May 3, 1937
Britta’s bright blue eyes widened as she walked up the gangplank to board her flight. “It’s so big, Mommy.” The seven-year old girl clasped her mother’s gloved hand.
“The top part is big, but where we sit is small. There are only 36 passengers on this plane.” Gretchen looked down at her beautiful blonde daughter and smiled with pride. She presented their tickets to the officer who checked their papers and escorted them to their seats.
“I wanna count. One, two, three…..” Britta, distracted already, paused and looked out the window. The inflated fabric of the blimp dominated her view from the tiny window. “Why can’t we go in the big part mommy?” Britta pleaded as she looked at her mother.
“That’s where they keep the hydrogen, honey. We couldn’t breathe the air in there.”
Gretchen tightened her grip on her handkerchief as the aircraft slowly rose above the ground. “Mommy, look! We’re floating in the air. Why does it take 3 days to go to America?” Britta continued looking out of the window.
“America is far, far away, sweetheart.”
“Can we go again?” Britta asked.
“No honey, we’re going to live in America for a while. Besides, other people are waiting to fly from America to England to see the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.” Gretchen said.
“I wanna go! I wanna be a princess.” Britta crossed her arms and stomped her foot.
“We have to stay in America where it’s safe. Then we can come home to Daddy.”
“I miss Daddy. Can I write him a postcard?” Britta asked.
“That’s a great idea, honey. Daddy would love to get a postcard from you.”
“Can I take these gloves off? Please, Mommy?” Britta stared up at her mother and expertly pouted her lips.
“Just this once.” Gretchen relented.
“Yippee!” Britta yanked off her gloves and tucked them into her dainty handbag. She grabbed a pencil wrote on the postcard to daddy:
I miss you, Daddy.
I wish you were going to New York with us.
I wanna be a princess when I grow up.
I like flying on the Hindenburg.