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Celebrating Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart: Disappeared 76 years ago, on Tuesday

Amelia Earhart: Disappeared 76 years ago, on Tuesday

I don't know about you, but I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how I'll celebrate the anniversary of Amelia Earhart's last flight.

We all know what to do on the Fourth of July (fireworks), Thanksgiving (stuffed turkey) and Elvis's birthday (song marathon). But The Last Flight of Amelia Earhart is something of a stumper.

I've been a fan ever since choosing the aviatrix as A Personal Hero You Want to Write About for a third-grade essay (the male form of the noun steered me immediately toward "heroes" with XX chromosomes, but I digress).

Luckily for those of us looking for a proper celebration, Hazel and the Delta Ramblers will commemorate the Last Flight of Amelia Earhart with a concert from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, at The Neutral Ground Coffee House, 5110 Danneel St. Headed by Hazel Schlueter, the band has been playing country and bluegrass music locally for the past 40 years, including an annual homage to Amelia. Hazel also hosts a radio program every Sunday at 10 a.m. on WWOZ.

The tunes on Tuesday promise to be appropriate. Perhaps you didn't know that "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight" is also a song, written by Red River Dave McEnery shortly after the flyer disappeared. For those who don't remember their aviation history, Amelia Earhart took off from Miami in June 1937 with navigator Fred Noonan in an attempt to fly around the world. They made it to New Guinea in 21 days, then set out for Howland Island, in the middle of the Pacific. The last communication from the pair was received by a nearby Coast Guard ship on July 2, 1937. They were never heard from again.

The disappearance is considered one of aviation's greatest mysteries. It recently returned to the headlines, with the discovery of a cache of long-lost photos discovered in a tin box in the New Zealand Air Force Museum. According to a story last week in the Huffington Post, the 1938 aerial views of Nikumaroro Island show visible footprints and other potential evidence of Amelia Earhart's crash site.

Tuesday's concert will feature the Amelia Earhart song, as well as songs of flight and other favorites. There will be an Amelia Earhart coloring contest for kids of all ages.

So where is Amelia? Well obviously, says Hazel, whatever her final resting place, she can be found in our hearts and our voices. Especially on Tuesday.

Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]

Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]