie’s world turns into turmoil as she discovers that she was adopted as a child, and she questions everything she ever knew about her family.

Sookie’s search for answers causes the story to dovetail setting us on a path to learn about a proud Polish family from Wisconsin. The Jurdabralinskis’ gas station was nearly closed when all the area men joined up during WWII, but the family’s four girls bravely carried on.

The eldest daughter Fritzi was already a great mechanic, having been a professional stunt plane pilot in the 1930s, and when gasoline becomes too hard to obtain due to wartime shortages, Fritzi joins the WASPS.

The WASPs, was a female branch of the U.S. Air Force that ferried planes from the factories to the men’s units. Eventually all four sisters join the WASPS. Included in the story is the historical information that these brave women were not acknowledged until the WASPs official records of the force, which were classified, became unsealed 35 years later.

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