Giveaway: Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins

November 28, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, 1940s Women of WWII, Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins

I was so excited when Chicago Review Press sent me a copy of this book to read and review. I love learning new stories about World War II and this one was no exception.

You can learn more about Gertrude Tompkins, the last missing WASP from World War II HERE.

There will be two winners for this giveaway and each will have a hardcover copy of Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins. The giveaway is opened only to U.S. and Canadian Residents. It will run until December 5th and there are four ways you can enter. You can follow me at A Vintage Nerd on Instagram, Share this giveaway on Instagram (tag me-a photo will be shared on my IG that you can use), Leave a comment on the book review about Gertrude Tompkins (link is above), or Follow the Chicago Review Press on Instagram.

Good luck to those who enter and keep your eyes peeled on here because I will be hosting many more  giveaways in the future,




AVN Book Club: Seized By The Sun

November 27, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, 1940s Women of WWII, Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins

I always get asked how I find the time to read. As you saw from my post, Be Inspired: Books Make Great Friends, reading has always had a special place in my life. And I always believe if something is important to you, you will make time for it. I sneak in a few pages here and there as well as on the weekends and in between homework with the kids. It can be done, albeit slowly, but it is possible.

One of the books I have been reading in collaboration with the Chicago Review Press is called Seized by the Sun: The Life and Disappearance of World War II Pilot Gertrude Tompkins by James W. Ure. I love reading personal stories and I think it goes back to my fascination with people in general. I was excited to learn more about Gertrude Tompkins who came from a very wealthy background, struggled most of her life with a profound stutter, and flew planes with the WASPs during World War II. 

The book delves into Gertrude's personal life and struggles but at the core of it all is her disappearance. On October 26, 1944 Gertrude flew a P-51 Mustang on a routine mission and was never heard of or seen again. Out of the 38 missing WASPs who lost their lives, she is the only one who is unaccounted for. 

The early chapters deeply explore her upbringing and her life long struggle with stuttering. Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins was born at Jersey City, New Jersey, 16 October 1911. She was the youngest of three daughters of Vreeland Tompkins, founder of Smooth-On, Inc., and Laura Towar Tompkins. Her father, Vreeland was a very successful businessman but he suffered from a stutter that was much more severe than hers. He desperately wanted his daughter not to suffer the same as he did and had Gertrude undergo various new treatments at an early age in the hopes that he stutter would be cured. 

I loved reading about her love for reading, college education, and world traveling. Despite the Great Depression, Gertrude was very lucky to travel the world and obviously was in no rush to be married. She did supposedly fall in love once and it is assumed that it is this relationship that inspired her to take flying lessons. What baffled me was how much care and detail when into delving into her early portion of her life and how much less information there was during the time she was in the WASPs.

The author does state that they were able to meet with Gertrude's sisters and many of her friends that were in the WASPs. Of course sadly all of those wonderful ladies have since passed but I couldn't help but feel that no one really knew why she joined or who she was really. I get the impression because of her stutter she was quiet and introverted and she seemed to have a great work ethic both in school and out. She seemed determined to enjoy her world traveling and took enjoyment from her independence. At the last portion of the book I learned a lot about the WASPs and about airplanes as well as what it may have been like for her, but the mystery of her disappearance left me haunted and wanting to know more.

Gertrude abruptly married someone she didn't love supposedly to please her parents yet told none of her friends about it. She disappeared about a month after the marriage took place so her sisters wondered if she possibly took off and started a new life elsewhere. There have been many in-depth searches conducted through the years lead by Gertrude's grandniece and absolutely nothing has been found. This is a mystery that may never be solved.

I do have to say that I really enjoyed getting to know Gertrude and she seemed like someone I would have enjoyed being friends with. I think you would enjoy getting to know Gertrude as well. Stay tuned for a giveaway of two copies of Seized by the Sun.

A Vintage Nerd, 1940s Women of WWII, Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins
A Vintage Nerd, 1940s Women of WWII, Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins
A Vintage Nerd Book Review 1940s Women of WWII Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins Old Navy Casual Style
A Vintage Nerd, 1940s Women of WWII, Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins
A Vintage Nerd, 1940s Women of WWII, Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins
A Vintage Nerd, 1940s Women of WWII, Fight Pilot Gertrude Tompkins
**In collaboration with the Chicago Review Press**
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave

Books Make Great Friends

November 16, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Casual Fashion, Jean on Jean Fashion, Vintage Beret, Beret Fashion

My mother was a avid reader and she always encouraged me to read. After her passing I felt loneliness I think for the first time. Its books that were always there to save the day for me. Anything that told a story I gravitated to and devoured. Whether it was books, movies, television shows, or music, I just soaked myself in it.  It's in doing that when I felt less lonely and more at peace.

Books then became my constant companion, my friends. My CMT doctor, who I was a patient with for over 33 years until his retirement this past summer, would always tell me how he remembered me always with a book in my hands. Funny enough not much as changed.

Being an avid reader and writer is something that has become a part of my nature, a part of what makes me Daffny, and one of the things that still gives me a sense of belonging. When I started blogging in 2011 it was because I felt the need to connect to the world again. I can't tell you how glad I am that I did start blogging.

One of my favorite things to do is to go to my local park and sit on a bench and read. It doesn't matter how much time I have to read or how far in the book or magazine I am in but just the act itself, after all these years is still comforting and rewarding.

Is there anything you like to do that makes you feel this way? I'd love to hear all about it.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Casual Fashion, Jean on Jean Fashion, Vintage Beret, Beret Fashion
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Casual Fashion, Jean on Jean Fashion, Vintage Beret, Beret Fashion

How to Wear A Beret Four Different Ways

November 11, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog

The weather here in New York has been crazy these days. One day its warm, one day its cold, and told its freezing. But one accessory I always feel comfortable wearing no matter what the weather is like is a beret.

The beret is one of those hats that has stood the test of time. It is used in the military, in high fashion, and as daily wear. Women sported berets in all various shapes and sizes from the turn of the century until now. We have had knitted berets, felt berets, fabric berets, and crocheted berets. I even wore a beret with cat ears on it once. They are comfortable to wear, easy to put on, and stylish.

No matter what the weather is like in your part of the world, try on a beret. And if you decide to try one on, here are a four ways that you could wear your beret inspired from the 1940's to the 1960's.

Below: Berets in the 1940's were worn mainly to the side of the head. It was also worn that way in the 1930's as well.

A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog

Below: Berets in the 1950's were worn mainly at the top of the head or towards the back of the head. If you feel like your beret would fall off you can always attach a bobby pin to it so that it can stay in place. 

A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog

Below: Berets in the 1960's were worn mainly pulled down covering the ears. They also tipped their berets backwards on the head, like pillbox hat. It was also worn similarly in the 1930's. 

Keep in mind that in a decade like the 1960's they styled the beret in multiple ways. They wore them on the side, on the top of the head, or covering the ears. It seems to me they took all the ways that the beret was worn prior to the 1960's and used styles all within that decade.

A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Beret Fashion, How to wear a beret, Vintage Beret, Retro Fashion Blog

Outfit: New York T-Shirt from J Crew and Red Beret from Forever 21
 
Copyright © A Vintage Nerd. Designed by OddThemes