Elizabeth’s Story


Tucked away in the corner of my parents’ attic was a box filled with papers. My grandmother had saved every letter that her many AMA cadet boyfriends had written, tying a ribbon around each bunch organized by beau. I discovered letters mailed to her from her WWII pilot pen pal stationed in the Pacific. Photos of men dressed in military uniforms spilled from the envelopes. And then there were years of correspondence between lawyers and Col. Charles S. Roller and her brother, Tommy, debating the future of AMA after my great-grandfather’s death. I admit that I only glanced briefly at the content as I organized these pages in a notebook. I found the hundreds of letters from my grandmother’s boyfriends a much better read. It wasn’t until I showed the notebook to Chris and watched his eyes light up that I realized the value of the story told deep in the pages of the correspondence that spanned from 1946 to 1949.

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