Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on December 21, 2003 · 171
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · 171

Hartford, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 21, 2003
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4N THE HARTFORD COURANT SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2003 HS. Unheralded Wright Sister Was Her Brothers' Keeper By DONALD P. MYERS NEWSDAY The French fell for the school-marm charm of Katharine Wright in the winter of 1909 during a grand tour of Europe, her debut in the eyes of the world. The newspapers called her bachelor brothers "les bluffeurs," the bluffers, because they looked and acted more like grocery clerks than inventors who had solved the secrets of aviation. Wilbur and Orville Wright had no daring, no dash, the French said. The taciturn brothers from Ohio were too cool and quiet The Wrightsister.friendlyandfunny, supplied the splash and dash and the credibility her brothers lacked. Since the Wright brothers' first flight on Dec. 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, N.C., they had been largely ignored by the world press. That all changed in early 1909, when Katharine joined Wilbur and Orville in France as their social ambassador for a series of demonstration flights they hoped would help sell their flimsy little cloth-and-wood planes powered by 12-hp. engines. Katharine Wright and flight went together like Beaujolais and brie, the French raved. As the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of flight this month, the life of the only Wright sister and her role in the creative lives of her brothers remains largely unknown. College-educated and vivacious, Katharine would give up her teaching career and early hopes of marriage to look after her two brothers. Only in middle age, when the Wright fame and fortune were secure, did Katharine find romance with a widowed man she had known years before in college. After finding the only true love of her life and marrying at 52 she would be disowned by her surviving brother, Orville. "Katharine sacrificed a lot for Wilbur and Orville," said Dawn Dewey, head of special collections at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. "Katharine was their rock. I've heard her referred to as the third Wright brother." Because the Wright sister was a high school Latin teacher, the French concluded, she must be the calculating mind behind her socially awkward brothers and their magical flying machine. It was a dandy story, but it wasn't true. "I don't think history will remember Katharine Wright as anything other than a kind of footnote," said Richard Maurer, author of the new book "The Wright Sister" (Roaring Book Press, $18.95). "But what a glorious, real, full-bodied footnote she is." The Wright sister, barely 5 feet tall, walked right up to the kings of England, Italy and Spain, smiled and shook their hands. That was bold for an American woman in 1909. The royals were charmed. The Europeans were amazed by the Wright Flyer's unimaginable acrobatics. The aircraft soared with "the consummate ease and grace of a swallow," an English newspaper said. "We are as children compared to the Wrights," said another paper in France. . After being largely ignored by the press for more than five years, the Wright brothers were finally famous. Their little sister was a star. Wilbur and Orville had never received high school diplomas. Katharine had graduated from Oberlin College in 1898, a rarity for women of her generation. Scholarly and gabby, she was almost everything her brothers weren't Aristocrats and royalty the jet set of the time flocked to the witty woman with the pince-nez glasses clipped on her nose. Newspaper readers couldn't get enough of what she said, what she looked like and what she wore stylish coats and dresses, fox furs and feathered hats. She had studied French in college, so she spoke to the people in their own language. Wilbur and Orville Wright deserve their place in aviation history, of course, but they didn't get there alone. Without their little sister, flight might not have gone so smoothly. "Kate was a very bright woman, the best educated of the five Wright children," said historian James Tobin, author of another new book, "To Conquer the Air The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight" (Free Press, $28). "In many ways, she fills the traditional role of helpmate to her brothers. She took care of everyday life prepared the meals, did the laundry and made it possible for Wilbur and Orville to do their work and to do it obsessively full time." Katharine was born upstairs at homemDaytononOirille'sthird birthday in 1874. She was 14 when her mother died of tuberculosis. The teenager was suddenly the woman in charge of a house full of men at 7 Hawthorn St, living with her four brothers and her father, a bishop in the United Brethren Church. Two older Wright brothers, Reuchlin and Lorin, were born during the Civil War. They grew up, got married and moved away. Katharine became confidante and caregiver to Wilbur and Orville. She managed many of their affairs, helped promote their in- 1 www.ctnow.comweddings Also available on Helman -Binney Gayle Binney and Jeffrey Helman were married June 21, 2003 at 1 1 a.m. The ceremony and reception were held at The Inn at Chester. Michael Clay, a friend of the bride officiated. Erin Binney, sister of the bride, served as the maid of honor. The best man was Andrew Helman, brother of the groom. Kyle Binney, the bride's brother, escorted her down the aisle. The bride is the daughter of Karen and Howard Binney of Burlington. The groom is the son of Mary and David Helman of Fairfax, Virginia. To remember their long-distance courtship, the couple chose "Love Letters" as the first dance. The bride and groom also celebrated their marriage with a special ceremony and reception at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Burke, Virginia on September 12. The Rev. Or. Larry Packard presided. The couple now lives in Alexandria. The bride is Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for George Washington University and the groom is Internet Services Product Manager for Washington Service Bureau, a division of CCH, Incorporated. if V r r f Tf i Burke -Gibbs Corrin Gibbs and Jamie Burke of Canton were married on 101 12003 at 2 D.m. at First Church of Christ in Simsbury. The Reverend Sandy Daly offi-1 j dated. I The bride isthe daughter of David and Melody If , Gibbs of Unionville. The groom is the son ot r Thomas and Hannah Burke of Unionville. I Sarah Noyes, bride's friend, was the matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Jennifer Jensen, Martha Cassidy and Jody Gawel, all friends of the bride. Daniel Burke, twin brother to the groom, was the best man. Goomsmen were brothers to the groom, Thomas Burke, Jr. and Michael Burke, and brother to the bnde, Justin gidds. After a reception held at Wampanoag Country Club, the couple honeymooned in the Islands of Kauai and Maui in Hawaii. Both Corrin and Jamie graduated from Farmington High School. She attended Susquehanna University and he attended University of New Hampshire. Corrin is employed at Gibbs Financial Services in Farmington. Jamie is employed at IMS, Inc. in Manchester. t x i ? "- 6.4 mfv m is QUINN-RAYNOR Julie Ann Raynor and Robert James Quinn, Jr. were married on June 27, at Trinity Chapel, Boston College in Newton, MA , The bride is the daughter of James and Patricia Raynor of Mansfield Center. The groom is the son of Robert and Ann Quinn of Norwood, MA. Amy Donovan, bride's friend was Maid of Honor. Attendants were Susan Raynor, bride's sister-in-law, Nancy Murphy and Susan Quinn, groom's sisters. Karen Ferguson and AnnMarie Person, bride's friend. Mark Oles, groom's friend was best man. Groomsmen were Mark Murphy, groom's brother-in-law, Matthew Raynor, bride's brother, Michael Gear and Mark Noonan, groom's friends. Flower girls were Hannah and MaryKate Murphy, groom's nieces and Allison Raynor, bride's niece. Jack Murphy, groom's nephew, was ring bearer. Following a reception at Brae Burn Country Club in Newton. MA the couple left for a wedding trip to Grand Cayman Island and Hilton Head Island. The bride graduated from Boston College and received her Master's at the University of Connecticut Julie is the Director of Operations at the American East Conference in Boston. The groom received both undergraduate and Master's degrees from the University of Connecticut Bob is a Pro Scout for the New England Patriots in Foxboro, MA Wedding and Civil Union Announcements To receive a form and other information about placing a paid wedding or civil union (where legal under state law) announcement in The Courant, please call 860-241-6232 or 1-800-524-4242, ext 6232. You may also request information by sending a self-addressed stampea envelope to Weddings and Engagements, The Hartford Courant, 285 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 061 1 5 or email weddingscourant.com. Please be sure to indicate whether you want an engagement or wedding form. The Courant only accepts wedding and civil union notices published within one year of the ceremony. . , . A ) Marino -Schwarz Kimberly Schwarz and Stephen Joseph Marino of Westf ield, MA were married on August 8, 2003 at Immaculate Conception Church, New Hartford. Father Fr. John Dean officiated. The bride is the daughter of Raymond and Kathryn Schwarz of New Hartford. The groom is the son of Mr. Stephen and Betsy Marino of Ludlow, MA. Maids of Honor were, Kelly Schwarz and Kristin Schwarz , sisters of the bride. Bridesmaids were, Kathleen Johnson, sister of the groom and Julie Brodnitzski, Kathleen Fowler, Jackelyn Seaburg and Melissa Sterrett, all friends of the bride. Best Men were Donald Marino, brother of the groom and Kevin Auffrey, friend of the groom. Groomsmen were, Craig Fallon, friend of the groom, David Gilrein, cousin of the groom, Michael Johnson, brother-in-law of the groom, Timothy McCarthy and Andrew Santaniello, friends of the groom. Mr. Brian Fenty, a family friend was the vocals. After a reception at Chez Joseph in Agawam, MA the couple honeymooned in Aruba. Kimberly is a Intensive Special Education Teacher for the Westf ield Public Schools in Westf ield, MA Stephen is also a Special Education Teacher for the Westfield Public Schools. III mm Anagnostopoulos - Vouthounes Christina Vouthounes and Vasilios Anagnostopoulos were married on August 31, 2003 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church, Garden City Hotel, Garden City, NY. Father Stavros Anagnostopoulos, brother of the groom, officiated. Christina is the daughter of Peter and Rose Vouthounes of Rocky Hill. Vasilios is the son of Efstra-tios and Aphroditi Anagnostopoulos of Albany, NY. The Maid of Honor was Antonia Vouthounes, bride's sister. Bridesmaid was Joy Vouthounes, bride's sister. Flower girls were Marian Hatzidimitriou, Christina Joannou and Cassidv Psishos. bride's cousins. The best man was Vasili Dimitriades. Groomsmen were Jimmy Vouloukos, groom's cousin and Spiros Kapolas, maid of honor's fiancee. The reception took place at Garden City Hotel, Grand Ballroom, Garden City, NY. The couple honeymooned in Hawaii. ,J.4IJ,.!WW,f,,,m..,.v.,.-,TWWm : " V . at t Villalpando-Tosini John James Villalpando and Kimberly Ann Tosini were married April 12, 2003 at St Mary's Church, Simsburv. Father Lawrence Bock officiated. The bride is the daughter of Albert and Evelyne To sini of Simsbury. The groom is the son ot Keyes ana Maraaret VillalDando of Caminteria, CA Christine Ruane was matron of honor and Jennifer La Vare was maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Vm-cene Bonventre, Andrea Borchetta, Sharon Russas, Mary Villalpando and Andrea Zagarola. Steven Dooley was best man. Groomsmen were Daniel Villalpando, David Villalpando. James Villalpando, the qroom's brothers, Christopher Tosini, bride's brother, Jason Martin and Marcus Junevicus. The bride is a 1995 graduate of Providence College and she received her Masters Degree from Clemson University in 1998. She is a special education teacher in CoeurD'Alene, ID. . The groom is a 1996 graduate from Eckerd College and he received his Phd. from Clemson University in Spokane, WA After a reception at Hop-meadow Country Club in Simsbury, the couple honeymooned in Jamaica. They now reside in Spokane, WA L VA eY f SJ 1 Y . r i am mm n trnwrnv mil Ii-i4ll'WAi Tremblay-LeBlanc Lori Lynn LeBlanc and Jonathan Paul Tremblay were married on November 15, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Belle Chasse, LA The Reverend Patrick Sanders of ficiated. Lori is the daughter of Aldon A and Deanna M. LeBlanc of Youngsville, LA Jonathan is the son of Henry W. Tremblay of Norfolk and Claudette Ruel Tremblay of West Hartford. The matron of honor was Reba Conefry, bride's friend. Bridesmaids were Amanda Tremblay, groom's godchild and Laina Melancon, bride's godchild. The Tlower gin was Chelsea uocnei, bride's niece. The best man was Matthew Tremblay, groom's brother. Ushers were Chase Melancon, bride's nephew and Brett Sandifer. couples mend. I he rina bearer was Brvce Crochet The reception took place at the Home of Mr. & Mrs. Michael Conefry. i 1 ...M M. -I I.IK I ; Oy - : 'i . t i I J FIRST-TO-FLY.COM KATHARINE WRIGHT graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1898. Her famous brothers never graduated from high school. vention, helped them prepare speeches and cared for them when they were sick or injured. The Wright sister was stylish, but wore her long, dark hair in a bun and convinced herself that "men were not the least bit interested in me, except as a friend." At Oberlin College, she and a group of female friends had called themselves the Order of the Empty Heart, a lighthearted reference to the feet that none of them had suitors. "She grew up in an era that was not necessarily fun for women," said Amanda Wright Lane, 50, of Cincinnati, Katharine Wright's great-grandniece. "A woman's role was to keep the home fires burning and take care of the men. It made her happy to see them happy. Only when she went to Europe in 1909 did she become an equal partner. She liked being in the middle of the buzz. The newspapers didn't write about the Wright brothers, they wrote about the Wrights. They were revered as a threesome. Aunt Katharine became the heartbeat of their house." Although Katharine never piloted a plane, she shared her brothers' passion for flying. In Pau, France, as twilight approached on Feb. 15, 1909, Wilbur asked his sister if she'd like to go upforherfirstride. Katharine hopped into the passenger seat Orville tied the bottom of her long coat with twine so it wouldn't flap in the wind, and she secured her hat with a scarf She propped her feet on a rail and grabbed a wing strut with her right hand. The little plane lurched down its launch rail and then the Wright sister was flying. For seven minutes, Wilbur circled the airfield, then cut the engine and swooped silently down for a gentle landing. Flight wasn't Katharine's only passioa She was actively involved in feminist causes of the time. She helped organize a suffrage march in Dayton, one of many nationwide that led to passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote. She also served as president of the local Young Women's League and the Dayton College Women's Club. She became only the second woman to serve on the Oberlin College board of trustees.. For most of her life, Katharine put her brothers' interests ahead of her own. On May 30, 1912, Wilbur died at 45 of typhoid fever, contracted by eating a bad oyster in a Boston hotel. Katharine and. Orville were alone. They had al ways been the closest of the Wrights, childhood playmates.; and grown-up soul mates. Or-' ville, shy and withdrawn, never married, and he came to depend-on his sister. "I am sure no one can imagined how inseparable the relation is',' now between Orv and me," Kath-J, arine wrote in 1925 to an old college friend, Harry HaskelL a wid-H ower. "I can't desert him now I have taken care of him so much I have lived in his life so long." Haskell had proposed marriage to 50-year-old Katharine.' She was torn between her loyalty , to Orville and her love for Harry, who had given Ernest Hemingway his first job at the Kansas City Star and would later win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It took more than a year for -Katharine and Harry to break the '. marriage news to Orville. At 54,!; the surviving Wright brother was the grand old man of aero-,; nautics. He had sold the Wright; airplane business three years after Wilbur died and was a rich ' man. When he found out that his sister had fallen in love for the first time and was leaving himA alone in the Dayton mansion he had built on Hawthorn HilL he felt betrayed. Katharine's friends and the remaining family members were thrilled that she had finally found happiness. But Orville sulked. He refused to go to the wedding. He disowned his sister, banishing her from their home. On Nov. 20, 1926, Katharine, 52, and Harry, 54, were married in the Oberlin home of friends. Katharine moved with Harry to his home in Kansas City. She told friends that her new life as a wife was a fairy ' tale come true. The Wright sister would never ; see her brother again until he came to her bedside the day be- fore she died. Orville Wright lived until 1948, but Katharine and Harry Haskell I had just two years and three, months together. Despite a bad. cold, Katharine was planning a trip abroad with Harry in the; winter of 1929. A couple of weeks before Katharine and Harry were to board a ship for their trip abroad, her cold turned into pneumonia. The death watch be-gan. Orville arrived on a Saturday. Harry asked Katharine if she recognized her brother. "Yes, of course," she whis- " pered. She died the next day. SCARLETT is the perfect choice for retirees or empty nesters, as she tends to get nervous with too much activity and heavy handling. An 8- PET OF THE WEEK year-old beagle-Boston terrier mix, she can live in any size home or apartment. She is a spayed female that does well with other pets and would welcome the company. She is very snuggly and just loves to be petted and cuddled. She needs a new home because her previous owners decided they just did not have enough time for her. Inquiries for (j.pji,itipiw.vU.NJjMiW-WJJIUiiyjyiiji Y O gk ' ' . : Y U 1 ". - I Vt I adoption should be made at the Connecticut Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, New-ington, or by calling 860-594-4500 or 800-452-0114. Wallace and Dons Mustek 50th Wedding Anniversary Wallace and Doris Musick of Simsbury celebrated 50 vears of marriage on Nov. 20 with a second hon eymoon to Hawaii. The Musicks met at a Navy dance in New London where Wally, an Illinois native, was stationed. They are active boaters at NBYC enioy travelling, skiing and playing bridge. The Musicks are ownerpartners of JAMCO, Inc. in New Hartford. They have two daughters: Rebecca Strempfer of Simsbury and Barbara Collier of Boca Raton, FL, as well as six grandchildren. f i " '' C7f Z LI

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