Each week, Flying receives dozens of news releases pitching us a new product or service, or informing us of an important upcoming event. Every so often we see one that makes us stop and think about the people that make the aviation industry work, such as the story we received on March 23 from the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton. It perfectly captured the personality of one very special aviation woman, Alice Griffin.
“Every Saturday morning, volunteer Alice Griffin begins her shift at the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) with a crossword puzzle in hand and a coffee cup nearby,” said the release. “Quick to smile, and clearly a center of energy for the four folks she shares the morning with, it’s hard to believe that Alice will celebrate her 100th birthday on March 28 of this year. She is witty and spry and enjoys imparting wisdom to those who engage her.” In fact, when she was asked if she had any words of wisdom to share, Griffin said, “Work hard, don’t take anything for granted, and give ten percent of your salary to charity.”
The release continued: “At 100 years old, Alice has seen a lot. Surprisingly, when asked what the most interesting thing she has encountered during life, the almost centenarian said with a chuckle, ‘What we’re living in right now,’ in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alice has an extensive history of volunteering in the Dayton community and has accumulated 2,000 hours of volunteer time over 20 years at the NAHF alone. She said, ‘I enjoy volunteering at the National Aviation Hall of Fame because I get to talk to people, have conversations about where they are from, and what brought them here.’”
Griffin, one of 12 children, went to school in Omaha, Nebraska, to become a teletype operator before moving to Dayton in 1943 to work at (then) Wright Field, now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Her first job as a teletype operator there netted her a whopping $1,440 annually.
NAHF president and CEO Amy Spowart said, “Alice, like our Enshrinees, is humble and talented. She shares the knowledge of a sage and speaks to all with kindness and grace. And Alice makes the best peanut brittle in the world. We are so very lucky to have her among our ranks.” Inquiries about Alice’s peanut brittle may be sent through the NAHF.