Gloria (HappyToBe) and Dreams of High Flight…

A little while back I discovered Gloria (HappyToBe on RMS) has led a most fascinating life. We all know from visiting her RMS site, she has collected some of the most gorgeous antiques you have ever seen! But, there’s another part to the story…you’ll never guess how Gloria got so many of those beautiful antiques home from the places where they were found. I asked Gloria if she would share this facet of her amazing life and she graciously agreed.

Gloria told me, “My late Husband and I had a Manufacturing Company in Hayward, California. We were right across the street from the Air National Guard and the Hayward Airport. (shown below)


“I was the Girl Friday at our shop, which means I did everything at the shop from typing invoices, doing pay roll, running lathes and mills in the shop, making coffee, and cleaning the men’s room, (boy it was great being the owner). When I did spend time at my desk, I would watch the big planes (Air National Guard) and the small planes take off and land all day. Ooooh, how I wanted to be able to fly just watching them.

“Well, after watching these planes for 4 years out my office window and telling my husband about my desire all the time, one day he surprised me and gave me an hour of flying time at Hayward Aviation. Boy, I tell you I could hardly get across the street fast enough to take my first hour in a small plane. Now remember this was only for an hour, I think my husband did this to shut me up about flying…he just knew I would be afraid and then he would not have to listen to me any more. Well, bet me!!!

“I met the instructor named Mark and he took me out to a Cessna 150. I tell you, I was so excited my hands were wet and my heart was beating out of my chest !!!

“I was checking out the instrument panel looking at all the controls, listening to him on the ground radio and then we taxied out for take off, held at 28 Right like ground told us and then tower control came on and told us we were clear for take off. (below, cockpit of a Cessna 150)

“When that plane took off, the thrill I felt was so amazing. We flew all over the Bay area for the hour and flew over the top of our shop. (below, San Francisco bay area)” He gave me the controls after half an hour, so I could fly and I felt so much freedom! I knew this is what I want to learn to do. OH, THE THRILL !!! When we got back to the airport he gave me my log book with one hour in it and I knew then I would be adding many hours in that book.
“I started going to the Airport twice a week and after only seven hours of flight time, my instructor Mark and I were doing Touch-and-Gos. (A touch-and-go landing is an aviation term, meaning a maneuver that is common when learning to fly an airplane, involving landing on a runway and then taking off again without coming to a complete stop. Repetitions of this maneuver by circling the airport allow many landings to be practiced in a relatively short time. )

“And after only 4 of these he said, “pull over,” which I did. He got out and told me, “Ok girl, you’re on your own now!” He was going to solo me, but failed to mention this to me until that time! Well, I had been doing radio for 5 hours with both ground and tower, so knew I could do that part. I had been doing take offs and landings but he was always in the seat right beside me.

“So now he offered me my freedom to fly, YAHOO !!! And the most amazing thing…when I took off, I remembered all the instructions of seven hours. I did my go around and landed it all by myself! He signed my log book showing I had soloed. I was 30 years old at the time.“I did my ground school with 32 guys…I was the only girl in the class. Every Tuesday night, the guys at ground school started calling me Amelia. I passed my FAA Exams and passed my flight course.
“Then my husband bought me my first plane, a 195 Cessna…BIG PLANE!!! (below, Gloria’s plane…isn’t it beautiful?!)

“It seated five passengers…God, how I loved that plane!

“Both my husband and I loved to go on the hunt for antiques (another passion) so we would take off every weekend and fly to different towns to go antiquing.
“There were times when I know the weight and balance was off for take offs and landings. But oh, the fun I had was unbelievable…being able to fly.

“We had our plane for 14 years and I hated to sell it…but with my husband’s health getting increasingly worse, we didn’t get to take it out as much. So my husband’s one hour that he gave me, turned into 310 in my log book!”

Gloria, thanks so much for taking us along for the ride! What a blast! I got goosebumps just hearing about the day you soloed! 🙂 Be sure to visit Gloria’s RMS site to see some of her wonderful antiques:

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor even eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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  1. Hi Susan! This is great. I will be participating on Tuesday! Thanks!

  2. Hi, Sweet Susan…I have my TABLE SCAPE TUESDAY all ready and scheduled to “air” early Tues. morning…please add me to your list.
    Many thanks…bj

  3. Susan, what a thrilling ride that was with our beautiful Gloria! I feel like I left the ground with her. Thank you so much for sharing this insight into the life of our wonderful friend. I loved it. Laurie (bargainhunr)

  4. Susan, I got so excited about Gloria’s story, I forgot to say that I love your Fall “swing” pic. So inviting–especially the pie and that mug with the frothy cream on top! Love it. Laurie

  5. What an awesome story! So inspiring and heartwarming.

  6. RetiredAtLast says

    What an interesting post. It truly must give you a sense of freedom to be able to fly. I would never have the courage to trust myself off of terra firma. I don’t think I could even take an ocean cruise. My hat is off to you both, Gloria and Susan.

  7. What a neat thing for you to post about, Susan. I so enjoyed reading about Gloria. I always wanted to take flying lessons and never did so your article gave me an inside peak! Great post!

  8. sarah @ a beach cottage says

    I just read all the way through in awe, I think I’ve read it all now, can you even imagine junking in an aeroplane, just hopping around here and there for treaure? oh my I would be in true heaven, what a wonderful story and of course what a wonderful blog post, that’s why I love bloggin so much, opens your eyes to other people’s lives and stories

    thanks for posting

    I’m in for tomorrow’s tablescape, I enjoyed doing one yesterday and am posting it for Tablescape Tuesday and am looking forward to seeing all the new ones


  9. Morning girl I love your new header pics with all the Fall colors and I love Gloria! From the day I first ‘met’ her on RMS I knew she was a special kind of friend…we connected immediately..we have shared laughs …tears….prayers…and shouts together! She has the biggest heart of any one person I have ever known and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that she can fly an airplane….I believe the little toot could do anything she set her mind to…thanks girl for doing such a special honor to a special woman…I love you Gloria!

  10. Pat@Back Porch Musings says

    WOW! What an amazing story. I loved it. Thank you Gloria and thank you Susan for sharing Gloria’s story here!

  11. decorator101 says

    This is an incredible story about our wonderful Gloria…Your husband was a remarkable man to give you such a gift… little did he know huh??? lol..Gloria, you are so right.. There is no greater feeling of “freedom”. Thanks so much for sharing an insightful story about an amazing gal….
    hugs ~lynne~

  12. Wow Susan…what a great post today, just like you promised! Reading about Gloria was a thrill ride for me…it makes me think I’ve led too sheltered a life though…She and you taking on a passion like that is astounding…
    wish I’d had more guts when I was young. 😉 Bo

  13. thank you so much for this beautiful story about my good friend g. I hope everyone who reads this gets the chance to know her as well. She is so interesting, funny and kind. I love you gf. vickydarnell

  14. What a story.Even though I’m lucky enough to be both of yall’s friend. And I knew the story,Gloria,the way you told it today,makes me want to be a bird,or an angel,or fly a plane.What a freedom,what an experience.I,too felt like I was with you and we were soaring the skies.Wow….Ann

  15. Wow! Susan you promised a great blog today and you sure delivered. Gloria, I’m in awe of your courage… not only to fly but the way you face life. Susan thank you for allowing us to know little Miss “I can do anything” better. Love the new fall porch too. I can just feel how crisp the air is getting. I think we have another hour of summer and then Fall is officially here! love, Carol

  16. Christine (xinex) says

    Susan, I was so thrilled to ride with your story about Gloria’s flying, I’ve heard it before but you told the story like it is from beginning to the end and it is a wonderful story. Gloria is really an extraordinary woman.

  17. Thanks for the great story!! What fabulous memories it must provide Gloria. Her husband sounded like a great guy with a very progressive mind. Here’s to women adventurers! Thanks, Susan.

  18. Susan, You have no idea the great and fun memories this have brought back to me today…I have been crying tears of happiness…just to be able to even remember this at my age is a blessing for me!! Thank you Susan for giving me one of the best days ever..Your kindness over whelms me girl!!Thank you from the bottom of my very blessed God has been to me to give me friends like you… Hugs and smiles Gloria

  19. Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity says

    Susan, What a great post. I am sure all of us bloggers that knew Gloria from RMS never would of guess this beautiful lady had another talent to inspire us with. Thanks for sharing her story!!

  20. Gloria girl you are one rockin’ chick!!*winks* I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to fly more! What a wonderful thing it was to receive a flying lesson that day….It started a whole new life didn’t it? Your plane was gorgeous! Did it have a name? I know there are tons more chapters to your amazing life! I’d love to read every one my friend! Thank you Susan for sharing Glorias story! She is one interesting and inspiring lady!…..As are you Susan! Vanna

  21. decorator101 says

    Susan, I shared this with dh today and he so enjoyed reading it.. flying is his first love..although we no longer fly due to his health.. he did today thru this inspiring story…thanks again for sharing such an interesting part of our Gloria’s life…
    hugs ~lynne~

  22. I am in such awe over Gloria’s excitement over LIFE!! The guts to fly a plane is beyond inspirational to me…as I’m a big scaredy cat!! lol I loved reading about how she got started~~and loved the “touch-n-go” lessons! Thanks Susan for sharing such a great story about our GREAT GLORIA!! Yippeeee! We love ya G! :-)) Tomarie

  23. dear Susan, Again I wanted to thank you with all my heart for making a most fun day for me..This one I will put in my memory bank. I will be here for Tuesday Tablescpaes.. Can’t wait to see everyone post. Thank you again you are the best..Hugs and smiles Gloria p.s. Love ole Blue eyes..

  24. A really great posting on your friend, Gloria. I enjoyed reading the heartwarming story and thank you much for sharing it with all of us.

  25. I just hit the computer and see that you are putting up a post about my mom! She is sure making her rounds getting special posts on blog land! I know that this is tickling her just pink right now….she was thrilled to see her birthday post and I think she is becoming quite the celebrity here on blogspot!
    Gloria…I love you girl and wish me and the rest of the girls on here could convince you to start a blog to tell us all about your amazing life and all the wonderful antiques that will some day be coming to canada to be in tootsie’s house!
    Susan…what a nice thing to do for our friend….and you did a wonderful job of it too!

  26. Not sure if I mentioned that I would be doing Tuesday or not….please list me!

  27. What a wonderful tribute to an amazing lady! She has always been one of the nicest people on RMS and always left such kind words! Isn’t it amazing what you discover about these ladies here in blog land;) French

  28. Well Glenda tipped me off to this, Gloria you are one special lady! What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing it.

  29. Susan (Moonlight and Magnolias on RMS) says

    Gloria, Thanks so much for letting me post this today! This definitely beats the way I normally go antiquing!!! 🙂 Love ya, Susan

  30. What an uplifting story! Lots of fun to read and I loved all of the photos. Oh, that yellow-and-white Cessna was gorgeous. Who would have thought you could combine antique collecting with flying? I had chills and goosebumps, too, when Gloria had no notice she was about to solo. Thank you, Susan, for telling Gloria’s story. And now I must confess when I first visited Gloria’s spaces with all of those wonderful antiques, I thought she was the nicest, kindest, and most spirited grandmotherly type. I knew she was a smart cookie because she knew so much about those antiques. Then she told me that she and her husband used to fly to buy antiques and I wrote back something about how nice it was for her husband to fly her. She quickly set me straight! LOL! Fieldstone/Pam

  31. Gloria!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had NO idea you were a pilot! OMG, this was just fabulous to learn about you! I really wish you would start your own blog. You’ve certainly got plenty to share with us, woman!!!!!!!!!!

    Justine 😮 )

  32. Good morning Susan 🙂

    This was such a wonderful post! I just love Gloria 🙂

    Hey Gloria… when are you going to post something on your blog???? 😉


  33. Gloria’s one heck of a gal! Oh, and there’s even so much more to my fiesty little friend…a character upon which books are written. Love ya, Gloria!!!

  34. Susan~ This was a wonderful post for a wonderful woman. I’m so glad you shared this….I have a huge fear of flying and Gloria makes me want to be BRAVE.

    Hugs~ J. ( Spangles on RMS )

  35. Hello Susan…

    I was just thrilled to see this piece that you did on our friend Gloria! Isn’t she absolutely amazing? When I think about all of Gloria’s life experiences and accomplishments…I truly stand in awe of this grand lady!!! She is certainly “one fine lady” that I look up to…Oh my, how I admire her courage, initiative, wisdom, and her keen shopping savvy of antiques (wink!) And as much as I admire all of these fine qualities…I have to say that it was Gloria’s kind, tender heart that first drew me to her! She has so many endearing qualities…I feel so very blessed to know Gloria and call her my friend!!! Thank you Gloria, for sharing your experience of flying…how exciting! Love you my dear, sweet friend!

    Thank you so much Susan…I just adore your blog…what a talented woman you are as well!!! I find all of your writings so inspirational…interesting and enjoyable, my friend! Love your new header photo…Autumn is here!

    Warmest wishes…Chari (Happytodesign)

  36. Susan, thanks for the story on our sweet Gloria! I knew she was a sweetie, funny, and a lamp maker, but a pilot? Wow! Susan, I read where you said you couldn’t answer everyone who wrote to your blog, well, you are the only one who does! We know you work, and don’t have time! So please blog on anything, you don’t have to answer, we know you are a sweetheart! Love ya! Connie

  37. Mary / Mariah says

    What a great post for a great gal . Thanks for shareing with us . I’ve known how special Gloria is but wow That is some thing . What a life full of so much . To fly , that is great . Love hereing about it . Red hair , blue dishes and a Yellow plain , Flying high , that’s great . I’m wowed .

  38. Life on Bonnie Lane says

    What a great story about Gloria! It just shows up what we ladies can do when we set our minds to it! Sounds so exciting! Good for her for realizing her dream!


  39. profenretraite says

    Hi Susan…Glenda sent me to this post when I commented that I didn’t know Gloria was a pilot. What an amazing person our Gloria is!! Thankd so much for sharing her story…Debbie

  40. Please… what is RMS?

    • HGTV had a website called Rate My Space. They eventually turned it into a TV show. The show didn’t last, not sure if the website is still active.

      • Thank you. I was looking it up online…and finding questionable results that I knew you ladies weren’t referring to. I used to have many friends in Yahoo chat – then they closed it down. Since so many of us went by pseudonyms and only knew each other ONline – we lost each other immediately when the lights went out. Still miss them.

        Susan – LOVING your site! Starting from the beginning. 🙂

        • Thanks, McKenna! You got a lot of reading ahead.:) That’s a shame you guys lost contact. They should have given you some kind of warning so you could exchange emails or something. So many folks from RMS started a blog…most of us did that long before RMS ended, if it has. The trolls took over RMS and it was no fun anymore. We still have all kind of drifted apart, though.

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