Why the title Yours in a Hurry?
The characters in the novel write a lot of letters, and Addison often signs his “Yours in a Hurry.” His family even noticed a change from his formerly neat handwriting to a scrawl across the paper. Like many in the Progressive Era, he was always in a hurry to embrace the next new thing—new inventions, new politics, and by the end of the story, new wars overseas. Life seemed more uncertain as many started leaving life on the farm, so it's clear that the title also reflects the fact that most individuals had a more hurried lifestyle than in the decade before.
May 17, 1911
If you unfolded the Los Angeles Times on May 18, 1911, you would have seen photographs of Addison and Anna Hartle, whose story mirrors American culture at the time. They left their Ohio village for better opportunities, and their paths crossed with historic figures and events involving them in women's issues, the development of aviation, and America’s military expansion.
That Wednesday started as any other, except that Addison was going to Dominguez Air Field, fourteen miles outside Los Angeles, for his first official aeroplane flight. His sister, Anna, accompanied him, and during the flight proudly said, "See, he's as clever as any of them. I knew he could do it easily!"
The headline the next day tells the end of the story: Young Aviator Drops to His Death—A.V. Hartle's Second Flight Fatal. The event affects Anna and Purl for years to come.
To read more about Addison and other early unrealized aviation visionaries, see Paul Glenshaw's Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine article' Or Die Trying' (February/March 2012, page 64).
Next Time: Finding one's roots in Rootstown