Blog

Welcome to my blog!

As I work on Fighting for Fairness in Flight, I will periodically share thoughts, related articles, and links about issues and topics that surround my work, the aviation and travel industry, the history of the Women’s Movement, current feminist issues and Dusty herself. I welcome your feedback, so please contact me if you have something you would like to share.

-Elaine Rock

 


National Women’s History Month Honoree Awards Luncheon
Washington, D.C.
Dusty Roads Award Accepted by Elaine Rock
March 25, 2017

NWHP Award Acceptance

I was profoundly honored to be representing Dusty at the National Women’s History Project (see http://www.nwhp.org) luncheon and award ceremony for “Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” She was unable to be there so I went to Washington, D.C. with two of my friends. It was moving and inspiring to have the opportunity to share the stage, meet and chat with the other illustrious women being honored including Lilly Ledbetter, Equal Pay Activist; Barbara Hackman Franklin, former Secretary of Commerce; Rebecca Anderson, Community and Economic Development Organizer; Nina Vaca, CEO and Chairman of Pinnacle Group, and Norma Yaeger, the first woman stockbroker on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

I was first up to speak after the NWHP showed a segment of her interview from the 2013 Maker’s documentary,100 Women Who Made America. Just before the luncheon I was told I only had a minute to speak because of the length of the film. So, I had to quickly cut my speech in half. Here’s what I said:

“Good afternoon. I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of Dusty. I met Dusty Roads in 2014 in the Sonoma County, California YMCA swimming pool. She told me about her life as a stewardess and what she had accomplished as an unpaid labor lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Concerned her story might fade with time, I interviewed her for the next two years and am currently writing Dusty’s biography. I only have time today to share one anecdote of the hundreds I collected from her.

There was a photograph you may have noticed in the background of the documentary you just saw. She was wearing her Hawaiian muumuu uniform and carrying a protest sign. It proves how quick-witted she is. Dusty had just gotten off a flight from Hawaii and as she rushed to join the picketers, she saw a sign leaning against the entry to the Women’s Restroom. It said “Out of Service.” Without hesitation, she grabbed it and used it as her message to the press while picketing. The other stewardesses knew exactly where she got that sign from and you can see them laughing if you look closely.

I wish she could have been here today. If she had been, I’m sure she would have inspired us all to get up and march across the street to the White House in protest.

Dusty is grateful that the National Women’s History Project has acknowledged her and bestowed this honor upon her and it assures her proper place in our Women’s History. Thank you very much.”

The photograph above shows me with Angie Klink, Author and NWHP Board Member, on the left, and Molly MacGregor, founder of the NWHP, on the right. I’m holding one half of the inscribed marble book ends they presented to all the honorees.


Womens Spaces Radio Interview
National Women’s History Month and 2017 Honoree Dusty Roads
March 6, 201

Below is the link to the Womens Spaces radio program interview featuring Molly MacGregor of the National Women’s History Project, Dusty and me. Molly discusses the women chosen for the 2017 theme “Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” Dusty and I come into the discussion at about the 35 minute mark to discuss why she was selected as one of the honorees.  Dusty is her characteristically feisty self!

http://www.womensspaces.com/ArchiveWSKBBF/WSA170306.html

Over 6,000 in Sonoma County March in Solidarity with Historic Women’s March in Washington, D.C. – January 21, 2017

Saturday’s attendance at the “Sonoma County Stands Together for Women” Rally and March, a sister march to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. exceeded everyone’s expectations! The grassroots organizing committee met for the first time on November 17, 2016 at SoCo Coffee in Santa Rosa (of course I was there!) and within two months, with over 200 volunteers, pulled off what is being called the largest demonstration in our County’s history. There were 673 participating locations worldwide and the sense of world-wide solidarity was breath-taking. Together, we sent a message to our leaders around the world that we “stand for values of human decency, equal rights and freedom from discrimination.” Our event was meant “to showcase the strength and wisdom that our country has to offer when we embrace our neighbors and our differences and come together to promote the common good.” Our march brought together men, women and children of all backgrounds, races, religions, and ages in our region. Everyone was happy to be together. The event was not just wildly successful but also inspiring, peaceful, colorful and energizing. It brought Baby Boomers together with Millennials and GenXers and gave us all hope in numbers. Dusty said it was the largest demonstration she had ever participated in and it gave her faith that the fight continues in earnest again.

Dusty, Jean and I attended and marched together and like so many others are ready to do it again! Dusty was devastated when Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election. After crying when the loss became clear she said, “I thought I would be able to see a woman President in my lifetime. I don’t think that will happen, now.”  I felt the same way.  But for us, it was more than that. It’s the concern that we stand to lose the rights we already fought for in Dusty’s and my lifetime.

I believe we stand on the precipice of a cultural change that requires us all to seek healing from hate, violence and divisiveness but we’re only beginning and we still have a lot of work to do to get it right for our world. I remember Gloria Steinem suggested two years ago that it could take another 100 years before women’s rights are truly acknowledged as human rights. Fighting for fairness remains our struggle today but it was heartening to know there are millions of women and men everywhere ready and willing to keep the movement going.

Here are some photos I took that day:

Jean and Dusty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean Montague is on the left and Dusty Roads is on the right wearing her “Nasty Woman” sweatshirt.

Dusty Jean Me at March

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean’s neighbor Walter, Jean, me and Dusty ready to march.

Miscellaneous photos of the march in downtown Santa Rosa:

Mirrored MarchMarch

Pussy Power
Think

Elaine Rock and Dusty Roads Interviewed on WriterSpeak TV
Jan. 10, 2017

I’m pleased to announce that the YouTube video of our first television interview was released.  The program, WriterSpeak, is hosted by Redwood Writers member, Jeane Slone, on CMedia, Santa Rosa, CA. It was such a pleasure to be able to introduce Dusty and discuss some of her many stories about being an airline industry negotiator, lobbyist and women’s rights advocate during the 1950s and 60s. Sure we were both a little nervous but you’ve got to start somewhere and it was a lot of fun! Looking forward to more interviews with Dusty while I continue writing the book and seeking a publisher.

 

Dusty Roads Chosen 2017 National Women’s History Project Honoree

August 17, 2016: I am thrilled to announce that the National Women’s History Project chose Dusty Roads as one of their 2017 Honorees for National Women’s History Month in March! The theme for 2017 is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” She is one of 10 women in the country selected for their “extraordinary contributions and trailblazing efforts in labor and/or business.” It was incredibly difficult to keep my nomination of her a surprise but it was well worth it to see the joy of acknowledgment on her face when she read the congratulatory letter from the NWHP. Dusty, Jean and I are looking forward to the official celebration next year in Washington, D.C.!  Best of all, Dusty’s rightful place in history is now assured.

National History Day Competition 1st Place Winners!

July 9, 2016:  I received an email from Sophia, one of the three 8th grade young ladies who interviewed Dusty and me regarding their National History Day school project.  She said “My group and I are so pleased to tell you that our project has won first place at the National History Day competition. This is the highest award to receive in the competition, and we are extremely honored. We are so grateful for all the help we received from you and Dusty. We could not have made it to this point without you two.”  Dusty and I are so proud of Sophia, Kate and Kelly and heartily congratulate them!  Their project chronicles flight attendants struggles against sexism and discrimination with an emphasis on their fight for fairness and equality in the 60s and 70s. Dusty’s stories and videos figure prominently in their discussion.  Their conclusion reminds us that “Although the flight attendants…paved the way for feminism in the workforce, women still have a long road ahead of them on the path to gender equality.” That is also one of the themes of my book about Dusty who stood up for women’s rights throughout her 44-year career as a flight attendant and continues to do so today.

Meeting Barbara Boxer June 13, 2016:  This evening, Dusty, Jean and I decided to go to the Santa Rosa Copperfield’s Book Store event to see Barbara Boxer talk about her book The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life. Prior … Continue reading

National History Day Interview on Student Website June 2, 2016: Dusty and I thoroughly enjoyed being interviewed by three young ladies, 8th graders working on a National History Day (NHD) project about female flight attendants and their important role in … Continue reading

Thank You, WNBA-San Francisco! October, 2015: Here I am with Kate Farrell, left, and Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, right, at a recent Copperfields, Santa Rosa, Ca. book event for Betsy’s book “Fire and Water” and Linda Diamond’s book “Shelter Us.” Sometimes … Continue reading