StudioTulsa
2:29 pm
Wed September 8, 2010

"A Biplane and Her Boy" --- A New Book by Tulsan Mary Coleman-Woolslayer

Tulsa, Oklahoma – On this edition of our program, we offer an entertaining discussion with Mary Coleman-Woolslayer, a longtime kindergarten teacher here in Tulsa who's just published her first book. It's a children's book, "A Biplane and Her Boy," which tells the story of a biplane named Betty Lou, and which features vivid illustrations by Kevin Stark. As Mary tells us on today's show, she comes from "an aviation family" --- her husband is a pilot, as was her father, and Mary herself first went up in a plane as an infant (sitting on her father's lap, as he was in the cockpit). "A Biplane and Her Boy," then, is a picture book with a good deal of history behind it; Betty Lou, in fact, is a Stearman Biplane --- also known as a Model 75 Kaydet Trainer --- a plane with a special place in the annals of American aviation. As Mary tells our host Rich Fisher, during World War II, almost all U.S. Army and Navy pilots earned their wings in a Stearman. It was an ideal airplane for training purposes in that, basically, if a pilot could handle this craft, then he could probably handle anything with wings and an engine. Today, about a thousand of these antique aircraft still exist, and they are lovingly rebuilt and restored --- and, indeed, flown --- by Stearman enthusiasts all over the nation. (Also, please note that you can learn more about this book at www.tigermothpublications.com.)