Impossible? NOT FOR MY MOTHER THE WASP! by Nancy Parrish, daughter of WASP Deanie Bishop Parrish Published in “WASP WOMEN WITH WINGS” NPR.org
March 9, 2010
I’ve been writing and sharing stories online about my mother, the WASP, for almost 13 years. It is her fault. She is interesting, she is inspirational and she has set the bar so high, I’m still striving to reach it!
After my dad passed away in 1993, my mother became my partner.
created Wings Across America, have traveled to 19 states, and have interviewed over 100 WASP. It is a partnership of common purpose, love & respect.
So, I share this story for the first time. This is not a story about the good old days of the 1940‘s. It is a story about one WASP’ determination, persistence, hard work and faith that ‘With God’s help, nothing is impossible.’ It is about my mother, the WASP, who did something extraordinary that she had never done before--in fact, no WASP had ever done before or has since.
In 1992, the WASP were planning their 50th reunion in San Antonio. As part of the festivities, mom had volunteered to head up the “LUNCHEON ENTERTAINMENT” to be held at the Officer’s Club at Lackland AFB.
Several months before the big event, mom had one of her ‘lightbulb moments’. When she gets that sparkle in her eye--LOOK OUT, something small is going to turn into a much bigger deal. This was no exception.
WASP Deanie Bishop (Parrish) in the left seat of a B-26 Martin Marauder. Tyndall AFB, 1944
“Why don’t you write a song for the luncheon,” she asked. “Why don’t you write a rap?” Pause. I was processing where in the heck she had even heard the term ‘rap,’ when she continued, “a WASP RAP! You’re the songwriter!” (To be fair, I am a song writer and was a member of the musician’s union back in the days of harmony and music that didn’t sound so angry. But NOT RAP!)
So, I made a small mistake. I spoke before thinking: “Mom, RAP is NOT music.” I
instantly sensed I was about to disappoint her--so I quickly added, “but, if you want a rap song, why don’t you write it yourself?” Pause. “I’ll give you the background beat--and you can put words to it.” I had thrown down the gauntlet. I had challenged her. She picked up her pencil. “How do I start?”
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